Tag Archives: narrative

What does your story assume?

In writing, there is always an intellectual frame in place. What that frame is, and how the writer selects it, is usually both taken for granted and similar to frames that are clearly accepted by the target audience. One wouldn’t frame the work of a classic master in a $5 plastic poster frame from Walmart. In science, a theoretical framework is a structure of assumptions the scientist or researcher has accepted as true in order to conduct their work. A

5 Questions for Tackling Big Issues

“Write about something you feel strongly about.” “Write about what disturbs you.” “Don’t shy away from writing something difficult.” This common piece of advice appears phrased dozens of ways. The first time I heard it was from a middle school English teacher in his instructions for a poetry writing assignment. I heard it a lot in college writing classes, especially for persuasive essays. When I heard it from my creative writing professor, it came from a writer who was also a

Micro Conflicts: Moving Scenes Forward

Conflict is an essential element of narrative. Just about anyone will recognize larger conflicts, even the seven basic conflicts, as plot, but some of the best conflict occurs in small scale. Keeping interest can equate to maintaining some kind of conflict tension from scene to scene and chapter to chapter. If the story keeps all the satisfaction and resolution until the end, most readers will lose interest or start to chaff against constantly being strung along. Of course, this is

Writing Multiple Characters: Who’s Most Important?

Characters are the lifeblood of narrative. Some stories demand a large character count, but managing these many viewpoints can get not only messy for the writer but confusing for the reader. Incorporating multiple points of view in the same narrative, a frequent device used in third-person omniscient perspective, invokes some interesting questions. First off, who are the important characters? Who should the reader be listening to at any given time? Who should the reader get close to, and who’s driving

Dialogue and Subtext: What Isn’t Said

Dialogue, as any other narrative tool, operates best when it advances more than one goal. Single-purpose narrative devices often come off flat, lacking color, or uninteresting. Screenwriters call this “on-the-nose” dialogue, and if any writers know the power of well-crafted character speech, it’s those who hang their whole project on the spoken word! Subtext Subtext is everything the dialogue says that is not spoken. Every element of dialogue should be viewed as a tool to insert as much important information

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