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Story Development Story Structure Themes

Central idea vs theme: Developing your novel’s ideas

The central idea of a story is the seed from which the offshoots of plot, character and theme grow. It’s the core scenario that sets the action in motion. The themes of a novel are the general ideas and principles the story explores. When you examine central idea vs theme, both form the fundamental core of a story – the possible meanings and ideas readers take away. Here are 5 tips for building meaning in a novel using your central idea and themes:

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Story openings Story Structure

In medias res: 6 steps to start stories from the middle

The Latin term in medias res literally means ‘in the midst of things’ and describes a story that skips exposition and starts with events already underway. Read further explanation of this term and 6 steps to make your own in medias res story opening strong:

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Story Structure

How to end a book: 8 tips for a rewarding read

If you want to become a better author, learning how to end a book well is crucial. After the final page, the reader shouldn’t feel how Dorothy Parker did when she (allegedly) wrote in a review, ‘This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force’. Here are 8 tips to write better story endings:

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Narration Story Structure

How to write a flashback scene: 7 key steps

Writing flashbacks is an important skill to master if your novel cuts across time periods or strongly features characters’ memories. Here are 7 key steps for how to write a flashback scene:

Categories
Story Structure Writing style Writing suspense

What is pacing in writing? Mastering pace

What is pacing in writing? In fiction, pacing refers to how quickly (or slowly) the action of the story unfolds. Why is pacing in a story important? Because it helps to keep the reader interested and maintains a desired atmosphere and tone. A suspense thriller shouldn’t move at a crawl, just as an adventure novel shouldn’t end rapidly, almost as soon as it began. Here are 5 tips for getting pacing in your novel right:

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Character writing Plotting Story Structure

Plot vs character: What drives a great novel?

Choosing whether your novel will be plot driven or character driven is an important part of writing a novel. Plot vs character isn’t a simple choice, as each emphasis has its own benefits (and disadvantages if it is emphasized far more than the other). Read the pros and cons of each story type, followed by 5 tips on finding a balance and making your story appeal to readers on multiple levels:

Categories
Story Structure Writing Genres

How to write a novella: 6 essential tips

Learning how to write a novella is excellent preparation for writing your first novel. It enables you to work out characters and themes more extensively than a short story does. Writing a novella gives you helpful scaffolding for an expanded and more detailed book or series. Read on for a definition of the novella and 6 essential tips for writing one:

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Plotting Series writing Story Structure

How to write a book trilogy: 5 crucial steps

Want to learn how tow write a triad of books that keeps readers with you to the end? Here are 5 key steps for how to write a book trilogy:

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Editing Story Structure

How to write a short story: 10 steps to a great read

Writing a short story differs from writing a novel in several key ways: There is less space to develop characters, less room for lengthy dialogue, and often a greater emphasis on a twist or an ‘a-ha’ moment. How to write a short story in ten steps:

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