What’s Your Problem? Reblogged

At its most basic plot is the presentation of a problem that needs to be solved: the detective needs to catch the criminal, the lovers need to come together, the world needs to be saved. So when we’re beginning to plot a story we need to think, ‘What is the problem?’ then ‘How are we … Continue reading What’s Your Problem? Reblogged


Endings and Beginnings

I’m going to be trying something new. I’m going re-blog old articles that new followers many have missed beginning with articles on plot and structure. Beginning with The Purpose of Plot from Finding Your Voice. Monday - What's Your Problem? For a plot we need a problem. Tuesday - Where's Your Tools? Now we have … Continue reading Endings and Beginnings

Voicing a Character

One of the things we have to decide when our omniscient narrator is describing a character’s thoughts to us is whether or not they’re going to be in the character’s voice or the narrator’s. Both techniques are valid and we can even use both, but when we use both we often need to establish why … Continue reading Voicing a Character

Intruding Author?

Theoretically, our omniscient narrator has no investment in the story, they’re separate and unbiased relating the facts as they are, but this is rarely true. Charles Dickens is well known for showing the plight of the poor in Victorian Britain, he relates the facts but he is not unbiased. However, when he digresses from a … Continue reading Intruding Author?

The Many Perspectives

One of the most important things to remember about omniscient narration is that although we can show the perspective of many characters we’re not actually in their perspective. As we’ve discussed before there are two main types of omniscient narration: Limited omniscient – We use third-person but we’re limited to the perspective of one character … Continue reading The Many Perspectives

Finding Flow

As we discussed earlier in the week description can be used to create pauses in narrative and varies depending upon style but description can also affect the flow of prose. The description we use affects the rhythm of a sentence which affects the flow of our proses. For example a long sentence of description might … Continue reading Finding Flow

Perceiving Personification

Personification is a type of metaphor or simile where we give something that isn’t human human traits. Such as comparing windows to eyes that are watching us, or saying a car is temperamental or quirky when a machine doesn’t have a temperament simply a mechanical fault. This gets slightly more complicated if we’re referring to … Continue reading Perceiving Personification

Making a Metaphor

Metaphors and similes can be very effective tools in description but what’s the difference? A simile is comparative, so we say something is like something else such as ‘the windows were like eyes’. A metaphor is saying something is something it isn’t such as ‘the windows were eyes’ (this is also personification which we’ll look … Continue reading Making a Metaphor

Describing a Pause

Description can be very useful for creating pauses in stories and slowing them down. This doesn’t mean the story stops. What we mean is that the pace changes, for instance we may have a flurry of activity, a moment where the protagonist thinks everything is done, and then another flurry. Alternatively we may have a … Continue reading Describing a Pause

A Matter of Style

There is no one way to do description. Description, like any other aspect of writing depends on the writer’s style. There are ways to manipulate description based on punctuation, word choice, and so on but ultimately how much or how little there is depends on the writer’s style. For instance, Hemmingway was very much bare-bones … Continue reading A Matter of Style