My Essay in Write or Die Tribe

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The Secret Sauce of Compelling Writing title; Yellow typewriter photo

Is this just me? Six months after reading a book, I seldom remember the characters’ names and only the most rudimentary elements of plot. Even with books I’ve loved! Character and plot are the foundations of fiction. That’s what writers are taught in classes, workshops, how-to books, articles, and websites. You need engaging characters and a story with tension, conflict, drama, high stakes. Voice, setting, imagery, language are important elements, too, but interesting characters and absorbing plots are vital. But if character and plot fade away, then what qualities create the powerful, resonant fiction that keeps its hold on us long afterward?