Defining literary structure

This is excerpted from my upcoming article in Game Wrap Magazine, volume 2-- "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy" about the tension between narrative design and player autonomy. I pulled this part out because it's applies structure in all storytelling forms, not just larps. One of the tools storytellers use to shape narrative... Continue Reading →

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Toolbox theory of storytelling

In the last several years of my becoming more of a serious writer, I've developed a particular system to think about it. I've found that whenever approaching a craft, it helps my brain a lot to think of it in terms of a series of concepts with specific definitions associated with certain purposes. I believe... Continue Reading →

The skill in imitation

One somewhat controversial thing I believe about writing is that it's very good to be able to imitate other writers' styles. Other writers and scholars thereof might disagree, failing to see any practical application for it, and protesting that it's more important to refine and develop your own unique voice rather than trying to copy... Continue Reading →

A Theory of Costume Design class

I was thinking this week how much I would enjoy teaching a class about how to design costumes. Not a building or construction sort of class, but one where the focus was on the theory of how to come up with costuming that supports the narrative of whatever medium it is part of. I would... Continue Reading →

Murder magnet

As a consumer and producer of adventure and mystery stories, there's a certain trope that always gets on my nerves. When you're doing case-based storytelling, when "working a case" provides the climactic structure, there needs to be some mechanism to bring the affair to the detective figure's attention. There's a certain way of handling that... Continue Reading →

The relative importance of tone

Tone tends to be very important to me when it comes to whether or not I can become absorbed in a given piece of media. By tone, I mean the overall feeling and vibe a piece gives off, plus the attitude they take towards their story or subject matter. Embracing the right tone for the... Continue Reading →

A work by any other name

I’ve always struggled with choosing titles for my written work. A lot rides on a title, so I have have standards for them that I’ve never been that good at meeting. They are the symbol of and the reference by which the work is known, so it should appropriate and worth to represent piece’s soul... Continue Reading →

The drafting process

The drafting process doesn’t come naturally to me, and as such, at times I find it frustrating. During my early development as a writer, I was extremely compelled to edit as I wrote, and if I couldn’t figure out just how I wanted to phrase something, I wouldn’t write it. That lead to nothing ever... Continue Reading →

The tradeoff for plot

As a writer, plot is very important to me. I care about other things too, of course-- character, voice, style, things like that --but I have a very hard time getting invested in a story unless "something interesting happens" in it. It also happens to be part of the writing process I'm pretty good at.... Continue Reading →

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