Blog

Internal and External Conflict: The Complete Guide for Writers

Conflict is the driving force behind most powerful novels. Without conflict, there is no story. But getting conflict right isn’t simply a matter of adding gunshots and fistfights. There are many different levels of conflict, from a life of death battle with the forces of nature, to the muttered passive-aggressive comment. And of course some…

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The Hero’s Journey Quick Reference

We’ve created this quick reference for the Hero’s Journey so you can easily check the steps. If you’d like to learn more about the Hero’s Journey, we’ve created a comprehensive guide which you can find here. Below is a JPG version of the infographic, feel free to copy, save and print it. If you like…

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Novel Writing Checklist

We’ve put together this checklist to help you decide whether your novel is ready for submission to agents, or for self-publishing. It’s just a guide, don’t take it too seriously! Details on each of the checkpoints can be found below. You can get a PDF version here. Great core concept Is the central idea unique…

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A Hero’s Journey Infographic

We’ve created an infographic which presents each of the Hero’s Journey’s steps along with a concise description of each one. If you’d like to find out more about the Hero’s Journey and see examples of it in action in popular fiction, you can find a complete guide to the Hero’s Journey here. A quick note:…

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The Hero’s Journey – A Complete Guide

If you haven’t heard of the Hero’s Journey, then brace yourself, as you’re about to learn one of the most useful tools to help develop your skills as a novelist If you’ve already heard of it but want to know more, then you’re in the right place. In this article we’ll explain what the Hero’s…

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How to wrestle your novel into shape

This is a guest post by a novel factory user Ghostly, an earlier version of which was originally posted on our community noticeboard. How do you set up this monster, this story that you want to wrestle – its character, setting, problem and plot? Enter late and leave early You can begin ‘in media res’, or…

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Five Key Story Elements – Examples from Popular Fiction

A while back we created a grid which demonstrates how the stages of the Hero’s Journey can be identified in a handful of popular books and films. A lot of the Novel Factory users have told us they found that very useful, and requested that we do the same for more of the stages of the novel…

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Case Study: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Plot Breakdown

It’s widely recognised that Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone in the US) follows the Hero’s Journey very closely. The Novel Factory team have done a breakdown of the high level plot elements of the first Harry Potter book, to show how the first few steps of the Roadmap (a ‘learn as you write’ step-by-step guide…

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Slow beginnings and how to avoid them.

First Example: Johnny woke up early. It was a school day so he quickly dressed. He was just a normal kid; he lived in Dayton Ohio, went to high school and had a grade average that was, well, average. On the way down to breakfast he bumped into his little sister, Anne. They said good…

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The Five Major Story Elements

Every story needs to incorporate each of these story elements to some degree. By having a firm grasp on what each of them are and how they fit into your story, you can become more confident and competent in your novel writing. So, let’s take a look at each of them in a bit more…

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