What Am I Trying to Say?

An Examination of Themes, Messages, and Armatures Every story should have some kind of message, theme, thrust, main point, etc.  You may consider the prior sentence as just an opinion, but hear what I have to say and then disagree, if you still do. When you begin writing a story, you might or might not have a good sense for what it will be about.  If you don't…

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When the World Discourages

Last week I received my first writing review with some serious professional clout.  As you know if you've been following this blog, I was a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards this year for my novel Moonlight and Oranges, which is a huge honor and a nice pat on the back.  I'd never made it this far in a large contest before. After the quarter-finals, comes…

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We Are All the Same: A Review of The Golden Theme

"We are all the same." This is the core principle of Brian McDonald's second book, The Golden Theme, and a fascinating exploration into why certain stories resonate with us as human beings. This book reads differently than his first book Invisible Ink, which at first surprised me.  Invisible Ink feels much like a teaching handbook with insightful exercises and examples.  The Golden Theme spoke on a literary level…

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Foundations

In the beginning...Once upon a time...There once was a boy... Although many stories begin with interesting beginnings, it seems quite easy for a storyteller to get caught up in the "and then" action that propels the hero into the battle that faces him and the victory (we hope) that he enjoys at the end of the action. I want to talk about the concept of setting up…

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The Golden Theme

It's more than just an creating entertaining story, it's building a story that resonates.  If this new book by Brian McDonald is anything like his Invisible Ink, you will blown away by the structure he reveals for how to write a story with maximum impact. The best stories are not those that simply dazzle us with a car chase or wow us with clever dialog.  There…

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The Humble Improve

A fellow literary mind approaches with the frank question--how much experience do you have in your field?  "Oh well, I've been writing since I was ten." Which means, "I definitely know what I'm doing."  Any past success, whether it's a published story of mine, or encouraging feedback from a reader, easily lures me into the trap of thinking that I've "arrived" and finally know exactly what…

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