Posts Tagged ‘storytelling’

  • 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 around 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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  • Rules For Writing: Beware The Laundry-List & Overly Prescriptive

    Rules For Writing: Beware The Laundry-List & Overly Prescriptive

    September 15th, 2011 | How to write a novel, Writing | journalpulp | 8 Comments

    There is a general formula (of sorts) to storytelling, but that formula should always be framed in terms of principles, and not concretes. By concretes, I’m referring to these interminable lists of specifics we so often see, which when it comes to the art of story merely tell us what to do and what not […]

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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 interdependent and 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 […]

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  • Good Stories, Unoriginal Plots, Timeless Themes

    Good Stories, Unoriginal Plots, Timeless Themes

    July 14th, 2011 | Plot, Style, Theme | journalpulp | 4 Comments

    There are 32 ways to write a story, and I’ve used every one, but there’s only one plot: things are not what they seem. – Jim Thompson. Anthony Burgess was slightly less stringent on possible plots: he put the number at about five. What distinguishes one plot from another? Or, to put that question more […]

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