Search Results for: pinch points

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4 Pacing Tricks to Keep Readers’ Attention

Part 21 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel Stories live or die on their pacing. Great characters and concepts are the heartbeat of good fiction, but even the greatest can struggle to keep readers’ attention if the pacing is off. Pacing is a lot like tone. It varies depending on the type […]

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How to Write Emotion: An Experimental Study

Not too many years ago, I thought an accurately portrayed scene naturally caused readers to experience the emotions that the characters would logically feel in such situations. Not true! As Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi explain in The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, we must take our innate skills of observation and […]

how to write a great story despite its flaws

3 Tips for Writing a Story That’s Better Than Its Flaws

Steven Schwartz (composer and/or lyricist for musicals as varied as Pocahontas, Wicked, The Prince of Egypt, and Enchanted) has said  musicals are about structure first and foremost. If you get the structure right, then a multitude of sins can be forgiven. This is certainly the case in The Greatest Showman, whose sins are multitudinous. Any selection […]

Now Voyager Bette Davis

Now, Voyager

Movie: Directed by Irving Rapper. Inciting Event: On the brink of a nervous breakdown, repressed spinster Charlotte tells the story of her mother’s domination to a sympathetic psychiatrist. In the face her initial resistance (refusing the Call to Adventure), he convinces her to come stay at his sanitarium for a while—which is the first turning […]

guardians of the galaxy vol 2

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

Movie: Directed by James Gunn. Inciting Event: After Rocket steals the Sovereign people’s priceless batteries, the Guardians are saved by a mysterious man riding his own spaceship. This man (Ego) will drive the main conflict, ergo his appearance is the first brush with that conflict. Meanwhile, protagonist Peter Quill’s old boss Yondu (who has been […]

The Great Novel-Writing Checklist (Just in Time for NaNoWriMo!)

I adore lists. They bring order to the chaos of my brain and allow me to rest in the knowledge that even if I don’t remember everything I have to do, the list remembers [spoken in an epic Jeremy Irons bass]. This is why today I’m going to share you with you my ultimate novel-writing checklist—and […]

Bell Jar Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar

Book: By Sylvia Plath. Inciting Event: After losing focus during her paid internship with a famous woman’s magazine, during her summer break from college, Esther is confronted by the editor about her future—and she passively resists the choices open to her as a woman. The structural turning point here is subtle and best seen in […]

3 10 to Yuma Glenn Ford Van Heflin 1957

3:10 to Yuma (1957)

Movie: Directed by Delmer Daves. Inciting Event: Desperate ranch owner Dan Evans escorts marooned stage line owner Mr. Butterfield towards Bisbee, Arizona, where they encounter a posse chasing after outlaw Ben Wade, who held up the stage. They realize Wade is still back in Bisbee, and since Evans has business there anyway (attempting to borrow […]

Moby Dick Herman Melville

Moby Dick

Book: By Herman Melville. Inciting Event: The nominal main character Ishmael signs on aboard the Nantucket whaler Pequod and hears the first rumblings about the strange Captain Ahab. Everything up to this point has been setup, before finally brushing Ishmael (and the readers) up against what will be the main conflict created by this very […]

fantastic beasts and where to find them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Movie: Directed by David Yates. Inciting Event: When Newt is arrested by disgraced investigative officer Tina, his magical case is accidentally exchanged for the case full of donuts, belonging to the “No-Mag” Jacob Kowalski. As a result, he is released by Graves and the head of MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States), who have […]