Month: October 2014

How Stories Save Lives

Story Grid

Moving on to the fourth leaf of our Five Leaf Genre Clover, let’s begin with Archplot, the classic Story structure, sometimes referred to as the “quest” narrative. In summary, it has the following qualities: In a consistent and cause/effect reality like the one we all inhabit in our everyday lives, Archplots feature a single active… Read more »

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Genre’s Five Leaf Clover

Story Grid

Genre is the one of the most difficult foundations of Story to wrap your mind around. There are so many theories and categorizations of genre that the editor/story student can easily fall into an intellectual whirlpool. I’ve been sucked in so many times by so many different ways to look at genres that my head… Read more »

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Genre is Not a Four-Letter Word

Story Grid

When we hear a book or movie described as “genre,” the speaker is usually denigrating the story. The designation connotes cheesy slasher films, lame mysteries, Ed Wood-esque science fiction, and bargain-bin romances. When all of the above can be categorized as one of a particular kind of Genre, Genre is not limited to pulp fiction…. Read more »

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The Realpolitik of Book Publishing

Story Grid

When a Story “works,” it makes you want to keep reading it or listening to it, or watching it. And what will happen next–while completely in keeping with its initial promise (a Western, a Bildungsroman, a ghost Story around a campfire, whatever)–delights over and over again. But the kicker is that the climax will be… Read more »

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Your Own Worst Enemy

Story Grid

A few years ago, a very talented line-by-line writer came to me for help. A publisher I respected had recommended her to me. The publisher believed (rightfully) that the woman had what it took to write bestselling thrillers. The publisher had passed on a number of her books…not because he didn’t find them compelling, but… Read more »

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Works, Doesn’t Work

Story Grid

How many times have you read this snippet of a book review, either on Amazon.com or in a major newspaper or blog? This book is badly in need of an editor. It is not without irony that these sorts of reviews are most often attached to titles that have sold hundreds of thousands of copies…. Read more »

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