Crafting a Compelling Story

By Sierra Cartwright



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:

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


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