Category Archives: Literary devices

Exercises and explanations for using common literary devices

What is the opposite of steam punk?

World building can be a challenge. Advice from someone well-versed in geology, history, or sociology will help when designing world differing from the one we inhabit. My desire was to create an alternate world in which civilization was advanced as … Continue reading

Posted in Literary devices, Story structure, Writer's resource, writing trends | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Charming characters can’t be trusted

The character with charm, with the twinkle in the eye, who speaks noble words with the perfect voice, who makes the impassioned plea to turn the crowd around– the character with all the traits of charisma that we desire—that character … Continue reading

Posted in Literary devices, The writer's voice, Writer's resource, writing trends | Leave a comment

Present tense prose

Since the popularity of The Hunger Game series and the awards won by All the Light We Cannot See, a trend is fiction is the use of present tense. This style is touted as making the character’s actions more intimate … Continue reading

Posted in Literary devices, Literature, Poetry, The writer's voice, Writer's resource, writing trends | Leave a comment

How do you end an never-ending story?

Stories do not always require a flesh and blood antagonist, or even a spectral one. They do not have to end with the discovery of who perpetrated the crime or the demise of the villain. A plot can trace the … Continue reading

Posted in Literary devices, Writer's resource | Leave a comment

What is the bad guy really thinking?

Do you recall the campy original Batman series in which the villain de jour always explained his detailed plan for the crime as Batman was slowly moving towards a not so sure death? Is there a problem with adding the villain’s … Continue reading

Posted in Literary devices, point of view, Story structure, Teaching writing skills, Writer's resource | Leave a comment

Ancient Name Dropping

In the George Lucas’ film The Empire Strikes Back, the furry Wookiee, Chewbacca, holds the head of robot C-3PO in the same way that Hamlet is usually shown holding a skull. Many people assume that Hamlet recited his fateful soliloquy … Continue reading

Posted in Literary devices, Writer's resource | 1 Comment

The foundation of world building

As a child, the stories that fascinated me the most were set in other lands. As an adult, reading passages that describe an unknown world still intrigues me. Simply throwing me into a story without a describing the setting leaves … Continue reading

Posted in Literary devices, Literature, Story structure, Writer's resource | 1 Comment

The art of world building

I wanted to vacation on the banks of the San Antonio River as it meandered through the center of town. The river that had once created messy floods was now encased by sidewalk with a sprinkling of shaggy bald cypress … Continue reading

Posted in Literary devices, Literature, Story structure, Writer's resource | 1 Comment

Writing the right-hand man (or woman)

Most protagonists are not complete loners. Interactions with a sidekick, best buddy or groups of friends typically make up a good portion of the story. Creating the peers of the main character may actually take more thought than creating the main character. … Continue reading

Posted in Literary devices, Writer's resource | Leave a comment

Literary devices and charisma

“Edwin Escobar Luz” by Herbert Rouge – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons – Most people determine a leader’s charisma using nonverbal characteristics, such as conveying emotional states, demonstrating passions through gestures and compelling use of … Continue reading

Posted in communication, Leadership, Literary devices, Manipulation, Persuasion | 1 Comment