Category Archives: Story structure

Concerns and techniques for developing plots

Nonlinear, when does it work?

At one point when watching a Benedict Cumberbatch movie, my friend commented that this actor must have the requirement that all of his movies or series be nonlinear. At one moment Cumberbatch would be studiously studying a problem in the … Continue reading

Posted in illusion, Story structure, Writer's resource | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The dance of suspense

Suspenseful writing is a dance between plausibility (what makes sense to readers), and the unexpected. Not just any unexpected events, such as inheriting a million dollars, but ominous ones, such as discovering that the previous person who inherited that same … Continue reading

Posted in Story structure, Writer's resource, writing action | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Showing too much

Carefully polishing my piece for a writing critique, I attempted to picture every detail of a tense scene. Two indigenous boys scavenged through a village ravaged by mudslides, only to encounter unscrupulous men searching for labors to conscript. The boys … Continue reading

Posted in Story structure, Writer's resource | Leave a comment

Don’t ignore response to a tragedy

Anyone who sees or hears a tragedy cannot remain untouched by it. They can attempt to stifle or ignore it, but there will be subtle signs. When that tragedy strikes a person directly, the signs will be even greater, and … Continue reading

Posted in Story structure, Writer's resource | Leave a comment

Please make me think

Science fiction in films was once an outlet to comment on society, often with a critical view, such as Fahrenheit 451 and Silent Running. As recently as ten years ago I was intrigued by the British Science Fiction film, Moon, … Continue reading

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

Roman replicas

One type of government that keeps appearing in modern science fiction is a replica of the Roman Empire. From the gladiator-like entertainment  by the Hunger Games series to the takeover of the Galactic Republic senate by Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Story structure, Writer's resource | Leave a comment

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

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

Posted in Literature, Story structure, Teaching writing skills, Writer's resource, writing trends | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Creativity, Story structure, Teaching writing skills, Writer's resource, writing trends | 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