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By Jill Steves

The Point of View (or POV) of a story, in essence, describes who is telling your story. Another way to phrase this is to ask, who is the narrator? For many fiction books (such as The Expanse series or Harry Potter series), there is a disembodied god that sits high above and describes what all the characters below are feeling and doing and saying: Bob wok up with his alarm and smelled coffee. This is a Third Person Point of View. Sometimes it's one of the characters (often the main character) describing what everyone is doing: I woke up and smelled coffee. This is called First Person Point of View. There is even an elusive Second Person POV!

Here we'll discuss the different types in detail, some sub-categories, and why you might choose one over the others.

Posted in Learn to Write on 2022-09-26 - how to write a book,writing guide,your first story
By Brad Dehnert

Ever wonder how Dan Harmon (the creator of Community and Rick and Morty) writes an episode of Rick and Morty? It all starts with an eight-step story breakdown – often called a beat sheet – widely known as “Dan Harmon’s Story Circle”. It’s the tool he uses to, “Remove all the hard and repeated work from the task of breaking a story.”

Diagram of Dan Harmon's Story Circle beat sheet
Posted in Learn to Write on 2022-09-03 - Community, Rick and Morty, Dan Harmon, Learn to write
By Jill Steves

While all (most?) of us stick to writing our manuscripts month after month because it's a labour of love, it'd still be nice to get paid a little something at the end! But how exactly does a publisher or literary magazines pay their authors? Is a debut writer paid (and rich!) before their first book even arrives in stores? Read on to learn more about author compensation for both novels and literary magazines.

Posted in Learn to Write on 2022-08-23 - how to write a book,writing guide,your first story
By Brad Dehnert
Military sci-fi character on Dune like planet Epic fantasy woman in forest armor

Writing a book is one of the most satisfying things we can do, no matter if it's a novel, memoir, short story, or poem. It doesn't even matter if it's good or bad! Once you've written your book, no-one can take that away from you, and you can boast about it at dinner parties forever!

But how on God's green Earth do you actually write your first book?

It's both simpler (and maybe harder?) than you might think, but I'm going to break it down for you here.

Posted in Learn to Write on 2022-08-15 - how to write a book,writing guide,your first story
By Jill Steves

The best new book writing software of 2022

The book writing software that we choose to use often comes down to personal preferences, and to the apps that we've used for a while (hence why some crazy people are perfectly happy writing their stories in Google Docs!). It's arguable that most writing apps have very similar feature sets, so how can one stand out as the best?

Posted in Learn to Write on 2022-07-10 - best book writing software, best story writing app, story path, book planning software,
By Brad Dehnert

How long is the average book or short story?

No doubt you're wondering how long a short story or novella should be because you have to write one, or you're wondering if you have enough room to flesh out that fantasy epic that's been growing in your head. There are a few general rules of thumb for the word count lengths of short stories, novellas and novelettes (which we'll give you up front so that you aren't forced to read this entire post!), but with the ol' trusty novel the word length usually comes down to genre.

Posted in Learn to Write on 2022-07-09 - book length, word count, short story length, novella word count,
By Brad Dehnert

Why you need book writing software and apps

"Don't you just use Word or Google Docs?" is what all my non-writer friends ask me. And, to be fair, they are both great word processors - and might even be great if you're only writing a short story - but neither of them cuts it when it comes to writing a full-length novel of over 100,000 words. That's where specialised book writing software like comes in.

Posted in Learn on 2022-06-30 - book writing software and apps, novel writing software apps, MS Word, Google Docs, GDocs, apps, software, writing apps software
By Brad Dehnert

10-stop quick-start guide to planning your story

There are a number of plot structures and beat sheets out there, but most of these require you to already have some pretty detailed knowledge about your story and its characters. But where do you start before that? This 10-step quick-start guide will get your creative energies flowing and kick-start the writing process!

Posted in Learn to Write on 2022-06-08 - story structure,planning,plotting,plotter,pantser
By Jill Steves

Example of a memorable dialogue

If you're a pantser (i.e., you write by the seat of your pants and don't plan), you might not start plotting your novel until you're already a few chapters in. On the other hand, if you're a plotter (someone who pre-defines a detailed plot), you might start mapping out your story before you even start writing. So when should you start plotting your novel?

Posted in Learn to Write on 2022-06-07 - story structure,planning,plotting,plotter,pantser,writing apps,writing software
By Jill Steves

Example of a memorable dialogue

Dialogue is a key element in making a story engaging and believable. It allows readers to connect with the characters and understand their motivations, and it can even help set a scene (a cockney accent or southern drawl will immediately tell you where a character is from). So here are five tips on how to create believable dialogue.

Posted in Learn to Write on 2022-06-03 - dialogue, believable dialogue,story writing software and apps
By Jill Steves

Example of a memorable character

While people enjoy plots, they love characters. And they will return to your book – or series – again and again if they lover the characters. So, here are five tips to help you create characters that your readers will never forget.

Posted in Learn to Write on 2022-06-03 - characters,character development,memorable characters,book writing app
By Brad Dehnert

There is some debate as to whether or not writer's block actually exists, but we can't deny that, sometimes, when we actually get our butts in front of a keyboard the words just don't come out. Call it what you will, it's a real problem that strikes us on occasion, but we have the solution! Story Path plot threads for a story

Posted in Learn to Write on 2020-12-07 - writer's block, beating writer's block, story path,book writing software, book writing apps, story apps
By Brad Dehnert

Sometimes, when we struggle to get our words onto the page, it's because of writer's block. Other times, though, it's just as simple as not finding enough time to sit at the keyboard. Here are a few suggestions that will help with that!

Posted in Learn to Write on 2020-12-04 -
By Brad Dehnert

'Save the cat' is a phrase coined by the screen writer Blake Snyder in his book on screen writing Save the Cat! and has been used in several other books including the novel-specific Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. One of the big things to come out of Blake's writing courses is his Save the Cat! 15-point Beat Sheet which helps writers to develop their stories and makes sure they hit every moment needed to make it feel complete.

Many writers (both experienced and up-and-coming) use this beat sheet as a starting-point for their stories, and we've now released a tool on to help you create and manage these beat sheets for your projects. This blog post will explain how to use it.

Posted in Learn on 2020-10-18 - save the cat, beat sheet, blake snyder, jessica brody, planning
By Brad Dehnert

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

"Save the Cat!" is a term many of us have heard, and comes from a book on screen writing by Blake Snyder called, coincidentally, 'Save the Cat!'. While the book focusses on writing films, the lessons can be applied to novels, too, and there's even a companion book by Jessica Brody called 'Save the Cat! Writes a Novel'.

One of the big tools found in both books is the 15-point beat sheet

Save the Cat Beat Sheet Manager Preview from the Scene One book writing software app
Posted in Learn on 2020-10-08 - save the cat, beat sheet, preview, learn to write,book writing software, book writing app
By Brad Dehnert

Thinking about writing a sequel to your novel or screenplay? Of course you are! Don't we all plan trilogies where the last part can be split into two movies?

Posted in Learn to Write on 2020-06-02 - sequels, how to write, tropes, youtube, Batman, Star Wars