Writing Great Chapters

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Develop Your Skills

About "Writing Great Chapters"

All the skills you need to write a great chapter: master narration, dramatic build up, paragraph flow, and character development. Log in over here Buy the course over there.

Writing Great Chapters

Build up tension

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Welcome to the course!

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The answer to this popular question is simple: one to two unicorns. 

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To write chapters that flow well: orient your writing around your protagonist's attempts to get what they want or avoid what they detest.

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Log In to View Lessons How to End a Chapter

Ideally, a chapter ends with a change — either for the protagonist or the reader.

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Start each scene by re-connecting the reader to the protagonist.

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Log In to View Lessons The Trouble with Exciting Scenes

Look at your novel's best scene: did you forget to include… THIS?

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Log In to View Lessons Pulses and Motion

Great scenes rely on two opposites: forward motion that keeps the protagonist working against the clock (plot) and sparks / pulses of character motivation that show the reader how the events are affecting their protagonist (narration). Here's how to blend them.

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Novels aren't only about the plot. Some of the most memorable passages in a novel come from its lyrical moments.

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Log In to View Lessons Set Backs, Pauses, and Relocations

A paradox: in order to keep raising the tension in a scene, you have to take breaks.

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Log In to View Lessons Bonus Lesson: Open Loops

What about novels where you simply MUST share a lot of information about the fictional world: historical fiction, fantasy, sci fi etc? Here's a more advanced technique for mingling drama and exposition. 

Why people like your protagonist

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Here are two theories about human psychology: they are almost everything you need to create a great protagonist.

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Log In to View Lessons Protagonist First Aid

If you notice you've let the reader drift away from the protagonist — use the next scene to deliver emergency first aid.

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Log In to View Lessons The Sympathetic Villain

How to make a bad character likeable? 

Linking Chapters and Scenes to Create a Page-Turning Book

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This is so simple: at the start of each chapter, just repeat.

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Log In to View Lessons The Ladder of POV

It's often a good idea to pull back at the start of a chapter.

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You can reveal anything as long as no one is paying attention.

Crucial Scenes for your Novel

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Log In to View Lessons The I Wish Scene

The best way to open a story?

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Log In to View Lessons The “I’ve Changed” Scene

Here's an easy way to show that the story is changing your protagonist.

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Log In to View Lessons Frustrated Exposition

Sometimes you just need to do an info-dump. Here's one way to make it work.

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Log In to View Lessons The "Clarifying the Stakes" scene

Not all scenes advance the plot. Some, instead, clarify it.

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Log In to View Lessons The Big Decision Scene

How to make a scene of internal choosing dramatic on the page.

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Log In to View Lessons How to write a “Tour de Force”

When it's time to deliver a dramatic, unforgettable scene — here are two great techniques.

Writing Great Dialogue

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Log In to View Lessons Five Tips for Compelling Dialogue

Dialogue is tricky to master: here are five shortcuts

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Give each minor character a dominant mood. After all, most people don't change!

Layering detail and description

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Log In to View Lessons What Chekhov Actually Said

Heighten your setting description with drama and variety.

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Use the "heads and tails" trick when you're writing in a hurry.

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Okay. Don't get angry. But it doesn't matter what shade your love interest's eyes are. 

Send Off

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You've learned so much in this course. Let's use these lessons to sketch out a novel together, right now.

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Let's put these techniques together to write an unforgettable chapter

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Log In to View Lessons Final Thoughts

Thank you so much for taking this course. 

About the Teacher

Daniel

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  • Elizabeth G. Wilmerding says:

    I’m hoping to use this as a way to rework my second novel. I really appreciated your webinar and look forward to your course.

    • That’s fantastic! Looking forward to reading what you create!

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