Tag Archives: formulas

Questions 714: Lester Dent and Other Formulas

JB asks: Can the Lester Dent formulas go longer than 6000 words or be used for mysteries like Sherlock Holmes? What formulas do work for that type of story?

Resources Mentioned:

Questions 599: On The Heroine’s Journey
Questions 283: All About Pulp
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Thousand-Headed Man by Kenneth Robeson (a.k.a. Lester Dent)
War Without End, pt 1 – episode of Babylon 5
The Usual Suspects
Sixth Sense
Pulp Fiction

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Questions 689: Plot Structure vs. Plot Formula

Charles asks: What is the difference between plot structure and plot formulas?

Resources Mentioned
The Dark Knight
How To Write a Novel Using The Snowflake Method
Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need
The A Team (series)
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings (film)
Babylon 5

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Special: Your Writer Goals for 2019

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A couple of our listeners send in their 2019 writer goals

Resources Mentioned
Episode 612: Writer’s New Years
Lester Dent’s story formula

This episode sponsored by BundleRabbit 

Questions 387: Nanowrimo, and the Shape of Stories

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Kelson asks:  “Are you doing Nanowrimo this year, and  what new tools/resources can you recommend?”

This episode sponsored by BundleRabbit

Kurt Vonnegut’s Shapes of Stories lecture
Six Main Arcs in Storytelling

Questions 236: The Mystery Formula

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Cheyenne asks:
“Are there formulas for mysteries? What kinds of mysteries are there–and how can I learn about them?”

This episode sponsored by BundleRabbit

Resources mentioned:
A Ghostly Christmas Present (The Clarke Lantham Mysteries Book 2) by J. Daniel Sawyer
Down From Ten by J. Daniel Sawyer
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Midsomer Murders, Series 1 Midsomer Murders
The Killings at Badger’s Drift (Inspector Barnaby) Caroline Graham
The Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple Mysteries) by Agatha Christie
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: A Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie
Scream (Collector’s Series)
Friday the 13th
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler Film
The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler
And Then She Was Gone by J. Daniel Sawyer
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiel Hammet
A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers
Stone Cold by Robert B. Parker
Spencer by Robert B. Parker
The Black Echo by Michael Connelly
LA Confidential by James Ellroy
Reservoir Dogs
The Hateful 8

Questions 216: Plot Formulas and Beginning Writers (Writing Instruction Series 10)

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In this tenth installment in our miniseries on teaching students how to write, Rob asks:
“What, if any, value is there in teaching plot models and forumlas to my students?”

YA Adventure Special 4: The Heinlein Juvenile Pt 2

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Today, I continue with the Heinlein Juvenile formula sheet, talking about what makes the Heinlein juveniles unusual among young adult novels and which of them create their enduring appeal.

Books discussed, all by Robert A. Heinlein:
Rocketship Galileo
Space Cadet
Farmer in the Sky
Red Planet
Between Planets
The Rolling Stones
Starman Jones
Tunnel in the Sky
The Star Beast
Time for the Stars
Citizen of the Galaxy
Have Space Suit, Will Travel

YA Adventure Special 3: The Heinlein Juvenile Pt 1

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We’ve talked about formulas–what they are, and how to uncover them. Now, we examine the formula for the Heinlein Juvenile in great detail. In this episode, we talk about the roots of the Heinlein Juvenile. Wonder what all the fuss is about? This is where we start to dig in!