The McGuffin

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A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words by Phillip Sexton

One of Alfred Hitchcock's well-known methods for developing a story was to come up with a person, an object, information, or a place of great importance to the various characters in the piece. It is this subject—the "McGuffin"—that fuels their various motivations.

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Developing a McGiffin of your own is an easy way to come up with story ideas. The item must represent something that at least two different parties are interested in possessing. It could be an object, knowledge, or status. Exactly what your McGuffin is really isn't that important. Who possesses it currently (if anyone) and what characters are willing to do to get it—that's the focus of your story.

Amanda Jayatissa: On Spiraling Out in Suspense

Amanda Jayatissa: On Spiraling Out in Suspense

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3 Tips for Writing a Memoir Everyone Wants to Read

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Zoe Whittall: On Personal Change in Literary Fiction

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Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a transition poem.

4 Myths About Writing Animal Characters

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Voyager

Voyager

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, your character is a modern day voyager.

Stephanie Marie Thornton: One How an Entire Rewrite Added Suspense

Stephanie Marie Thornton: On How an Entire Rewrite Added Suspense

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Creativity Is Making Small Choices

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When struggling to work through a creative dilemma, it's best to think of your work in small pieces that create a larger whole. Author Perttu Pölönen explains how creativity is a collection of small choices from an abundance of options.

Zibby Books Market Spotlight

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For this market spotlight, we look at Zibby Books, a brand new book publisher (just announced earlier today) that wants to introduce a new model with book champions and ambassadors to the publishing and promotion process.