What Is a Beat, Anyway?

If you read about writing craft, you’re going to come across the word “beat” on occasion. But this is a term that even within the realm of creative writing has at least three different meanings. Let’s break them down here.

What Does the Inciting Incident Actually Do?

The inciting incident is often misunderstood. Even seasoned writers sometimes make claims that there can be multiple inciting incidents or that it can occur before the story even begins. But I would argue that most of those claims are rooted in a misunderstanding of the role the inciting incident plays within a story.

How a Scene List Can Help Your Revision

A scene list is a simple but powerful tool you can use to wrap your head around your whole story and begin to troubleshoot where it might need revision. Here’s how and why it helps.

The Case for Messy Character Motivation

It’s acceptable—maybe even preferable—to be a little foggy about your characters’ motivations. Rather than put them through questionnaires and personality assessments, put them into situations which reveal true character.

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