Mythic Structure: The Virgin’s Promise, Part Two

In the last speculations, I introduced you to Kim Hudson’s The Virgin’s Promise, the feminine archetypal structure and promised that I’d analyze two stories in my next column. I decided to explore Ever After, the Cinderella movie starring Drew Barrymore for my first selection. The Virgin’s Promise is a screenwriting tool, first and foremost, and… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Ways to Take Your Story from Good to Great

We’ve all experienced it. We finish a story or a draft and we know deep down that something is missing. It’s a good story–but it’s not great. It doesn’t have the pop and sizzle that we’ve achieved in the past or maybe that we’ve witnessed in another writer. But what’s missing? Before you take a… Read more »

Signpost Scenes — Trouble Brewing

Welcome back, readers! I hope that my last article on The Argument Against Transformation helped clear up any questions you had on theme and your Lead’s need for transformation. Now, as we move forward with act one, we approach a crucial signpost scene that, though quick, makes a big difference escalating tension and exciting readers,… Read more »

Ask The Editor: Travelling Between Worlds

I’m working on a short story in which the main characters travel a great distance in a short amount of time. They also experience a variety of different landscapes. My aim is to quickly acclimate the reader to each new place through the narrator’s perspective using sensory details. So my question is this: besides “show,… Read more »

Solving the Riddle of Voice

We writers are always urged to find our voice in writing. Develop our voice. Be true to our voice. But in the middle of all of that furor over voice, what voice is often gets lost. As readers, we have favorite authors. We form fierce attachments to their work. Each new novel, collection of short… Read more »

Mythic Structure: The Virgin’s Promise, Part One

Last year, I wrote a two-part series on The Hero’s Journey. In the second of those columns I mentioned discovering Kim Hudson’s The Virgin’s Promise and vowed to return to the topic once I’d had a chance to study the book. Now that I’ve done my homework, I’m going to write another two-part series on… Read more »

A Case Study on Revenge as a Literary Theme

Ah, revenge. It’s one of the classic literary masterplots, where the protagonist believes he’s been wronged and seeks to retaliate against the antagonist. But did you know that revenge can also be a literary theme? How it manifests through the plot and characters will depend on what kind of story the author wants to tell…. Read more »