Fate Aspects in Creative Writing: Fleshing out your Plot

This is a continuation of my previous post concerning using Fate Aspects to flesh out characters. This week we’re gonna talk about using Aspects to figure out what’s going on in your plot. The purpose of Aspects is to serve as keywords that point you to the core idea of a character, scene, plot, or situation. As previously explained, they are punchy phrases like Daredevil WWII Pilot or Never Back Down From A Good Fight.

More appropriate to this week’s discussion, where we’ll talk about using them to describe the story as a whole, you may consider Aspects like The Town that Time Forgot or The Sword of Damocles. These might describe themes or threats within your story that will unfold over the course of writing.

What follows is a very basic introduction to how to use Aspects to define elements of your story. There are some resources down at the bottom of this article if you’d like to take it further. The ideas are not really complicated as they may seem, but they’re beyond the scope of a single blog article.

Spoiler Alert: This article contains very mild spoilers for Stranger Things 2 and Stephen King’s It, used to illustrate some of my points. Read no further if that sort of thing upsets you. And seriously, go watch Stranger Things.

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Fate Aspects in Creative Writing: Fleshing Out Your Characters

It’s NaNoWriMo, and I want to talk about how Fate Aspects can help you flesh out your characters and plan your stories. I know there’s a huge temptation to fall down on one side or the other of Team Pantser, and Team Plotter, but whether you identify as an outliner, or as a discovery writer, Aspects are a unique tool to get a handle on your story and characters. For the Pantsers in the audience, like myself, it can be one way to outline without spoiling the thrill of discovery for yourself. Today I’ll talk about how to use Aspects to flesh out characters. I’ll talk about using Aspects to flesh out your plot in a future post.

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9 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Inner Young Writer


NaNoWriMo 2017 is just around the corner, and I find myself approaching it with a different process than in previous years. This process is a refinement of writing advice I’ve gathered over the years. I find myself wishing that I’d started using these techniques a long time ago, so that today I’d be better at them. Yes, of course, I had to travel the road I traveled to get to where I am today, but wouldn’t it have been nice to have some guideposts along the way?

Of course we all wish we could go back in time, and share our experience with our younger selves. So, why not? As writers, we get to live inside our imaginations. Let’s imagine that we’re somehow able to go back in time and sit down with ourselves, those young writers brimming with imagination, innocence, and naivete. I’m talking about past versions of ourselves anywhere from a few years ago, back to the first time we sat at a typewriter, or tried to draw a comic book with a crayon on printer paper. I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to think up their own advice. Here’s mine:

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