Tag Archives: narration

Questions 309: Repetition, Rhetoric, and Information Flow

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Robert asks:
“How much repetition should we use to make sure the story is clear? Is it different for different for YA and adult fiction versus children’s fiction?”

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Resources Mentioned:

The Thousand Headed Man

Questions 281: Character Heavy, Plot Heavy, Character-driven, Plot-driven

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Michael asks:
“What’s the difference between a story that’s plot-heavy, plot-driven, character-heavy, and character-driven?”

Resources mentioned:
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Romancing the Stone
Die Hard

Questions 248: Writing Chaotic Scenes

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JR asks:
“How do you write a chaotic scene without making it chaotic for the reader?”

Resources mentioned:
Arthur by Stephen R. Lawhead
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque
And Then She Was Gone by J. Daniel Sawyer
Silent Victor by J. Daniel Sawyer
The Hartman Gambit by J. Daniel Sawyer (forthcoming)

Questions 240: Series vs. Multi-Volume Stories

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Cheyenne asks:
“I’m finding myself more interested in events in volume 2 of my story, and it’s making it hard to write volume 1. What do I do?”

Resources mentioned:
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Dune by Frank Herbert

Questions 238: Transparent Worldbuilding

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Vega asks:
“What is transparent worldbuilding, and how does it work?”

Resources mentioned:
Dune by Frank Herbert
The Menace From Earth by Robert A. Heinlein
Stories From The Twilight Zone by Rod Serling
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Special episode: More Terrifying Feedback!

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Today, Ed points out that I missed a good technique for opening stories when discussing first stentences, while Cheyenne reveals an ingenious method for cataloging notes, ideas, and thoughts for future use.

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Questions 233: Unreliable Narrators

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Vega asks:
“What kinds of unreliable narrators are there?”

Resources mentioned:
The Usual Suspects

How to Cheat at Everything by Simon Lovell

Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking by Christopher Hadnagy and Paul Wilson

Psychological Subtleties, vol 1 by Banachek

Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov

Questions 217: Underused Techniques (Writing Instruction Series 11)

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In this eleventh installment in our miniseries on teaching students how to write, Rob asks:
“What storytelling techniques (such as hyperbole) are, in your opinion, tragically underused?”

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Questions 209: Effective Vocabulary Building (Writing Instruction Series 3)

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In this third installment in our miniseries on teaching students how to write, Rob asks:
“How can I respect subculture grammar while teaching best practices in word choice and writing?”