Category Archives: Story structure

Concerns and techniques for developing plots

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

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Kick starting a story

Many writers believe that most readers will only read a novel that grabs their attention from the first page. A dramatic episode must unfold in the first paragraph. I witnessed a workshop in which writers were coached to do just … Continue reading

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Stories for the new stars

Walking beneath the of faces of stars glowing from two story tall billboards, I glanced down at the stars embedded into the side walk—at least when they were not covered by the feet of the crowds on Sunset Strip. Above … Continue reading

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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

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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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