By Glen C. Strathy
Most creative writing tips you'll find on the web, in books, or in courses are based on the collective experience of many writers, with a little narrative theory drawn from academia thrown in.
Naturally, some sources are better than others, and not all of this wisdom has been put into a coherent system. In fact, many reject the idea of having a coherent system or method of creative writing, favouring the idea of the writer who continually reinvents his craft from scratch. Consequently, most writers learn how to write primarily through trial and error and osmosis - by writing a lot and reading other people's books. In addition, writers who give workshops feel a certain pressure to create original writing methods, approaches, and tips (even if they are merely old tips with new names).
A lot of confusion therefore results from writers continually having to "reinvent the wheel" when it comes to creative writing. Nonetheless, a beginning writer will find a lot of valuable information readily available – which is fantastic.
Dramatica Theory is the most comprehensive story theory created to date, but it also adds a little to the confusion because it uses many terms that are quite different from those used in most creative writing courses. And writing teachers use terms not found in Dramatica. This is a barrier that is worth tearing down.
In the articles below, we discuss some of common and useful creative writing tips you'll find taught in writing courses and how they are looked at in Dramatica. We hope this will end a little of the confusion and make it easier for you to focus on your writing.
Using Chekhov's Gun.
This plot device involving objects or sometimes characters can help tie together the plot of your novel.
Beginning In Medias Res Starting your novel in medias res will grab your readers attention, but what if you feel you should establish your main character first? Here are some options.
External Conflict & Internal Conflict The two most important types of conflict in a story: how to tell them apart and how to use them.
Sagging Middle Syndrome Avoid the “sagging middle” syndrome, one of the biggest problems that can arise during novel writing.
Ticking Clock or Option Exhaustion Use either of these two type of limit to add tension to your novel plot.
Return to Home Page
Follow Glen on Twitter...
"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.
"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus
"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman
"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of
knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I
truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me
successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins
"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash