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Understanding Cause & Effect

When we write fiction, we see the story in our mind long before it’s down on paper. We know why our characters are acting the way they do because we are familiar with their past and in control of their future. We understand the significance of every event in the


Ordinary Characters, Extraordinary Feats

I admit it. I love superheroes. I love their super strength, super powers, super intelligence, and super good looks. However, I don’t write about superheroes. I write about ordinary people doing extraordinary things despite insurmountable odds. Is that not the measure of true greatness?



Exercise: Is Your Protagonist Worth Writing About?

Part One: Spend a few minutes with a notebook in a public space where children and families are present. Simply write down a few notes about some of the children you observe, what they’re doing, and who they interact with.

Part Two: Pick one of the children to be your


Creating Realistic, Well-Rounded Primary Characters

If you’ve studied fiction writing you know that characters rule. Above all, your protagonist must leap off the page as a living, breathing being. Your antagonist (the force working against your main character) must be similarly real. But if you’re writing an adventure story, or a thriller with a breakneck