#7 Be consistently inconsistent

Want to get people to read your story? Give it variety. A good story makes use of all of the strategies available in narrative structure: Point of view, Exposition, Dialogue, Setting etc.

This dynamic approach can keep your reader interested in the changing scene, or in the periods of low change. If you make it so that all of the boring stuff happens from the point of view of the most interesting character I will not be bored. If you time your exposition or write it in the form of a flashback, I will feel like I have a puzzle to piece together. A good example of this is in the Stormlight Archive series, where the chapters alternate along present and past timelines and they climb together and answer questions as the story progresses. This method of variety allows you to ensure your reader will be interested.

Whatever variety you choose, though, be consistent. Do not flop around with a constantly changing style as it can alienate your readers. This has worked for some (James Joyce’s Ulysses), but it is a rare success story and a risk I do not suggest taking for a serious novel.

Remember this one with: Change it up or give up.

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7 thoughts on “the 7 Keys to the Kingdom- Misunderstood Writing Advice

  1. I felt as if my mind was blowing up as I was reading this. This was really helpful! I have a question though.

    If your character in the first chapter is so different from the same character in the 5th chapter, for example. Is that fine or too quick of a change?

    I don’t know whether or not I’ve used these 7 keys (based on my uploaded snippets ON WordPress) but I’ll have to keep them in mind for any future chapters. Thanks again! 😊

    1. Good question!

      I don’t think it’s too fast, but it could be. Each character moves at their own pace, and that means that some change in a page while others change only after seven novels. This is up to them, and not so much up to you.

      A good place to consider is to ask yourself “where is my character along the story circle?”
      I mention the story circle often but haven’t written a blog about it because someone did it so well that I usually defer to them.
      Here’s a link.

      Now while you’re editing try to see if your character has jumped from one bit of the circle to another (see if they’ve skipped a step). If this is true they won’t feel compelling to your reader and they may have changed too fast.

      But there are plenty of books where change happens rapidly- a good one is the Tao Series, where a fat IT guy becomes a stocky supersoldier faster than most stories normally progress. I talk about it in the first Reviewniverse here
      https://abkstories.com/2019/01/17/the-tao-series-in-reviewniverse/

      I hope this super long comment helps.

      Keep writing, my friend.

      1. Thanks a lot! This has helped greatly. I re-read and found out that I should re-write the whole chapter since it did not flow so smoothly with the rest of the events. Deeply appreciated and hope you do well on your upcoming exam! 😊

  2. Hey! I just wanted to notify you of this: I nominated you for the Liebster (Lobster) blogger award. You can check out everything on my blog 😊

    About the podcast, have you done any videos that I missed? And also, what is the minimum word count of a writing to be criticised?

    1. Oh thank you so much!

      I have a lot of catching up to do I’ll be making response posts for tomorrow maybe after my last exam.

      It can’t take longer than 10 minutes to read. because of finals I’ve been backed up with my website work so you haven’t missed anything!! My crew is going home for the summer though so we might get one more recording before I start a different podcast. I would love to review your work, critiques are the best way for us to grow as writers because we get the opportunity to hear someone say, “Hey I like what you have here, but this part doesn’t work for me so take a second look”. I feel that modern writers aren’t told this enough and I’m so happy to hear you’d be interested!!

      Thanks again, I’ll be sure to make a post :3

      1. Take your time, really. I hope you do well in your exams because so far…my exams suck big time 😂 I don’t need to know if the genes are phenotype of genotype 😐

        Although I’m a bit hesitant…not in fear of criticism (I don’t mind that) just generally…Ah fine 😅

        (The chapter is probably in the middle of the book, so do I need to send the chapter before it since they’re connected?)

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