How to Write and Raise the Stakes More Effectively

Writers are repeatedly advised to “raise the stakes.” Stakes are often defined as what the character has to lose. But when you understand—more accurately—the relationship between plot and stakes, you can create them more easily. And when you understand—more accurately—how they actually work, you can raise them by using the methods in this article. How […]

3 Tips that Strengthen Middles

While writing the middle of a story usually isn’t as tricky as the beginning, for many authors, the middle can start to sag if they aren’t careful. Previously we went over three problems that come up with middles. Today we are back to add three tips to keep your middle interesting. 1. Vary Your Story […]

Checklist for Writing your Story

When I used to write for competitions, I would make lists of ways that judges might look at my work in order to grade it. For example, some judges might look for an ending that brought them to tears, while another might be more interested in an intellectual feast. A couple of you asked what […]

Types of Transport

When the movie Avatar came out, I went to see it and wrote a little review on it. I said then that it transported its viewer to another world better than any previous science fiction film—and that because of that, it would be considered by many youngsters to be the “best science fiction film of […]

The Heart of Your Story

I was asked to read a screenplay over the weekend. It opened with two minutes during which it explained what a common household device was, showing how it was made in a factory. Then for three more minutes it had characters eating breakfast talking about their cultural heritage. I began to wonder when the story […]