Category Archives: Story structure

Concerns and techniques for developing plots

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

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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

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Rebel with a cause

As much as people may be willing to mimic the behavior and appearance of others in order to fit in, secretly they often envy  those who show intentional dissent. According research  we admire the person who has the guts to do … Continue reading

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The character who saw too much

Writing from the first person point of view routinely goes through periods of popularity only to be followed by a flood of amateurish first person novels. Then, writing “gurus” will advice the beginning writer never to write in first person. … Continue reading

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Superhuman weakness

At one time there was a “story” circulating about a famous producer of modern supernatural fiction movies, and an unknown screen writer. The famous producer says “I have a new idea for a movie.” “What’s the plot?” asks the writer. … Continue reading

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The problem with no problems

Dystopian novels  are much easier to write than those set in a utopia. Typically the main character manages to lift the veil hiding the ugly truth behind the society. For example in H.G. Well’s novella, The Time Machine, an English scientists … Continue reading

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The merits of fictional characters

Characters are the essence of a story. I have seen discussion boards in which people spend time arguing about the merits of fictional characters as if they were real people. ( I suppose it might be easier to become attached … Continue reading

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Deciding on a direction

Have you ever heard this rule for organizing a presentation? “Say What You Are Going to Say, Say It, Say What You Said.” Try to translate that into writing and you might end up putting your readers to sleep. So … Continue reading

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The rise and fall of…

Sit still in a swing, and it is a bit boring. Start moving, pumping with your arms and legs to move in an ever higher arc, and it becomes a thrill ride – at least until you become tired. Then … Continue reading

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What’s the problem?

When students embark on writing fiction, they can typically handle coming up with characters and settings. The element that causes the greatest problem for the students is the problem  (a.k.a. the conflict). Reading fiction may be a form of escape … Continue reading

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