Category Archives: Zen of Story Structure

Zen of Writing: The Preconscious

Built into the mind is an instinctual base of reactions and attitudes that cannot be altered but merely compensated for. When a story’s problem revolves around the unsuitability of someone’s essential nature to a given situation or environment, the central … Continue reading

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Zen of Writing: Memory

The Past is an objective look at what has happened. In contrast, Memory is a subjective look at what has happened. Therefore, Memory of the same events varies among individuals creating many different and possibly conflicting recollections. Often one’s current … Continue reading

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Zen of Writing: Conceiving

Conceiving is the process of arriving at an idea. For example, If there were no artificial light in the world, one might conceive the need for some form of electric torch. That would be conceiving. But the design of an … Continue reading

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Zen of Writing: Becoming

Becoming means achieving an identity with something. This is different from “Being” which merely requires posing as something. To Become, one must do more than just pretend to be by mimicking all the traits of what one wants to become. … Continue reading

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Zen of Writing: Being

“Being” is an elusive concept, subject to inconsistent common usage. For purposes of story, Being is meant to describe the condition of existing in a certain manner. Whomever or whatever is “Being” a particular way is not truly of that … Continue reading

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Zen of Writing: Conceptualizing

Conceptualizing means coming up with a practical implementation of an idea. It is not enough to simply have the idea. To conceptualize, one must develop an actual mental model of how such an idea might be made manifest. In other … Continue reading

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Writing About Learning

Learning describes the process of acquiring knowledge. It is not the knowledge itself. When a portion of a story focuses on learning, it is the gathering of an education that is of concern, not the education that ultimately has been … Continue reading

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Writing About “Obtaining”

Obtaining includes not only that which is possessed but also that which is achieved or lost. For example, one might obtain a law degree or lose an election. One can also obtain a condition, such as obtaining a smoothly operating … Continue reading

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Writing About Doing

Doing is the process of being physically active. In and of itself, Doing does not require any purpose, but simply describes engaging in a process, task, or endeavor, whether for pleasure or by necessity or compulsion. Excerpted from The Zen … Continue reading

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Writing About the Present

“The Present” does not refer to the way things are going, but to the way things are. It is a here and now judgment of the arrangement of a situation and the circumstances surrounding it. A story that focuses on … Continue reading

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