Writing Great Chapters

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Develop Your Skills

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Scenes and Chapters

30 Lessons

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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

10 Lessons

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

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

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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. 

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Why people like your protagonist

3 Lessons

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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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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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How to make a bad character likeable? 

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Linking Chapters and Scenes to Create a Page-Turning Book

3 Lessons

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

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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.

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Crucial Scenes for your Novel

6 Lessons

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The best way to open a story?

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

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

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

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

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

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Writing Great Dialogue

2 Lessons

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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!

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Layering detail and description

3 Lessons

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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. 

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Send Off

3 Lessons

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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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Thank you so much for taking this course. 

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About the teacher

Daniel

Daniel is the creator of the "character-first" approach and the host of his trio of annual summits. He writes a semi-daily newsletter to almost six-thousand writers around the world.

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