Noontime in the Garden of Characters

Noontime in the Garden of Characters

When you get the idea for a story, characters may come calling in droves, begging to be let in and put to work. The question is: How do you identify which one is the main character—and who is her supporting staff? Finding and Supporting Your Main Character It's not...
Finding Stories in Photos [Prayerful Mourning]

Finding Stories in Photos [Prayerful Mourning]

The principles in Discovering the Soul of Your Story can be used to generate stories from photographs—such as this one of a woman engaged in mournful prayer. Gleaning Treasures from a Picture In the photograph above, a woman kneels and prays next to a funerary urn,...
A Tale of Two Thomases

A Tale of Two Thomases

When looking for clues about what makes a story work, it can be very instructive to compare and contrast two versions of a given story—especially if they occupy the same medium, like literature or film. Learning Lessons by Comparing Stories Sometimes, the best way to...
Finding Stories in Aphorisms [Duty]

Finding Stories in Aphorisms [Duty]

Aphorisms are especially well-suited to generating story ideas, because they often contain recommended approaches or courses of action that serve as kernels for story themes. Here, we look at an aphorism that addresses the idea of duty. To Whom Much Is Given The...
Why Theme Makes Stories Memorable

Why Theme Makes Stories Memorable

In some sense, the plot of any story may be viewed as simply a delivery system for its theme. But why is theme so important, and how does its quality of expression affect how your audience feels about your story? The Power in the Meaning of Your Story In the summer of...