Story Development and Execution Part 6: Constructing Chapters

Story Empire

Ciao, SEers. Today is part six: chapter construction. I was surprised to find none of us has spent a great deal of time discussing the chapter as a discrete unit of a story. We gloss of things in a few posts, but never delve into chapter construction. (There is a post on scenes that might interest you if you’re looking for more information.) Probably because it’s kind of evident what to do—write a scene or series of scenes that link together. The chapter should reveal character and/or advance the plot. That said, I’m going to talk about what the proper development of a chapter can do for your story.

We talked before about your first chapter being your standard. How you should revisit it often to make sure it draws in a reader from the first word and keeps them turning the pages. It’s hard to argue with that…

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A Word on Plot

A Writer's Path

I believe I was in high-school when I first stumbled across a modernistic book devoid of plot. I wasn’t attempting to read modern literature at the time. What I wanted was science fiction and this book was classified as such. After sixty pages I closed the book and wondered – when is the story going to start?

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Science and Magic are Two Sides of the Same Coin

A Writer's Path

After much contemplation about writing magic systems, I’ve decided on a new writing philosophy. These guides work for me, but should in no way be considered “writing rules”.

  1. In fantasy, I’m going to treat my magic systems like a science
  2. In science fiction, I’m going to treat my “pushed” science like magic

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The Role of the Antagonist in Story Structure, Pt. 1 of 2 – by K.M. Weiland…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Helping Writers become Authors:

If you’re a student of story structure, then you probably have a pretty good idea how each of the major plot beats affects your protagonist—and, indeed, how the protagonist in turn drives the plot beats.

But what about the antagonist?

What is the role of the antagonist in story structure?

Continue reading HERE

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Showing – Not Telling Emotions

Story Empire

Photo by Narupon Promvichai on Unsplash

Hi SEers. John here with you today. I’m going to further discuss the idea of giving characters life with gestures. The reason for gestures (or beats as they are sometimes called) is to provide a character some tools to share with the reader without the writer explaining what is going on. These tools can communicate moods and nuances when the character is speaking.

It is always uncomfortable for a reader to be forced to guess what a character means or what emotional state that character is in. When the author tries to help out by explaining the current emotional state of the character, the reader many times is taken out of the story in the classic “show/ don’t tell” mistake.

So, what are the various forms of nonverbal communication, and how would a writer use them to covey the intended non-verbal message of a…

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Finding That Magical “Flow” State As a Writer

A Writer's Path

Let’s face it, being a writer is hard. But it is also rewarding. What keeps me coming back more than anything else, is getting into that magical “flow” state when I’m fully emotionally engaged in the story. The words almost seem to write themselves, and the hours fly by.

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How the Written Universe Works: Structure of the Cosmos – Designing a Series #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

The universe is vast, but the further we look toward the outermost edges, the more we see the overall structure, the way patterns are repeated across the enormity.

How the written universe works - multibook series1Think about it – the universe contains all we can measure and know, all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxies, and all forms of matter and energy. It likes balls and spirals and has a structure that repeats itself. This is reflected in the shape and behavior of the smallest particles to the largest quasars.

The universe began.

We don’t exactly know how it began, but we are here, so it must have started somehow. The universe emerged from somewhere as an infinitely smallsingularity, so named because it is singularly unexplainable.

From that unfathomable beginning, a mysterious dark energy pushes things apart, expanding the cosmos to what we see as the observable universe

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How the Written Universe Works: Structure of the Cosmos part 2 – expanding into a series #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

Monday’s post opened the discussion of the multi-book series. Readers of fantasy and sci-fi enjoy reading multiple-book series. They don’t want to let go of the story when they are invested in a character.

How the written universe works - multibook series1Thus, it makes sense to consider whether your story is complex enough to hold up well across a series.

Today, we’re going deeper into planning. A series takes two forms.

  1. The infinite series of standalone stories. Some feature a particular group of characters, but others might feature a different protagonist. They are all set in a particular world, whether they follow one protagonist or several. The installments may feature different characters and often jump around in that universe’s historical timeline. Think Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series or L.E. Modesitt Jr.’s Recluce
  2. The finite series – a multi-volume series of books covering one group’s efforts to achieve a single epic goal. Think Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series…

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Done with Your Draft—What Next? – by C.S. Lakin…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Live Write Thrive:

If you’ve recently finished writing the first draft to your first book, congratulations! If you’re getting there, applying many of these tips in this oist are going to help you get that draft into great shape.

Maybe you have written numerous drafts and possibly already published a book or more. My hope is that you’ll keep refining your process so it’s more effective and streamline so as to optimize your time and effort.

There are lots of methods to revising your draft, and every writer has different issues they need to address. So there isn’t a one size fits all approach to revision and self-editing. However, using a targeted approach in revision is the most effective way to get that manuscript in shape.

Continue reading HERE

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7 Ways to Improve Your Writing Craft – by Dario Villirilli…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Live Write Thrive:

To become a skilled writer you need to pour blood, sweat, and tears into your craft for years—and no amount of good advice will get you there overnight. That said, if you’re here, chances are you’ve already started your journey and you’re now looking to level up your writing skills.

Whether you write for fun or you want to make writing your career, the 7 tips in this article are sure to help you improve your craft and become a better writer.

Continue reading HERE

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