“In Which I Critique Your Story That I Haven’t Read”

This is one of the most helpful articles on writing that I’ve ever read. Written by a writing coach and faculty member of a writing program in Texas, this author has seen his fair share of drafts, both professional and amateur. And he sees patterns. This article highlights the most common pitfalls a novice writer makes when telling a story. And he makes it entertaining to read, too. (Although he does have kind of a potty mouth, so be forewarned.)

It mostly centers around this: writing is most successful when people want to read it. So, he goes in depth about how to make your story as exciting and readable as possible.

Some tips include draw out the conflict – easy problem, conflict, resolution plots don’t quite cut it anymore. There has to be complications, tension, etc. Steepen the narrative arc as much as you can.

Also, he writes about where to start the story. He argues that you should start it as late as possible but where it still makes sense. If it begins with a ton of development, nobody is going to want to read the first 3 or so chapters. Unfortunately, readers have short attention spans. So grab them quickly and let the development and exposition unfold naturally at a later time.

Read the rest of the profanity-laden tips here:



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