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1. Weak or missing conflict

2.Lack of Rising action

3.No theme

4.Sudden solution to problem

7.lack of description

8.simple sentences

9.Incorrect Paragraphing


5.All dialogue

6.missing dialogue

  • Proofread your document. Look for the red and blue underlined words.
  • Run a spellcheck
  • Have a friend or parent read through your story
  • Upload your story to Grammarly
  • Read your story out loud. You catch more mistakes this way.

Easily fixed spelling and grammar mistakes


  • Add descriptive phrases to your speaker tags
  • incorporate dialogue within a paragraph
  • set a limit for yourself of only 4 lines of dialogue before a descriptive paragraph
  • Look at examples from novels and short stories
  • Practice writing descriptions of different places

A story that is mostly dialogue reads like a play without any of the visuals

You need to have a balance of dialogue and description in your story

Too much dialogue?

Do Not:

  • have your character win the lotto or find a large sum of money that solves the conflict
  • introduce a character during the climax who solves everything
  • "and then I realized..."
The rule of thumb for plot twists in literature is that a reader should be surprised, but shouldn't say, "I don't believe it.

a plot device whereby an unsolvable conflict or point of tension is suddenly resolved by the unexpected appearance of an implausible character, object, action, ability, or event.

Deus ex machina

  • Try to include at least two of each type of compound sentence
    • I,cI
    • I;I
    • I;ca,I
  • If you want to emphasize action, place a form of the verb first.
    • Example: Chasing puppies is fun.

Varying the types of sentences you use can make your writing more interesting.

Sentence Variety

  • A person should learn when to rely on others for help
  • Don't give up when things get difficult
  • People will do anything for love
  • Power corrupts humanity
  • A person should learn how to trust themselves and others

Common themes

If your protagonist doesn't learn anything, then they are a boring, static character

No Theme

  • Each rising action scene should lead the character toward the climax
  • Separate your scenes by changing the location or having a jump in time
  • Use the try/fail method

For this assignment, you should have three separate scenes of rising action

This is how you build tension and keep your reader interested

Rising Action

Create a new paragraph when you:

  • Have a shift in time
  • Change locations
  • Change of topics
  • Change who is speaking

TiP-ToP - Time, Place, Topic, Person

When to make a new paragraph

  • You should have a little dialogue in each scene
  • Mix up your dialogue by using a combination of direct and indirect
  • Dialogue is a good way to tell the reader something
  • A mix of dialogue and descriptive writing makes for a smoother, more natural feeling story

Dialogue can be used to inform the reader and to show characterization

Very little dialogue or all indirect dialogue makes for a boring story


  • How do your characters carry themselves?
  • What does that coffee shop smell like? What does it sound like?
  • Change your dialogue up by adding action descriptions to it. What is the character doing as they talk?
  • Describe each location your characters visit

Show Don't Tell

A story without description is like a s'more with no marshmellow


  • Establish the conflict early
  • Your character should work to solve the conflict throughout your story
    • Use the try ----> Fail, Try----> fail method
  • Not all conflicts are solved completely, but your protagonist should confront the problem in some way during the climax

Your protagonist needs to be working to solve a problem, or you will have a boring story