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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Writing Scene-by-Scene

Whether you're writing a novel, novella, or short story, you write in scenes.  If you're writing a super short story which often one scene long, this concept still applies. Common scenes: An opening scene, a conclusion scene, a flashback scene, a fight scene, a restitution scene.  Scenes compose the building blocks, the steps of the grand staircase that make a story and once you feel comfortable with the basics of grammar…

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The Writer’s Journey: A Review

I have friends who don't want to their writing to be cookie-cutter, fill-in-the-blank stories, thus they hesitate to read books on story structure.   There are many more people who just want to write stories than there are people who want to study how to write stories.  Writing can be fun and exhilarating. A spurt of creativity and words pouring onto the page sometimes trigger a euphoric "high."  However it is an understanding of story structure…

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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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