Archive for April, 2013

A Poet’s Perspective on the Use of Structure

Ron Hayes is a poet and fiction writer from Erie, PA. He teaches English at East High School where he also coaches football, keeps stats for girls’ basketball, and continues to try to start a lacrosse team. A graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program at Queens University of Charlotte, Ron was named Erie […]

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I started this post several times.  I kept trying to get my hands around structure – to find a context in which to explain it.   Then I thought I would write about structure in terms of Aristotle’s Poetics. But he’s already done that. Then I thought, “I’m a playwright.  I should write about the changes in […]


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Building Blocks of Storytelling

You are a baby sitting in a high chair. Your parents, aunts, uncles, their friends are telling each other stories around the dinner table. Afterwards, you watch cartoons while the grownups chat some more. Later, your mom reads you a book (My fave: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein). You are absorbing it all. Story […]

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Trance: A Mosaic of Memory (Review)

By Jennie Jarvis I can’t tell you how many times I have seen beginning screenwriters cling to the notion that they HAVE to use flashbacks in their work in order to tell their story. “How else can I show that my character’s actions are motivated by the fact that she was molested by her father/neighbor/uncle/priest/clown […]

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Embracing Structure as a Tool for Your Story

In architecture, there’s an expression: form follows function.  This means that the way something is used dictates the shape of the building (or components of it). So, for example, stairs on a stair case are designed the way they are so that they can function the way they are supposed to: to allow a person […]

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Publishing News for Brad Windhauser (News)

Brad’s recent review of Solomon Jones’ The Dead Man’s Wife was just published at the Philadelphia Review of Books.  In his review, Brad discusses (among other things) the author’s use of setting (Philadelphia), characterization, style, and the reader’s expectations of genre fiction: In other news, Brad’s recent story “The Diagnosis” was accepted at Ray’s […]

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Screenwriting Structure – The Three Act Paradigm

By Jennie Jarvis This month on 5writers, we’re going to be talking about structure, and what better way to kick us off than to talk about the most structured writing that exists – screenwriting! Not only do film scripts have extremely strict rules for how the script is formatted, but the underlying structure of the […]

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