Tag Archives: theme

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

Direct Readers’ Focus: The Golden Ratio

Minute details are a double-edged sword to the flow of a story. Outright descriptors – adjectives and adverbs, even forceful verbs – have the power to choke out ideas and action. Artful concepts, however, can accomplish incredible feats of sensory detail without heavy-handed descriptors. Smallness, minute detail in either perfection or chaos, holds worlds of fascination. The same way humans have built towers, telescopes, satellites and space stations, we’ve invested that time looking the other direction too. Magnifying glasses, magnifiers,

The Award for Best Supporting Character Goes To…

Main characters carry the greatest weight in a story, but it’s uncommon for a great story to come out of just a main character in a vacuum. While the term may vary, secondary characters are close to the main character, very present in the story, and can’t rightly be called “minor” characters. Understanding their common uses in relation to the essential elements of story can arm you to make a deeper, more purposeful supporting cast. Character Secondary character roles are

2 Methods for Writing Powerful Themes

There’s much more to a story than what happens. Theme, for example, can simply be described as what a story means. This post isn’t to describe theme, so for that you can visit an excellent post over at Writers Digest that defines it wonderfully. Or you can review your English composition notes. Instead, this discussion will address assembling story elements when you already know what larger meaning you want to explore. Narrative has always allowed people to approach topics that

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