Crafting a Compelling Story

By Sierra Cartwright

 

Do:

Show, rather than tell
Aim for potato chip endings
Create interesting, flawed characters
Choose your POV character carefully
Consider who has the most at stake in a scene
Master deep POV

 

Watch for:

Adverbs
Exclamation marks
Overreliance on italics
Improbable simultaneous reaction
Wandering body parts
Redundancy
Filter words
Misplaced modifiers
Clichés

 

Common plot devices to avoid:

Overheard conversations
Beginning a book in motion—meaning in an automobile, on a plane, riding a train, even going for a walk or run…unless something shocking happens.
Beginning the book with the protagonist waking up
Falling in love too quickly
The jealous ex
Lack of internal conflict

Crafting a Compelling Story

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