Think of the most important object in your story. It could be the thing all the characters want that drives the story or just an item that acts as a metaphor–or both!–or anything in between.Continue reading
This one comes from Hemingway. I have this quote written on a post-it note next to my monitor. When I’m having trouble getting into a scene, I use it as a mantra:Continue reading
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Several posts ago, we looked at how to create a regular, rhythmic beat, as discussed in The Bestseller Code* (which lists Fifty Shades of Gray* and The Da Vinci Code* as the only two (adult) books with perfect curves). I proposed sequences as a good way to plot for rhythm, and in this post we’re going to see if that holds true for The Da Vinci Code.Continue reading
People talk like microtension began and now idles with Donald Maass. For Maass, microtension boils down to a conflict…a juxtaposition…a clashing of things, preferably emotions, but also ideas, concepts, anticipations, whatever–whatever’s available for contradiction in your story. But is there more? More guidance? Continue reading
I got a comment the other day, on the post about NYTBS one-line synopses, asking whether the significance of each logline component varies according to the sort of story it’s describing. Also requested was a list of the components ordered by most significance. These are great questions, and my answers ended up being pretty long (almost 8,000 words), so I thought I’d upgrade it from comment to post.Continue reading
We’ve been looking at the rolling, mid-level rhythm of story, and how sequences might be the way to achieve that. The Bestseller Code* gave us a list of the top ten books with good rhythms (none of which were as good/steady as TDC* and FSoG*).
The book I picked from the list to test the sequences=rhythm theory–the theory that sequences are the path to purposely developing this rhythm–was Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project,* and I think it was a good choice for several reasons.Continue reading