Posts Tagged ‘Plot’

  • 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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  • Popular Fiction Versus Literary

    August 7th, 2013 | Popular fiction versus literary fiction | journalpulp | 7 Comments

    The difference between popular fiction and literary fiction is subtle but unmistakable. The criteria is graded — think of it as a spectrum — so that a book or movie can have elements of both literary fiction and also elements of genre fiction at the same time. But there is a distinction. It is not […]

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  • Five Reasons I’ll Keep Reading Your Story

    Five Reasons I’ll Keep Reading Your Story

    April 25th, 2013 | Writing | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    Actually, there are many reasons — many more than five — that I’ll keep reading your story, but there are also at least as many reasons I won’t. (For example: He had nothing in the way of a like God-concept, and at that point maybe even less than nothing in terms of interest in the […]

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  • Top Five Reasons Your Novel Will Succeed

    Top Five Reasons Your Novel Will Succeed

    February 1st, 2013 | How to write a novel | journalpulp | No Comments

    Here, in no particular order: 5. Your storyline is compelling You’ve created a sequence of events that progresses logically and purposefully and that culminates in climax. This sequence is called plot. The plot of a short story can (and probably should) involve just one single incident or main conflict. And conflict is clash. A clash […]

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  • Conflicted

    October 22nd, 2012 | Conflict | 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 — and a real storyline cannot exist without some sort of conflict. But what exactly is conflict? In writing circles, you hear the word incessantly, and yet you almost never hear […]

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  • What Makes Certain Literature Timeless?

    What Makes Certain Literature Timeless?

    July 19th, 2012 | Art, Beauty | journalpulp | 12 Comments

    “To produce a mighty book you must choose a mighty theme.” Said Herman Melville. And it’s true — true of any and all art: mighty themes are one of the distinguishing characteristics of timeless art. What is theme? Theme is the meaning that the components of your story or artwork add up to. In literature, […]

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  • What Plot Is And What Plot Is Not

    What Plot Is And What Plot Is Not

    March 14th, 2012 | Plot | journalpulp | 4 Comments

    Plot is not memoir. Plot is not diary. Plot is not journal. Plot is not history. Plot is not erotica. Plot is not dialogue. Plot is not essay. Plot is not philosophy. Plot is not chronicle. Plot is not action alone. Plot is something very specific: it is the method by which you present your […]

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  • How To Write A Novel: The Fast-And-Furious Version

    How To Write A Novel: The Fast-And-Furious Version

    March 7th, 2012 | How to write a novel | journalpulp | 2 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 Salt — an isolated village about which many […]

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  • Top Ten Best Novels You’ve Never Heard Of

    Top Ten Best Novels You’ve Never Heard Of

    March 4th, 2012 | Best Novels | journalpulp | 77 Comments

    Or perhaps you have. Yet the following list, laid out in no particular order (with the exception of Number 1), is relatively obscure: Nothing is as it seems under the sharp western sun. After recovering from an enigmatic and near-fatal illness, Gasteneau, a man with an iron will, glimpses something so extraordinary and so horrific […]

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  • Misdirection And Surprise

    Misdirection And Surprise

    February 23rd, 2012 | Plot, Suspense | journalpulp | No Comments

    Seven o’clock in the evening. A hot and moth-populated mountain night. Gasteneau sat alone in a rundown motel on the outskirts of town, a cheap room that he’d rented for this reason, because it was cheap, and because he could have it by the day or by the week, and because it was spacious and […]

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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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  • Pacing, Plot, Purposeful Action, And Human Values

    Pacing, Plot, Purposeful Action, And Human Values

    February 16th, 2012 | Pacing, Plot | journalpulp | 14 Comments

    Life is an unceasing sequence of single actions, said Ludwig von Mises. And so, in many ways, is plot. But, unlike life, plot is selective — and what that means, among other things, is that the author is the selector. The author chooses the actions his characters undertake. This, incidentally, is one of the primary […]

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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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  • Characterization (Part 4)

    Characterization (Part 4)

    July 29th, 2011 | Characterization, Plot | journalpulp | No Comments

    In the previous post, I said that to create convincing characters, the writer must first understand what motivates the people she or he is creating. This means that the writer must understand what moves the actions of his or her characters. The term “actions” in this context refers to plot — though it bears repeating […]

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  • Characterization (Part 3)

    Characterization (Part 3)

    July 27th, 2011 | Characterization, Literature, Plot, Storytelling, Style, Theme | journalpulp | 3 Comments

    Characterization is a presentation of the personality of the people who populate a story. Characterization is primarily a depiction of motivation and motive. The reader must understand what makes the characters act in the way that those characters do. It’s been said that one of the truest tests of good literature is when you can […]

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