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Tag: plotting a novel

Faces of a Fatally Flawed Manuscript

Last time, we talked about the core antagonist or as I like to call it, the Big Boss Troublemaker. The BBT is responsible for creating the core story problem in need of being solved and we will continue our discussion on the BBT and different types of antagonists later. But before we do that, I …

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Pirate Codes & Writing Rules—When is a Flashback a Literary Device?

If I give you guys the BASICS and explain WHY editors, agents and readers almost always dislike flashbacks, you know what is distressing about a flashback so you can avoid the pitfalls if you choose to employ a flashback.

How Sick is Your Novel—Can It Be Saved?

Many writers struggle. We hate our beginnings, revisions are a nightmare and endings can fizzle. We work, rework, cry, try again and still don’t nail it. The second act sags and we start wondering if maybe we should reconsider learning medical billing instead of writing. Yet, I do have good news. I’ve never worked with a dying patient, er– manuscript that couldn’t be saved.

Would You Rather? An Exercise in Creating Max Conflict in Fiction

There is a newbie author mistake we all make. Thinking, feeling, more thinking but nothing happening. I’ve blogged many times that writing can be therapeutic, but it isn’t therapy. I feel that Corbett’s point really crystallized what I was trying to say, but couldn’t seem to articulate nearly as well as he did. As Long as We are in the Character’s Head, NOTHING is at Stake. There is no push-back, no opposition, thus no conflict. This really gets to the heart of the SHOW DON’T TELL line we have all had drummed into our heads.