Essays on Writing

Story: what to do


Literary Fictional Story

What defines a literary story? What should an author strive for?

Character in Literary Fiction

Starting ideas to help the imagination form richly presented characters that contribute to plot and story momentum.

Narration of Literary Stories

Narration of any story is a complex process that involves POV, voice, respect for a narrator, and authorial skill. And there are few resources for learning. This essay presents principles and guidelines for the narration of effective literary stories.

Drama in Literary Fiction

Drama is conflict and action, elements best presented in scene. The writer of a literary fictional story is often trained in the craft of beautiful prose for telling a story, a skill that may work against reader involvement in a dramatic presentation of the material. This essay considers the role of drama in fiction.

Desire and Motivation in Literary Fiction

Desire and motivation provide the quality, power, and credibility of why characters do what they do. This essay provides ideas and examples for writers aspiring to improve characterization and plot by expanding ideas about desire and motivation.

Credibility in Literary Fiction

Thoughts about how authors must make credible decisions about how to build characterization and advance plot.


Great dialogue in literary fiction serves multiple functions but never detracts from story progress or purpose.

Improving Dialogue

Dialogue doesn’t come naturally to writers; learn techniques to succeed.

Characterization Improves Dialogue, Motivates Plot, and Enhances Theme

Characterization in literary fiction should be created for effectiveness, not just described.

Techniques for Excellence in Creating Character in Literary Fiction: Action, Conflict, Character-based Plots, Change, Dialogue, Setting

Essential techniques for building memorable, effective characters in literary fictional stories.

How to Change Fiction Writing Style

Have you ever wondered how fiction writers could change their style of prose in writing fiction story? This essay details a process.

Philosophy: write for the right reasons


Author’s Attitudes: Fine-Tuning

Writing for wealth and fame are not motives that create great stories. Here are ideas on how to adjust your thinking for writing your best work (that might just bring you wealth and fame).

How Stories Go Wrong

Authors often tend to try to improve their stories with poor choices. What happens?

Preparing to Write the Great Literary Story

Best stories form, are prioritized, and revised before the first. And there are skills to be honed. How is it accomplished?

The Anatomy of a Wannabe Literary Fiction Writer

Some writers will never write the great literary story. What is it that holds them back from their potential?

Victims as Characters in Literary Fiction

Objectivity paradoxically can engage reader and evoke sympathy.

Craft: do it well


Momentum in Writing Literary Fiction

Ways to create movement and action-key elements in great fictional stories.

Information and Literary Story Structure

At times, stories can be improved by evaluating story information provided for the reader. What to do?

1st person POV in Literary Story

Expert use of 1st person can help make a story great. And it is more than using a pronoun.

Top Story/Bottom Story

Top story/Bottom story can help authors structure their writing to write the best literary stories.

Strong Voice and Attention to Time

A literary fictional story is: a magical perception–an engaging illusion–that is an unbroken continuum.

Humor and Fiction

To create great literary stories, prose fiction must be vibrant and interesting, and never trivial. Every writer has a better chance for excellence with the accomplished use of the right elements of humor; how, then, do humor elements work in fiction?

Emotional Complexity in Literary Fiction

In some ways, emotional complexity, beautifully rendered, clearly defines literary fiction from genre fiction.

Conflict in Literary Fiction

Conflict in Literary Fiction.

What Exactly Is a Character-Based Plot?

What Exactly Is a Character-Based Plot?

Writing in Scene: A Staple for Reader Engagement in Fiction

Writing in Scene: A Staple for Reader Engagement in Fiction

Creating Story World (setting) in Literary Fiction

Be effective and don’t be boring.

Perception in Literary Fiction: A Challenge for Better Narration

How characters and narrator perceive the story world from their unique personas and worldviews can help writers with imagery and momentum in their fiction writing.

Creating Quality Characters in Literary Fiction

Learn the techniques to make your characters special in literary fiction.

Mastering the Power of a Literary Fictional Story

How to create your literary story for impact, memorability, longevity, and meritorious praise.

Q & A On Learning to Think About Narration in Literary Fiction To Write Better Stories

Incorporating Rhythm in Prose Style

Explore possibilities to add rhythm to your fiction-story prose.


5 thoughts on “Essays on Writing

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  • Davina

    Finding this site and your essay “Strong Voice and Attention to Time” was timely for me. It has helped improve the story.

    Thank you.

    • admin

      You’ve got a good title. If you haven’t already, you need to imagine the characters, what’s going to happen (conflict), where’s the best place (setting) to tell your story, and then think through what happens from beginning to end. Then start writing scene by scene. Be sure each scene relates to the story you’ve imagined. And you’ll be on your way.

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