Category: Writing Craft

Novel Form

Freytag's Pyramid

Novels require suspense about the outcome between a determined person and a formidable obstacle. If the story cannot be cast in that shape, then another mode of telling the story is required

Live by the Word

Facts are surrounded by words

I spend a lot of time reading words, writing words, and thinking in words. And I’ve noticed a peculiar feature which sometimes happens to me. I start following the words of people who are involved in a dispute – both sides – more than I refer back to the actual actions involved. My thought train…

Motivation for Writing Message Stories

Boy flying by standing on bees

Samuel Taylor Coleridge mentioned the “willing suspension of disbelief” that readers bring to a well-told fantastic tale, inducing them to believe the unbelievable.  Now, it is a commonplace that the reader can be counted on to enter a fictional story ready to accept an initial situation if everything afterwards is sensibly connected to the initial…

Distance. Insight into Show, Don’t Tell

John Gardner in The Art of Fiction described a very useful addition to the discussion about point of view (POV). He called it distance. Distance is a measure of emotional nearness presented to the reader. Understanding distance gives more insight into the constraint that all writers know: “Show. Don’t tell.” Gardner focused on distance with…