“Our stories are our babies, but not all babies are cute. This week, we figure out just how far we’ve still got to go when we take a finished draft and subject it to cold scrutiny.”
– Jessica Abel

“Critique and editorial collaboration are the magic pixie dust that allows our stories to exist … to be as good as they are.”

Our Ugly Babies

General Advice

  • Think in scenes.  Give us a beginning, a turning point, rising action, a montage, a resolution, a denouement.  If you have just one piece of music that doesn’t move and change significantly, you might not have enough “scenes”
  • Try “reverse storytelling”   Start with your insight or great story and then work backwards to the problem it solves and make sure you present that problem in your Intro.


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