Three-Dimensional Characters: How Stephen King Does It

Stephen King.  All I can say is, no matter which of the three methods for creating three-dimensional characters you prefer, Stephen King is ALL ABOUT the three dimensions of character. Especially in The Shining. To make this exercise more manageable, I've merged Frey/Egri's dimensions (physiological, sociological, psychological) and Brooks's dimensions (Surface Appearance, Backstory, and Meaningful Choices) … Continue reading Three-Dimensional Characters: How Stephen King Does It

Structure of Plot: How Lisa Unger does it

We’re doing the Outer Journey this week, and today we’re looking at the Outer Journey of Ian Paine, the main character in Lisa Unger’s Crazy Love You.  (We did Ian’s inner journey last week.) Spoiler Alert And a note:  Half the story is told in flashbacks.  While flashbacks support the front story and inform the journey, … Continue reading Structure of Plot: How Lisa Unger does it

Tension, Conflict, Suspense: How Harlan Coben does it

It's Tension, Conflict, Suspense week, and today we're looking at how Harlan Coben milks the tension, conflict, and suspense in No Second Chance.  I guarantee that I did not pick up on all of his uses and manipulations, but here's what I did spot:d Levels of Tension Macrotension:  No Second Chance is the story of Dr. … Continue reading Tension, Conflict, Suspense: How Harlan Coben does it

Want, Need, Flaw, Symptoms: How the masters do it

We're looking at how the masters give their characters emotional wants and needs and character flaws.  Here's what I've seen in the stories I've read lately: Andy Weir’s The Martian Character: an astronaut abandoned on Mars. General Want: to survive Specific External Goal: to modify the resources that were supposed to last six people thirty-or-so days so … Continue reading Want, Need, Flaw, Symptoms: How the masters do it

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... SYMBOLS Some books state their symbols right in the title: Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter MOTIFS AND LEITMOTIFS Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club This is a story of two guys, an … Continue reading Metaphorical Devices: How the Masters Do It