Category Archives: Story Master Wednesday

Backstory: How the Masters Use It

Usually when backstory is effectively used, you don’t notice it.  It’s often “marbled” in with the front story, as James Scott Bell says.  Still, here are some examples of backstory that I have noticed (or remembered): Continue reading

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Walking Contradictions: How the Masters Do It

We’re looking at how to make our characters more interesting by giving them lots of irreconcilable conflict.  Here are some examples I’ve noticed in the stories I’ve read or watched recently.  As usual, I will add more examples as I come across them in my readings.  For now… Continue reading

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Metaphorical Devices: How the Masters Do It

We’re looking at Metaphorical Devices this week.  Here are some examples of how the masters use them… Continue reading

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Clones: How the Masters Use Them

Some stories seem to lend themselves to lots of clones, others not so much.  These are the clones examples I’ve noticed in the books I’ve read lately. Continue reading

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Premise: How the masters do it

So, we’re filling out the Master Premise Tool we developed on Monday: Continue reading

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Theme: What the masters write about

So, what themes, what one-word topics do the masters write about? Continue reading

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Stakes: How James Patterson does it

A couple weeks ago we looked at how master novelists write one-line synopses.  One of them really emphasized stakes, so I picked that one to read with an eye for developing, heightening, and deepening stakes.

Ladies and Gents, I give you: Continue reading

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Designing Principle: Examples from the Masters

The designing principle, more or less, is the collection of creative things you do to present and tell your story.

In no particular order, here are some examples of how the masters have done it: Continue reading

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The One-Line Synopsis: How the Best Sellers Do It (Or At Least the People Who Make the List)

I’ve lifted these synopses from the January 18, 2015 New York Times Best Seller Lists.  In each one, I’ve identified any synopsis components with:  {W}orld, {C}haracter, {I}nciting Incident, {G}oal, {A}ction, {P}roblem, and {S}takes.  I’ve also indicated if the component is {i}mplicit…to my ears anyway.  And, if I wasn’t sure if a word or phrase indicated a component, I added a question mark.

They’re ordered from most amount of clear (no ‘?’) components to least amount of components, with each component counted only once.  Ready?  Which grab your attention… Continue reading

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Concept: How the Masters do it

Who’s the current master of high concept? Continue reading

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