Category Archives: Plot

Character Change: The Inner Journey, Part 1

Other names for the character’s inner journey include character arc, character change, character transformation, ritual pain, and range of change.

CHARACTER ARC: WHAT IS IT? Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Monday Tool Day, Plot

Setups and Payoffs: In our own work

We’re looking at Setups and Payoffs this week, and today we’re going to see if we can come up with some Setups and Payoffs for the one-liners we’ve been working on.  Here we go. Continue reading

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Filed under Own Work Friday, Plot

Setups and Payoffs: How the masters do it

We’re looking at Setups and Payoffs this week, and today I’ve got some examples from Harlan Coben’s No Second Chance, which we also looked at last week, and Lisa Unger’s Crazy Love You.

Spoiler Alert. Continue reading

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Setups and Payoffs: What are they?

Here’s how Robert McKee sums ’em up:  Continue reading

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Tension, Conflict, Suspense: In our own stories

It’s Tension, Conflict, Suspense week.  Let’s see what kind of macrotension questions and conflicts we can come up with for the one-liners we’ve got going. Continue reading

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Tension, Conflict, Suspense: How Harlan Coben does it

It’s Tension, Conflict, Suspense week, and today we’re looking at how Harlan Coben milks the tension, conflict, and suspense in No Second Chance.  I guarantee that I did not pick up on all of his uses and manipulations, but here’s what I did spot: Continue reading

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Filed under Plot, Story Master Wednesday

28 Ways to Create Suspense

Or…  Tension, Conflict, Suspense Part 2.  (Find Part 1 here.)

“Suspense is achieved by arousing the reader’s curiosity and keeping it aroused as long as possible,” says Sol Stein. Here are some techniques to do just that. Continue reading

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Filed under literary devices, Monday Tool Day, Plot

Tension, Conflict, Suspense

There are some distinctions among these terms, but there’s also a lot of overlap. In general, the goal is tension, with conflict and suspense each being a way to create tension. Here we go… Continue reading

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Stakes: So what? Who cares?

The masters agree: stories most often fail because the stakes aren’t high enough.  But there is plenty we can do to ensure lack of stakes doesn’t happen to our stories. Continue reading

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Filed under Concept, Monday Tool Day, Plot, Stakes