Category Archives: Storytelling

Character Dismissals

Over the course of the story, your reader/audience has come to know your characters and to feel for them. The story doesn’t end when your characters and their relationships reach a climax. Rather, the reader/audience will want to know the … Continue reading

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Revealing Your Story’s Personality

Your story’s genre is its overall personality. As with the people that you meet, first impressions are very important. In act one, you introduce your story to your reader/audience. The selection of elements you choose to initially employ will set … Continue reading

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Multi-Appreciation Moments

The great masters of plot create dramatic moments that multi-task. For example, a novice writer might reveal the story’s goal in a line of dialog, but a master storyteller might reveal it in such a way as to also add … Continue reading

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Writing with Flashbacks and Flash Forwards

There is a big difference between flashbacks where a character reminisces and flashbacks that simply transport an audience to an earlier time. If the characters are aware of the time shift, it affects their thinking, and is therefore part of … Continue reading

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Storytelling Tip: Out of Sequence Experiences

With this technique, the audience is unaware they are being presented things out of order. Such a story is the motion picture, Betrayal, with Ben Kingsley. The story opens and plays through the first act. We come to determine whom … Continue reading

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Story Development Tip: “Non-Causality”

Interest in your story can be amped up by creating a difference between what an audience is led to expect and what actually happens. A prime example occurs in the Laurel and Hardy film, The Music Box. Stan and Ollie are piano … Continue reading

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Story Development Tip: Message Reversals

Here’s a tip that can fascinate your readers or audience by setting them up to believe one thing, only to provide additional information that had been withheld and changes their loyalties once revealed. This technique can be seen very clearly … Continue reading

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Message Reversals

Message Reversals (Shifting Context to Change Message) When we shift context to create a different message , the structure remains the same, but our appreciation of it changes. This can be seen very clearly in a Twilight Zone episode entitled, … Continue reading

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Storytelling Tip: Meaning Reversals

Meaning Reversals (Shifting Context to Change Meaning) Reversals change context. In other words, part of the meaning of anything we consider is due to its environment. The phrase, guilt by association, expresses this notion. In storytelling, we can play upon … Continue reading

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Storytelling Tip: Red Herrings (Changing Importance)

Red Herrings (Changing Importance) Red herrings are designed to make something appear more or less important than it really is. Several good examples of this technique can be found in the motion picture The Fugitive. In one scene a police … Continue reading

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