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Just Too Convenient

Some time ago I happened to critique several scenes in one week for a writer. In two of them, she’d made life much too easy for her characters. In the first scene, complete strangers offered the children shelter and food. In the second, one of them needed to...

Before You Start to Plot

Here’s a quick question for you: what’s easiest to write – a ‘woman in jeopardy’ story or a police procedural?   If you are (or have been) a police officer, then ‘police procedural’ might be the answer for you. If you know...

Turning Points in a Story

What are “TURNING POINTS” in a novel? Put simply: a turning point in a story is A POINT AT WHICH THINGS CHANGE. You should be able to find a turning point in most of your scenes: it’s an indication that your story is moving forward. Any story is full...