Here are four ways to break down what can be included on a page. There’s some overlap between these, but it’s helpful to consider these four breakdowns when you’re crafting your scenes.

There’s a lot of writing advice out there. It is not difficult to find. It is also not difficult to feel overwhelmed by it all and, consequently, a bit inadequate as a writer. If you’re like me, you may question yourself on occasion. Am I doing this right? Should I be waking up at 4:00am every morning to write for three hours? Should I be outlining using the hero’s journey? My God, do I need to tweet?

In my MFA program, we were required to read 80 books over the two-year course of study. Like most writers, I was already a voracious reader, but time constraints and job demands had meant that I read far fewer than 40 books a year. In reading such a large volume of books, though, I came to embrace some tenets of story consumption: