The Writing Craft

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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Rising Action: Definition and Examples

November 23, 2022

To make your reader feel they can’t put down your novel, make sure everything your main character does to get out of his terrible trouble makes it only progressively worse, until everything appears hopeless. Such obstacles and failures making things worse — with the emphasis on progressively — is the very definition of Rising Action. […]

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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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inciting incident

Your Novel’s All-Important Inciting Incident: Definition, Examples, and Tips

May 3, 2022

A successful novel must feature an event, known as the inciting incident, that irreversibly ignites the story. The stronger your inciting incident, the more dramatic, compelling, and engrossing your novel. A weak or nonexistent inciting incident means no reason for your main character to become heroic, or for readers to keep turning pages. What is […]

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