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Red Herrings & Plot Details: How to Keep Track of Them & Not Leave Them Hanging

In fiction, the term “red herring” is a technique designed to distract the reader by introducing misleading information. It’s a false clue, meant to deceive, before the truth is revealed. Take a look at your latest story. Have all your plot twists been resolved? Do you have any red herring plot threads that you overlooked? There’s nothing more frustrating than finishing your book, tweaking ever…

Using Core Values to Strengthen Characterisation

As a writer you will know that the key to memorable, engaging fiction is believable characters that readers can relate to. But how can you dig deep into your characters to make sure that they are as real to your reader as they are to you? In this article I will take you through why developing an understanding of core values can help strengthen your characterisation and improve motivation and co…

Estate Planning ~ Making It Easy

Every time I’ve given a talk on the topic of estate planning, I see fear and panic abound. Even mentioning it gives authors hives. Here is a low-stress strategy. The legal stuff Yes, you need a will (or your estate can disappear into contention for years). You probably need a living trust to move all of that IP neatly forward to your heir(s). But those are both matters for a lawyer. Find a lawy…

Selecting a Plot Structure that Works for You

Plot structures are not new. Everything from Greek tragedies to Shakespearean plays have been written in three- or four-act structures and their timing measured in beats. There are a ton of books and videos on the topic. Vonnegut shared his now famous “Shape of Stories” lecture. Bradbury, Harlan, Orson Scott Card, Kevin J. Anderson, and many others willingly share their own favorites and advice…

Laws of Attraction ~ Writing Sexual Tension

Oh, sexual tension. What is it? Why do we need it? Is it that important? I’m going to explain it. I’ll explain that, too. And bite your tongue, yes it is! gives us a clear and accurate definition, especially as pertaining to romance as “… often hidden or suppressed feelings of anticipation, excitement, attraction, and desire that may occur in relation to another person … a nece…