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Do You Have to Write From Beginning to End?

Many writers believe they have to begin with “Once upon a time” and finish with “The End.” In between, every word must be written exactly in the order that it will be read. There is little flexibility in this approach – and it’s difficult to continue the entire way through

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

Plot Guidelines for Writing in Different Fiction Genres

From mysteries to thrillers to historical fiction – learn the rules of the road for developing your plot.


Genre writing requires particular attention to plot, as each genre has its own unique plot structure. When creating your characters and determining your story’s catalyst, keep in mind where the overall

How to Develop a Sub-Plot


If you’re writing a book that’s longer than an easy reader or early chapter book, you’re going to need sub-plots. Sub-plots give heft to longer fiction and allow you to introduce more characters and other aspects of your protagonist’s life. Well-crafted sub-plots are related to the main action plot

Video: Laura on The Difference Between Plot & Theme

Video: Does My Story Need a Plot?

Open with a Bang! Crafting Great Beginnings

You've Got 10 Seconds to Grab an Editor's Attention.  Here's How…

begin1When an editor opens up the envelope containing your manuscript and begins to read, you have 10 seconds to get her attention. If she’s not captivated by the end of the first page (or maybe the second page if