Scenes

How to render scenes effectively

Triangulate Dialogue

To avoid flat dialogue scenes, learn to triangulate the characters’ interaction with a lower-order goal.

Escalating Complications

“Escalating complications” is my preferred term for what’s commonly known as “rising action.” What is rising action? And how can you use it to maintain reader engagement in the middles of your scenes and stories? We take a lesson from iguanas and snakes here.

Formatting Character Thoughts

Is it better to format character thoughts with quote marks or italics? I say neither.

Is it better to format character thoughts with quote marks or italics? I say neither. No special formatting is necessary to signify character thinking. You just need some solid narration.

Should You Use Synonyms for Said?

Should you use synonyms for "said"? Some writing advice claims "said is dead"; others look disparagingly upon "saidisms," the fancier cousins of "said." Here's the rule of thumb.

Should you use synonyms for “said”? Some writing advice claims “said is dead”; others look disparagingly upon “saidisms,” the fancier cousins of “said.” Here’s the rule of thumb.

How to Create Story Momentum

A story with momentum makes me want to know what’s going to happen next, and makes me care about the characters, objectives, conflicts, and action.

Author, Narrator, Character

There is a distinction between author, narrator, and character.

The author creates the story.

The narrator tells the story.

The character lives the story.

These are three distinct entities, which exist on different planes.

Scene vs. Summary

I introduced this concept of scenes vs. summary in my post on the four ways to break down page-level craft. Here, in more detail, is what scene vs. summary is all about. And I’ve included some explanation on how the story writer can benefit from knowing this aspect of craft.

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