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Three writers discuss plot thumbscrews

I love a plot thumbscrew. This is an event where two or more storylines intersect and the difficulty escalates for the protagonist – they find it much harder to get what they want. Characters and their attendant storylines meet all the time in a narrative, but the difference is that a plot thumbscrew escalates the difficulty.

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Writing Tips: Character flaw

When the protagonist has a character flaw that prevents them from getting what they want, the story deepens and becomes more richly layered. This character flaw can be called the internal antagonist. It drives the protagonist to act against their own best interests, while also blinding them to that fact. 

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Three writers discuss plot triggers

A plot trigger (or inciting incident) launches the story. It’s the protagonist’s call to action – the thing that sets the story in motion and gives our protagonist a problem to solve. Anything before the plot trigger is scene setting, characterisation, back story, etc.

A plot trigger can come in many forms. The discovery of a body, a letter in the mail, a desperate plea on the telephone, perhaps even a conversation or epiphany.

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Three writers discuss what makes a good antagonist

An antagonist is a broader and more complex idea than a villain. A villain acts for purely selfish reasons and does destructive things with no consideration for the effect they will have on others. A villain is wicked. A villain is unable to change and grow. An antagonist, on the other hand, is a character who pursues a certain goal in the story.

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Three writers discuss an author's identity

Welcome to our first cross-blog, which offers tips on writing genre fiction. Every month, Kathryn Ledson, Jennifer Scoullar and Sydney Smith will get together to discuss some aspect of the writing craft. These blogs will be concise, to allow room for discussion with our readers. We welcome your questions and comments; feel free to respond on this page.

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