The Writer’s Craft

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POV Part II: The Third Eye A crash course in the “most complex element” of storytelling

In Janet Burroway’s book, Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft, she describes point of view as the most complex element of fiction. This is because establishing point of view involves  tending to a complicated relationship between reader, author, and characters. Establishing a point of view and maintaining its consistency can be difficult even for authors who’ve been at it for a long time.

When authors who are just starting out shift points […]

By |2019-06-19T20:21:43+00:00|The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on POV Part II: The Third Eye A crash course in the “most complex element” of storytelling

The Role of Mystery in Fiction An editor's take on the value of mystery in all genres of fiction

by Peter Gelfan

Unlike nonfiction, fiction’s motor doesn’t run on information, but on its opposite: mystery.

I’m not talking about mystery as a genre, but as the essential quality in all fiction that cultivates curiosity, stimulates the imagination, invites participation, and generally keeps readers reading. Every step of the reader’s journey should be fraught with questions, not only about how the story turns out, but about character, motive, backstory, and—perhaps most importantly—what he or she would do in the hero’s or villain’s […]

By |2018-05-21T19:44:48+00:00|PG, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on The Role of Mystery in Fiction An editor's take on the value of mystery in all genres of fiction

Plot vs. Plot Event An editor's thoughts inspired by Robert Ludlum, Matt Damon, and Jason Bourne

by Ross Browne

It wasn’t all that long ago that the news hit Hollywood that Matt Damon was considering bowing out of his leading role as Jason Bourne. The untitled film he considered passing on would have been the fifth in a series based on a trilogy that we have Robert Ludlum to thank for. (Or blame for, depending on your perspective.) Ludlum stopped writing the series after book number 3, and it wasn’t until his […]

By |2019-06-17T17:06:38+00:00|RSB, The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Plot vs. Plot Event An editor's thoughts inspired by Robert Ludlum, Matt Damon, and Jason Bourne

Part III: Showing vs. Telling Rue the day you tell what's been shown

Almost every aspect of fiction writing can be analyzed by the degree to which you the author allow your reader to formulate his own pictures, thoughts, opinions and versions of your story. This is a delicate matter, certainly, because leaving too much out is just as much a travesty as directly telling the reader exactly what his five senses should be sensing at all times. And it really is a more complex question than simply what details you choose to […]

By |2019-06-19T19:27:49+00:00|The Writer’s Craft|Comments Off on Part III: Showing vs. Telling Rue the day you tell what's been shown

Everyone Needs an Editor: A Final Lesson from the Harry Potter Series Principle Five: All good writing needs good editing

By Jane Ryder with Beth Jusino.

“So why couldn’t Malfoy have brought that necklace into the school?”

“Oh, Harry, not that again…”

Many readers, myself included, echoed Hermione Grangers’ frustration at that point in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

For the past few weeks we have been looking at JK Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter books, and the lessons that aspiring authors can learn from them. We talked about when to hold back detail, how to drop hints, […]

A World to Remember: More Lessons from the Harry Potter Series Principle Four: Create a world the reader will remember

This blog is part of the Storytelling lessons from Harry Potter series. For part one, click here. For part two, click here. For part three, click here.

Diagon Alley. The Quidditch World Cup.The Chamber of Secrets. The Cupboard Under the Stairs. Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.

These were not places that existed in our imaginations before we met Harry Potter, but for many readers they are now as real as Times Square.

If we, as […]

By |2019-06-19T19:14:09+00:00|The Writer’s Craft, Trends|Comments Off on A World to Remember: More Lessons from the Harry Potter Series Principle Four: Create a world the reader will remember