Six impossible things

Posts Tagged intermediate writing

Plot, development, stakes, and patterns

One final word about what’s at stake: the real stakes, the thing that is of greatest ultimate importance to the main character, not only are not necessarily connected to the perceived stakes, they don’t have anything whatever to do with the type of story you are writing. […]

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Andromeda and More Stakes

Lots of writers have a problem figuring out what the actual stakes are (as opposed to the perceived stakes). Quick review: the actual stakes are what’s really at stake for the character; the perceived stakes are what the character currently thinks is at stake. One reason for […]

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Why “There’s no Plot” Sometimes

Could you try an entry or two on punching up a sense of ‘there really is a plot here”? I’ve read several that I’ve thought were good but my husband grumbles had no plot. *I* thought there was one, but it’s not getting across to him. And […]

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Cliches and tropes

One of the questions that came up in comments recently was “What’s the difference between a cliché and a trope?” The simple and obvious answer is “The way the words are currently used on the Internet, not much.” But there’s a bit more to it than that. […]

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Moving on

Having spent the weekend being very thoroughly distracted by my 40th college reunion (at which they gave me a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, much to my astonishment [and thank you to everyone who worked on that]), I didn’t have a lot prepared for today’s blog. So I […]

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“Crossover” is one of those writing terms that has multiple meanings, depending on to whom you’re talking and what you’re talking about. In fanfiction, for instance, it refers to a story that includes characters from totally different series or settings – Superman shows up in “Romeo and […]

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Accessibility in Fiction

First, a happy dance: NPR just put out a list of 100 Best Ever Teen Reads, and guess what ended up at #84? I’m scunnered. Happy, but scunnered. It’s a fabulous reading list; check it out. And thanks to anybody out there who nominated or voted for […]

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Old ways of looking at plot

Most experienced writers know in their bones that plot operates in far more directions and on far more levels than most modern how-to-write books acknowledge. It’s the folks who’re just getting started who get bogged down in strict adherence to the basic skeleton or act structure, or […]

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Thinking about first person

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about viewpoint, and first-person has been on my mind lately. First person seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it viewpoint. I’ve heard folks say that it’s the easiest viewpoint for a beginner to use, that no one should ever use it, that […]

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What Kind of Skeleton

I’ve been thinking a lot about the classic plot skeleton lately, for a variety of reasons, and I’ve been getting steadily more annoyed with most of what’s written about it, and about plotting in general. The trouble is that most of what’s written about plot and plotting […]

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