Category Archives: How To Build a Better Story

Your Novel Needs a Second Story

One of the keys of a successful novel is often the presence of two (sometimes more) major storylines. Unfortunately, as a book doctor/novel editor, I often see manuscripts-in-progress that are just too stingy in this regard. I recently read a review of a movie that addressed this very point. Reviewing the movie Warm Bodies, Mick […]

The Role of the Story’s Reader

It is not the voice that commands the story: it is the ear. —Italo Calvino (in the fictional voice of Marco Polo), in Invisible Cities Calvino is expressing something very important about stories. They do not live in the head or the voice of the teller (or the writer). Good stories are shared. A good […]

Anton Chekhov, Master Storyteller

In developing my concept of three essential elements of literary storytelling, just published in How To Write Your Best Story (Crickhollow Books, 2011), I did a lot of consideration of why we are drawn to the work of famous writers, past and present. While there are plenty of ways to analyze (and over-analyze) great work, […]