Fusion recently took a tour through the abandoned college campuses of Second Life. It’s a fascinating insight into what becomes of our virtual spaces as people move out and move on. The urban exploration of the future could be done from your own sofa.
My experience of NaNoWriMo goes back to 2010. I ‘won’, which means that shortly before the end of November I passed the 50,000 word mark and completed my novel. Here’s my experience from that busy month of typing. Continue reading
Twin Peaks begins with the discovery of Laura Palmer – murdered, wrapped in plastic and dumped in a lake. As the news spreads through the town, it becomes clear that many of its inhabitants are linked to Laura in a variety of ways. As Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) arrives on the scene, it becomes clear that everyone is a suspect. As Laura Palmer’s double life is revealed, events go from the bad to the downright strange. During the 30-episode run, Cooper finds himself plagued by visions of deranged killers, dwarves talking backward and helpful giants. The only thing between Twin Peaks and strange worlds of shadow are the mysterious, whispering woods that surround the town. Continue reading
In traditional forms of narrative, events are constructed to tell a bigger story. Conventional wisdom calls for the removal of extraneous details that distract from this. Be it a novel, a TV show, a film or a play, you’ll find little flab that doesn’t at least build a character or illuminate an underlying theme. To match this, protagonists commit believable acts based on believable motivations. Video games are different. Continue reading
Here are five of mine. Have you got any of your own? Please share them in the comments. Continue reading
Enjoy. If you use one, please let me know in the comments. It would be fun to know what you do with them.
- A person returns home to find their door off the hinges and their house ransacked – and a note apologising
- Two men sit on the edge of a bridge and discuss building the foundations
- A man’s estranged wife unexpectedly turns up at home after she’s released from jail early
- A group of people are told that due to a hiccup with reality, whatever they do for the next hour will be completely forgotten and rewritten. How do they spend it?
- 1967. A milkman finds a dead body in the street. Well, he thinks it’s dead…
- The council are angry and they want their weapons back. They’ll take them by force if necessary
- The story of a love affair told from the point of view of a piece of furniture
- “That place is infested. I’m not going back in until you do something.”
- Freshly fallen snow and the hum of an electric fence
- They loosened the floorboards so they could hear if she left the room
Your plot is the chain of events in your story. A theme is an idea that underpins everything. For instance, the plot of Kafka’s Metamorphosis follows a man who awakes to find himself transformed into a monstrous vermin. However one of the novella’s main themes is the effect of money on a family. Many stories have multiple themes that intertwine and play off each other.
You don’t need to be heavy handed – your readers don’t want to be hit round the head with obvious themes. It’s an example of show not tell – show how the themes reflect in your plot and characters.
Artists create harmony and mood in a painting by choosing a palette of colours. You can do the same in your writing to reflect your themes. Continue reading
The article raises many questions about how formats are evolving in an on-demand world. What constitutes ‘binge watching’? Does a season really need breaking down into episodes? Do episodes need to be the same length?
Head over to the site to read more: Is House of Cards TV? on The Atlantic.