Revision

The Macro to Micro Method by Sylvie Kurtz Revision When my kids were younger, I remember watching one of those kid-centered science shows with them. The gist of the episode was how to fill a vase with stones. First the “scientist” started with the sand, then attempted to jam in bigger pebbles and got nowhere….

Story Deconstruction

Learning to Write by Taking Apart a Story by Sylvie Kurtz Story Deconstruction Story deconstruction means taking a story apart to see how it works (or doesn’t.) I’m always amazed at the number of people who want to write, but say they don’t read. That makes no sense to me. A big part of learning…

Perspective

Using Point of View to Focus a Scene by Sylvie Kurtz Perspective Perspective shows someone’s unique view the world. Many ways exist to view a scene. You could stand up high and look down with a wide-angle lens like a god watching his creation from above, taking everything in. This view sees all and knows…

Rising to the Occasion

How a Story’s Final Battle Gives it Meaning by Sylvie Kurtz Rising to the Occasion Story theorists often use the word “battle” to describe the final clash between the main character and the main opponent. The word implies violence, a fight to the death. But battle can give your story so much more than physical…

Magic Moments

by Sylvie Kurtz Magic Moments I like to put “magic moments” at the mid-point of my stories.  Something happens that binds the hero and heroine closer together on an emotional level.  It’s a preview of how things could be if they could get over their flaws or their fears, a small glimpse of the possible…

Theme as a Crucible for Change

How to Cut a Brilliant Diamond by Sylvie Kurtz Theme Merriam-Webster defines theme as “something laid down; a subject or topic of discourse or of artistic representation; a specific and distinctive quality, characteristic, or concern; a written exercise; a melodic subject of a musical composition or movement.” Blake Snyder in Save the Cat defines theme as “a…

Pacing for Impact

by Sylvie Kurtz Pacing for Impact Pacing refers to speed and rhythm of a story.  Every novel will have different requirements.  A romance will unfold more slowly than an action-adventure story.  But even in a romance, you don’t want things to slow down so much they sputter.  And an action-adventure that rushes along at breakneck…

Decisions

Revving the Story Engine by Sylvie Kurtz Decisions A story contains many decisions points.  But three main decision points serve as your story’s engine, revving it on.  These occur around the first quarter of the book, midway through, and the three-quarter mark of the story, before the big finale.  Whether decisions drive actions or actions…