Six impossible things

Posts Tagged intermediate writing

What’s not there

Fiction is a model of human behavior (among many other things, but this is where I’m going today). This means that no matter how a writer tries, real life and real people are always more complicated than whatever is in the model. Nevertheless, we do everything we […]

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Sax and violins

A long time back, a friend of mine (tongue firmly in cheek) told me that when it came to fiction, all the trashy stuff was full of sex and violence, while all the great literature was about love and death. The truth underneath that bit of word […]

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The Lego Theory Part the Last

This is the last of this series of posts. Really. I mean it. Part of why it’s the last is that I’m up to scenes, and I’m not really sure I can take this analogy this far, let alone any farther. Paragraphs were OK, because they’re the […]

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The Lego Theory, Part 7

OK, you twisted my arm. But I’m stopping at scenes. Really. As I said, paragraphs are where this analogy switches from looking at building blocks to looking at what you are building out of the building blocks. Consequently, the main properties of paragraphs aren’t so much about […]

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The Lego Theory, Part 6

A quick recap, for those who are getting a little lost: Fiction (and the English language generally) is built up by combining smaller units into larger and larger ones according to various rules and principles, the same way you build large, intricate Lego models by putting a […]

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The Lego Theory Part 5

Clauses are the next step up from phrases, and they are intimately connected with sentences. They come in two varieties, independent and dependent, and the first sort is a sentence, or could be if you punctuated it differently. “He ran, but she escaped.” is a single sentence […]

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The Lego Theory, Part 4

Before I go on, I would like to remind everybody once again that the vast majority of authors do not consciously and deliberately micro-manage their writing to wring every last bit of strength out of every word’s position, rhythm, etc. Most of the time, we work by […]

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The Lego Theory, Part 3

Every set of Legos has the basic square and rectangular blocks that you build most of your castles and dinosaurs and pirates with, and then a bunch of oddly shaped pieces that you use to make the fancy bits. Last post, I compared the basic Legos to […]

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The Lego Theory, Part II

Words, being the smallest and most basic building blocks of fiction, have lots of useful and important properties. I’ve already talked about specificity and sound; the next really key thing a writer needs to know about words is that they have different…strength or significance. I define strong […]

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The Lego Theory, Part 2

Words, being the smallest and most basic building blocks of fiction, have lots of useful and important properties. I’ve already talked about specificity and sound; the next really key thing a writer needs to know about words is that they have different…strength or significance. I define strong […]

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