A good story happens when you get your character down that blasted rabbit hole. The plot is just a vehicle for the characters. When they are dealing with problems, they have to reveal themselves for who they are. Just keep them moving and let them bounce off each other. Start now. Don't worry about the past. [...]
In 1842 Charles Dickens, in correspondence with Edgar Allan Poe, noted that when the author William Godwin wrote ‘Caleb Williams’ that he wrote backwards. He started by 'first involving his hero in a web of difficulties and then casting about for some mode of accounting for what had been done.' (The Philosophy of Composition 1846) [...]
Anger tells us we don’t like where we have been. It shows us where our boundaries are. It tells us we can no longer get away with the old life and habits. It tells us we are being reborn. There is always a consequence to anger. It should never be acted out - but acted upon. It [...]
Sometimes it is just easier to start at the end than it is to start at the beginning. Make a list of all the big moments in your stories and ask yourself ‘How did I get here?’ Then ask ‘What happened just before this?’ and then again, ‘Before this?’ and then again ‘Before this?’ and [...]
Nothing progresses in a story, except through conflict. So, is it tough for your character? Has she got the initiative? A personal stake? Take your character to the farthest reaches and depth of conflict imaginable within the story’s own realm of probability and then finally put the crisis/climax in her hands.
There are only four plot points you need to begin planning your story: The beginning. The end of Act One. The end of Act Two. The end. Once you know these four moments, you can be confident you have all you need to know how to tell your story.