Change Matters: How to Write Stories that Grip Readers & Don’t Let Go – Written By Kristen Lamb

Thank you so much, Kristen Lamb, for another educational blog post on how to write stories properly and keep the reader interested. We all appreciate your hard work!


Change is one of those concepts that gets a mixed reaction. Depending on personality and/or age group, change could be welcomed…or greeted with a metaphorical shotgun at the metaphorical door. While change is necessary for all living things to grow and thrive, plants have proven far more open to this notion than people.

I’m betting it’s because plants don’t overthink everything…unless they’re orchids which are high-maintenance and die while writing bad haiku (if they had hands and pen and paper).

Existential plants have a far tougher time, unlike weeds. Weeds just roll with anything that comes their way, and that’s why we can pour concrete over them and it’s no big deal. They simply mumble to the nearby crabgrass, “Hold my beer and watch this!”

*makes crack in new driveway* I’M BAAAAAACK!

All kidding aside, many writers miss the point of a story. Stories are about change, and the more the protagonist (and, to be blunt, all members of the cast) change for good or bad, the better.

Change & Plot

I know what it’s like to have writer brain. We see the world VERY differently than ‘normal’ people. Some see a roll of old carpet at the curb? I’m counting if all family members are present. Just yesterday, I had some fun over on Facebook with this…

CONTINUE READING HERE

Six Superb Ways To End A Novel – Written By Lorraine Ambers

Lorraine Ambers provides us with six different was to end a novel, a blog post I immediately fell in love with and decided to share. Thanks for this article, Lorraine.


The ending of a novel needs to leave the reader satisfied and should reflect the pace and tone of the rest of the story. The truth is, endings are hard. The writer must conclude all subplots and bring clarity and resolution to the conflicts the characters face.

I’m going to share six of the most effective methods for concluding your novel.

To be continued…

This method is often used to entice the reader into continuing on with a series. So that the ending creates anticipation instead of resolution. I think this works best when the overarching plot remains and the characters continue onwards with their journey, for example, a looming war.

Warning: Conclude the subplots and character journeys set out for this particular story or the reader will feel cheated.

Continue reading HERE

Lies, Denial & Buried Secrets—How to Create Dimensional Characters

Kristen Lamb, owner of the Reader’s Digest 101 best Websites for Writers 2015 and author of the #1 best-selling books We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer, has published another excellent blog post, this time about how to create dimensional characters. An excellent guidance. Thank you, Kristen.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image via Flikr Creative Commons courtesy of Zoetnet. Image via Flikr Creative Commons courtesy of Zoetnet.

As mentioned in a previous post, one of my all-time favorite series is True Detective. There is a line that’s repeated in the series and it is SO perfect for our purposes today.

Sometimes your worst self is your best self.

It’s tempting for us to create “perfect” protagonists and “pure evil” antagonists, but that’s the stuff of cartoons, not great fiction. Every strength has an array of corresponding weaknesses, and when we understand these soft spots, generating conflict becomes easier. Understanding character arc becomes simpler. Plotting will fall into place with far less effort.

All stories are character-driven. Plot merely serves to change characters from a lowly protagonist into a hero….kicking and screaming along the way. Plot provides the crucible. 

Plot is the push that drives the change. Without the plot problem, the protagonist is never forced to face weakness and…

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