Posts Tagged ‘storytelling’

  • Here Is Why All Themes Are Not Equal

    September 12th, 2018 | Theme | journalpulp | 9 Comments

    The word theme comes from the Ancient Greek word théma, which means “proposition or thesis,” and that definition essentially holds true to this day: Theme is meaning. In literature, it’s the meaning that the events of a story or the lines in a poem add up to. For example, and as I’ve written before, the […]

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  • How to Write a Story

    May 29th, 2017 | How to write a novel | journalpulp | No Comments

    Here’s how you create a setting: One hour before nightfall, on a pink-and-blue evening in the third week of August, 2011 … Here’s how you create a character: a solitary man traveling on foot … Here’s how you introduce a situation: entered the small, tree-shadowed town of Clifton — an isolated village about which many […]

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  • What Is Plot?

    February 16th, 2016 | Plot | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    Literarily, the meaning of the word plot comes from the Old-French word: complot — which means to conspire. But what actually is plot? Plot is the method by which you present your story. Plot is a vehicle. Plot is a purposeful sequence of events — and in a well-plotted story, those events all connect logically […]

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  • In Defense of Description

    July 25th, 2013 | Literature | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    There’s a common misconception — unfortunately growing — popular among so-called commercial-fiction coaches predominantly, though not exclusively, that stories and novels have one and only one real purpose: storytelling. Which is to say, plot. Which is to say, conflict. Anything, therefore, that slows the pace of the plot — or anything that disrupts the plot […]

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  • Tell Don’t Show — In Which We Endeavor To Demonstrate That Narration Has Its Place

    Tell Don’t Show — In Which We Endeavor To Demonstrate That Narration Has Its Place

    September 27th, 2012 | Storytelling | journalpulp | No Comments

    He was the only child of middle-aged parents, a miner-turned-truck-driver named Neil and Neil’s wife Angela, a half Cherokee lady of rare beauty whom Joel loved with all his heart. He grew up silent, a silent child, pale and skinny but healthy. He brought coal from the shed to the stoker. He took out clinkers. […]

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  • Five Ways To Generate Suspense

    Five Ways To Generate Suspense

    February 22nd, 2012 | Plot, Suspense | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    Suspense, which isn’t a genre but a specific manifestation of plot, is when you can’t put the book down because you must learn what happens next. Suspense is when you’re champing at the bit. Here are five ways to keep readers in suspense: 5. Arrange your events in such a way that readers will wonder […]

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  • Plot and Theme: A Complicated Relationship

    Plot and Theme: A Complicated Relationship

    September 6th, 2011 | Plot, Storytelling, The Situation, Theme, Universality | journalpulp | No Comments

    The Situation is the nucleus of your story: it contains the kernel of your conflict from which the rest of your storyline will grow. A real story cannot exist without some sort of conflict. If you have a specific message that you wish to get across (e.g. the destructiveness of superstition), it is that message […]

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  • Climax: Bringing Together The Essential Components Of A Novel

    Climax: Bringing Together The Essential Components Of A Novel

    August 11th, 2011 | Characterization, Climax, Plot, Storytelling, Style | journalpulp | 2 Comments

    A good novel consists of four primary components, all of which interact in an almost symbiotic way. Those elements are plot, character, theme, and style. (The recapitulation of theme-and-plot combined is what I call The Situation.) Of those four components, the first three are primarily concerned with subject-matter, and the last — style, which is […]

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