Author: Gabrielle

How to Avoid Info Dumps

You’ve slaved over creating an intricate world and the time has come for you to share it with readers. You’re excited to explain the different creatures, races, countries, and government systems you’ve fashioned. With such an abundance of information, you need a method to communicate it. Unfortunately, the result is often the infamous info dump. You halt in the middle of your story to spill a bunch of details about your world, characters, or plot all at once. Info dumps slow pacing and contain so much knowledge that they overwhelm readers and are easily forgotten. Worse yet, readers may...

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How to Manipulate Your Antagonist’s Goals to Enhance Suspense

Your character wants something. But someone else in his world, perhaps a friend or a random stranger, wants the opposite. These incompatible goals define them as the protagonist and antagonist. They both can’t succeed, so when their desires clash, behold! You have the perfect recipe for conflict. Conflict ensues when a character is faced with an obstacle to overcome. Your antagonist’s ambitions often interfere with your protagonist’s and vice versa. This drives the main conflict more than any other goal. Therefore, it is no surprise that the secret to intensifying suspense is born when the knowledge of the villain’s...

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How Symbolism Benefits Character Arcs

Character arcs are bothersome. Let me clarify: creating character arcs is bothersome. Character arcs in and of themselves are terrific; they aid with theme, character development, and the execution of vital plot points. Yet, they require effort to pull off correctly. Writers risk dumping all the character’s growth on readers like a pile of bricks, rendering the change heavy handed and ineffective. This is where symbolism dashes to the writer’s rescue. Symbolism occurs when an object, person, or place embodies or alludes to an idea or belief. When it is incorporated into character arcs, the changes necessary to the...

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Three Types of Telling You Must Erase to Create an Intimate POV

You’ve just created a new character and are excited to share his point of view with readers. He’s witty, charming, flawed, and about to embark on the adventure of his life. You’re desperate to bring readers up close and personal with him. If you don’t, you’re worried they won’t love him as much as you do. Believe it or not, the key to accomplishing this is showing. You’ve no doubt heard “show, don’t tell” before. Sounds like solid advice, but what does it truly mean? For the sake of this article, I will separate telling into three categories: telling...

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How Villains and Side Characters Can Deepen Your Protagonist’s Character Arc

The core of story is conflict. If your story contains no struggle, it’s just a tale about nobody important who never overcame anything. Conflict takes many forms; physical, mental, and spiritual conflicts are all crucial, and even necessary. Ideological conflict, however, is invaluable to developing character arcs. Without it, your protagonist won’t grow because his beliefs are never questioned. Ideological conflict is often facilitated by villains and side characters who challenge the hero’s beliefs and worldview. If you start with your protagonist, creating these characters is relatively simple. How to Create an Effective Villain  Let’s say your hero has...

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