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Showing posts from November, 2017

How to Construct Subplots – Part 1

A subplot is an essential part of any novel. These little side stories add depth to the main story, and they help develop other characters beside the protagonist. They run parallel to the main plot; they are connected to it, but they should be constructed in a way that they never overwhelm the main story. They are designed to maintain further interest within the story, so that the reader will never get bored, and they help give the overall story lots of variation and substance. They add extra layers and levels of complexity to the story. In other words, there’s plenty to keep the reader occupied.A subplot can involve any of the main characters – the protagonist, the antagonist or secondary characters, so some of the story is seen through their eyes.They are all part of the main story, but they might also have their own stories that relate to the main story, so they might have different goals, different perspectives and different agendas and they will have different obstacles to overcom…

How Important Is Realism In Fiction?

Every story needs to have at least some hint of realism, even if the work is fictitious. That’s because the story is fictitious, not the setting, the era or history or the minor details. That’s where the realism should be. The idea is that a story needs to be believable and you want the reader to become immersed in the story. To achieve this, the story has to feel not just believable, but also real. And the characters need to feel real, too. With the exception of fantasy and sci-fi novels, realism in fiction is about portraying a certain reality. And the key word to understanding this is: plausibility. The story, the characters, their motivations, the setting and the plot all need to be plausible, regardless of genre. Readers want something that makes sense, something they could relate to, even if they’ve never experienced certain things, and that means they want some kind of realism – it’s what makes a fictional story seem real. This is known as verisimilitude. This is why suspension of…

How to Make a Story Flow

When writers talk of story flow, they are referring to the movement of the story and whether a novel moves smoothly from start to finish. Every story needs to be dynamic in this way. It needs to be smooth, seamless and coherent. This is what we know as story flow, but it shouldn’t be confused with pace because pace is the speed at which a story moves.Flow, on the other hand, refers to how the story moves along. It’s all about movement, and how it draws the reader in. But why is flow important? It’s something that needs to occur in for the story to make sense to the reader. If a story doesn’t flow, then the story may be too confusing or disjointed for the reader to make any sense of it. This is why the movement of the story is critical – it must constantly move forward. This is why we refer to the importance of a story moving forward. How does story flow work? Both scenes and chapters need to be relatable – the action needs to progress in a logical manner and not go off at tangents. Action…

How to Include Themes in Stories

The relationship between themes and the main story is an important one. Themes underscore what happens in the story and provide the basis of the reader’s deeper understanding of the characters, their actions and what the true meaning is at the heart of the narrative. When we think of themes, the most common ones we find in novels are love, betrayal, loneliness, acceptance, deceit, friendship and so on.Most are formed around emotions; therefore what characters think and feel towards others can form a theme – hate, perhaps, or misunderstanding. This emotional element draws the reader – they can relate to many themes, therefore they will create some empathy. Thriller and crime stories tend to lean heavily towards the darker side of human emotions – so themes of power, corruption, hate, mistrust, betrayal and deceit are very common. Romance novels rely on themes of love, naturally, but also might involve deceit, jealousy, betrayal and maybe forgiveness. Themes run through the entire story. T…