Plot Development

What is the Antagonist in a Story?

May 15, 2023

If it’s true that conflict is the engine of fiction—and I believe it is—what is the best way to inject it into your fiction? By introducing a worthy, effective antagonist. What is an Antagonist? It’s your villain, and every good story needs one. While some would argue that certain nonhuman elements, like the weather or […]

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Literary Devices and How to Use Them in Fiction

February 13, 2023

As novelists, our job is to create a story that captivates readers from the get-go. Literary devices such as metaphor, irony, backstory, et al, can help readers better understand, feel, or see a greater meaning to a piece of writing. But with many literary devices to choose from, how do you best use them? Subtly. […]

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15 Common Themes in Literature

January 16, 2023

If you’re like most people, the last time you discussed Literary Themes was in high school English class. Perhaps you discussed the Theme of death in one of Edgar Allen Poe’s many short stories, or picked apart the use of shame in The Scarlet Letter. Or maybe, like many, you were lost when finding the […]

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100+ Creative Writing Prompts to Hone Your Skills

December 7, 2022

How do you become a better athlete, musician, scholar—or anything? You know. Practice.  You run drills, play scales, review flashcards, whatever it takes. So how do you become a better writer? Speaking only for myself, I feel I get better by exercising my writing muscles. In other words, I write. Many of my colleagues swear […]

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Writing Relationship Conflict: Prolonging the Agony

September 7, 2022

Guest post by Becca Puglisi When it comes to story conflict, there are so many options to choose from. Power struggles, physical threats, moral dilemmas, failures, ticking clocks — they’re all great for ratcheting up tension, building reader empathy, and strengthening our plotlines. But the conflict we face most often as human beings — the […]

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