When you are able to control the pace of your story, you’ve mastered one of the more important skills in writing.
Elmore Leonard's punchy style and compelling characters has Hollywood continually coming back to his work. Some of the many adaptations of his writing are highlighted in this post.
Two of the classic story shapes are "the fall" or "the rise." In these story arcs, the main character climbs to a peak of happiness, falls from one, or does a round-trip for maximum emotional impact.
You can be the sweetest person possible in real life, but if you want to write great fiction, you need to be the opposite. You must be the cruel overlord of your story.
Give your readers the equation, but let them do the math. It's more fulfilling, and keeps your reader engaged, when you let your story's subtext reveal itself.
You can write a love story outside the romance genre. Romance is a staple of all types of literature. So when is it a "romance" and when is it just a book with a love story? Usually, it’s obvious.
In almost every story, there is a pill that makes something exciting happen. Whether it brings love, stardom, happiness, or calamity in your book is up to you.