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Tips on Making Your Adventure Story Convincing

Today’s guest post is by Zarrah Felton.

Do you love stories that can both spark your imagination and leave you on the edge of your seat? If yes, then adventures stories are the perfect kind of stories for you!

In essence, adventure is a genre of literary fiction that features nerve-racking and adrenaline-pumping storylines, such as tough quests, escape journeys, voyages of discovery, and so on.

Adventure stories have always been popular all throughout history. In fact, one of the oldest and most famous works of literary fiction in English is an adventure story written during the medieval period: Beowulf. Since time immemorial, numerous different kinds of adventure stories—from Herman Melville’s epic novel, Moby Dick to Jack London’s short story, To Build a Fire—have been gaining ground in the literary world.

Writing an adventure story can be just as fun as reading it. However, it is not as easy as it seems. Continue Reading…

Spin That Captivating Tale

Today’s guest post is by Carla D. Bass.

Rumpelstiltskin spins straw into gold. An author employs an intriguing plot, captivating characters, and exquisite settings to spin a tale.

However, these ingredients, themselves, don’t guarantee a captivating tale. The author must induce the reader to hang on every single word (double drumbeat for emphasis) from that all-important title and opening line to the story’s conclusion. How? What additional pixie dust generates that literary magic?

The answer is twofold: 1) make each word count in conveying the story and 2) respect the reader’s time—present a memorable, enjoyable experience.

A foundational principle—for fiction and nonfiction—is leveraging available space and the reader’s time. I, too, am an avid reader, but lose interest when I can scan a few sentences on the page and skip the rest. Continue Reading…

Creating Tension in Fiction Scenes

Today’s guest post is by Erick Mertz.

One of the things writers commonly ask me is, how do I create more compelling scenes? How do accomplish the elusive gold standard of “show but don’t tell”?

If you have written for any amount of time, you’ve probably been given feedback along those lines. For any number of reasons, the story feels weak. The prose is filled with soft spots. Maybe the characters come off as flat. Somewhere between inspiration and execution, the story lost some necessary life.

Writers receive these types of comments for any number of reasons. Sometimes it is because of a lack of clarity in a scene or the need for vivid color in a particular description. Other times it is a matter of repetition. One section of a manuscript too closely resembles another, or else it outright mimics it. But, in my experience, one reason tends to rise above the others: a lack of conflict.

Focusing your writing on a series of strongly rooted conflicts is the best way to elevate your storytelling. In bigger terms, these would be defined as the archetypal clashes of person versus person, person versus self, or person versus machine, just to name a few. When characters are at odds with something or someone, the stakes in the story naturally ramp up, and the quality of prose follows. Continue Reading…

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