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Tag: CRAFT Elements

Mixtapes

I have heard more than one writer say that they have created mixtapes while they were working on a story or novel and listening to that music, and that music alone, while they were writing was hugely helpful. If you’re…

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First Person Direct Address

Most of the time, our narrators are speaking directly to our readers. We may not do so as directly as Charlotte Bronte (“Reader, I married him.”) but it is implied, no matter the voice that we’re using. Second person can…

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Crafting Suspense

On Crafting Suspense: Keep the Bodies Hidden By Dustin Heron Suspense is an important element of fiction—and not just for stories where things go bump in the night. Suspense is “the feeling of excited or anxious uncertainty about what might…

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Object Lesson

So often in crafting fiction we think about character, plot, and setting. But thinking about specific objects and placing those objects in our fiction can be a great way in to a character and even a plot point. An object…

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Surprise!

It’s such a simple idea, really—as good ideas usually are—that surprise is a key element in our work as writers. But somehow, I hadn’t grabbed onto that idea until I took a workshop with Bret Anthony Johnston who believes wholeheartedly…

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Mapping The Setting

We are often as familiar with the settings in our fiction as we are with our own homes and towns. We know in which drawer Ariel keeps her revolver; we know how how long it takes to get to the…

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Withholding Information

Has this happened to you? You have a good idea for an ending of a short story. You figure out the plot twist that will bring together the various narrative threads. You think of that “aha” moment that will crystallize…

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Same Style, Different Content

Borrowing a craft element from another writer can be a great way to kickstart a new project, or re-energize an existing one. There are many ways to do this, of course, but here we want to focus on borrowing the…

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Dialogue at Cross-Purposes

Dialogue is the one of tools we have for showing us who the characters are and how they relate to each other. The best dialogue includes some amount of subtext and conflict. One of the good ways to get at…

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Secrets in Fiction

The word “secret” comes from the Latin verb secernere; se: to set apart and cernere: to sift. The etymology of the word seems particularly appropriate for fiction: as both readers and writers, we are always sifting through a story in…

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