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Category: Writing Techniques

Articles about techniques you can use to make your story better.

Using “Show Don’t Tell” For Emotions

Show don’t tell is a piece of writing advice that is regularly given to writers, but without development it can be hard to understand. I previously wrote about showing not telling your character’s environment and actions, but for this I’ll be focusing on what show don’t tell means in relation to your characters emotions and feelings.

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Writing A Conflict Lock

One of the key ingredients to a successful story is for your characters to be well motivated. Your Protagonist, your main character, wants something and is motivated enough to after it, and you write that journey. But the conflict lock is what turns it from some random events into a real story.

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How To Track Your Continuity

Your story “continuity” is making sure that from one scene to another, nothing changes about the people or the environment they’re in, that wasn’t intended to change and tracked by the writer. In film and TV errors, continuity errors can happen due to wardrobes changing suddenly, placement of props on the set, or weather, but I’ll be focusing specifically on the written word because as a writer the story continuity is your responsibility to control.

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Writing With A POV Character

When you’re writing a story, usually you use with first or third person. First person refers to the Protagonist as I, and third person refers to the Protagonist as He or She. I’m going to be explaining the use of a POV (Point Of View) Character in third person, and how you can use them for connecting your reader to the other characters in the scene and the setting they’re in, without overloading your audience with unnecessary detail.

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What Is A Good Prose To Dialogue Ratio?

If your book is too dialogue heavy, it can read like a script. You don’t get to know the environment your characters are in, or connect with their interiority in a way that you can relate to their emotions. However, if your book is too prose heavy, it can make it hard to get to know the characters because so much of how we ground ourselves in our characters is in how they communicate with each other. So, it’s important to strike a good prose to dialogue ratio.

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Writing Info Dumps

Sometimes as part of your story, you’ll have information that needs to be delivered in order for the story to make sense. This could be rules of magical lore within your Universe, details of a quest your character goes on, world building about the environment they live in if you’re writing in high fantasy or sci fi, or politics of the time such as a war they’ve been engaged in or who is in charge. But, ultimately, either your audience, or both your character and your audience, need information to be delivered to them in order for you to tell your story.

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How To Write Plot Twists

A plot twist is a sudden change in your story that your audience don’t see coming, such as a reveal that one of the goodies is actually a baddie. Your plot twist can be written in a way that pulls your audience into your story and makes them want more because it’s a really unexpected moment that’s exciting to read, or it can boot them out. And you never want to boot your audience out.

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Writing Character Deaths And Resurrection

The resurrection of characters that have died can be a dramatic game changer that enhances your story, however, if used too easily and without careful construction, it can have the opposite effect. Your audience can be left feeling like all the tension has been sapped away because if characters die it doesn’t really mean anything.

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Writing Enemies To Lovers/Friends

Characters that start out as enemies, and through the course of the story turn into friends or lovers is quite a popular trope, and because it’s popular it’s used a lot. It can work really well, and satisfy your audience in a specific way, or it can just feel predictable and dull, depending on how you use it.

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How To Make Your Audience Cry

If you are writing something absolutely devastating in your story, such as a heartbreak or death scene, it’s natural as a writer that you want to make your audience cry when it happens. If they cry, that means you have successfully connected with them in a way that is powerful enough to move them, which means your story is well written enough to connect with.

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