Character Plotting

I’m a bit of a planner when it comes to writing. I need a framework, something to help keep my eye on the end game. Before I begin any story or chapter it has to be planned in as much detail as possible. In the past, most of my planning focused on plot. Moving the story from A to B. While I include character development in this, it never had much of a focal point.

Plotting: The Crucible

The crucible is one of the simplest and most effective plotting tools. At its core is the relationship between the protagonist and the antagonist. The conflict they share spawns plot. It illustrates wonderfully the interwoven relationship enjoyed between character and plot.

Dialogue: The Ingredients

Dialogue was one of the first aspects of creative writing I looked at on this here blog, and since then much has been learned on this crucial aspect of the craft. In this return article, we'll look at what dialogue in fiction entails and the ingredients necessary for making it the most effective it can be, before finishing up with a few helpful editing tips.

Plotting: Architectural Suspense

We've all read that novel where at some point you put it down and forget it ever existed until you trip over it one day and then in a state of annoyance donate it to the charity shop. It failed to grip you, to compel you to go on. Often the culprit is a lack of suspense—the glue that binds the reader’s hands to the covers.

Get yourself a free creative writing eBook

One of the things I love to do most in the world is helping you good people out in any way I can. Kindness can be a rare thing nowadays and it's always good to spread it around whenever possible. This is the philosophy behind The Writer's Tool Shed, and with the posts mounting up I've decided to compile those so far published into a free eBook—This Craft We Call Writing: Volume One. Over 150 pages of tips, hints, and guides on everything from dialogue, plotting, viewpoint and prose, to world-building, writing fight scenes and editing, complete with pictures! And it's totally free when you sign up to my mailing list!

Characters: The Bad Guys

After my research post looking at reasons why people stop reading a book, poor characterisation ranked top. I come across many articles looking at protagonists, but few to do with the bad guys, and a poorly characterised villain is just as off-putting as a poorly characterised hero. In this short article, you'll read a few simple ways to make your bad guys of pure evil more compelling, and your conflicted antagonists more intriguing.

What’s the Plot?

People want to read stories. Your heroic warrior protagonist might have all the depth of the oceans, but if all he does is decapitate orcs, the reader's going to feel pretty headless too.