Category Archives: Monday Tool Day

Character: Want, Need, Flaw, Symptoms

This week’s tool pulls together what we’ve learned from other tools (concept and theme) and teases out how those tools apply to, and build, a character.  Julie Gray calls it Want, Need, Flaw, Symptoms, and I think that’s catchy, if not entirely illuminative, so there you have it. Continue reading

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Backstory: What Is It?

Now that our characters have irreconcilable conflict, it’s time to support how they got that way with backstory. Continue reading

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The Irreconcilable Self: Creating character paradoxes

This week we’re looking at how to infuse our characters with irreconcilable conflict and make them, as Paula Munier says, “walking contradictions.” Continue reading

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Thematic Metaphors: Symbols, Motifs, and Allegory

Today we are looking at how to show our theme and thematic premise through the use of metaphoric literary devices.  I’ve been waiting for this week.  I think this aspect of the craft is super fun, both to read and to write, and I’m excited to wrap my brain around it.  Let’s get to it… Continue reading

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Clones: Variations on Theme Through Character

One way of showing theme and thematic premise is through comparing and contrasting the main character’s thematic traits with those of supporting characters. Characters who serve this function are often referred to as Continue reading

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Thematic Premise: What is it?

Theme. Theme Statement. Moral Premise. Controlling Idea. Armature.

There are lots of names for the tool we’re looking at today. And you should probably brace yourselves because the masters have a lot to say about it. Continue reading

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Theme: What is it?

While studying theme (something like thirty masters’ worth of info), I saw Continue reading

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Stakes: So what? Who cares?

The masters agree: stories most often fail because the stakes aren’t high enough.  But there is plenty we can do to ensure lack of stakes doesn’t happen to our stories. Continue reading

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Designing Principle: What is it?

This tool is really an opportunity.  It’s a prompt to get you thinking about your story and about how you might tell your story in an original way.

WHAT IS IT? Continue reading

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The One-Line Synopsis: What is it and how do you write one?

Time to expand the concept into a one-line synopsis. Continue reading

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