Story structure example: The Very Hungry Caterpillar (tip 81) 1

Some years ago, former-US President George W. Bush named The Very Hungry Caterpillar as his favourite childhood book. Unfortunately, it wasn’t published until he was 23 and fresh out of Yale. Still, while it’s not advanced post-graduate reading, it does have a perfect structure, from which we can learn a lot.

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Creative Writers, free yourselves! Alternatives to the cinematic mode of narration (tip 62) 4

In the beginning, cinema took its inspiration from older forms of narrative including literature. But even in the 19th-century, realist writers were comparing their work to photography, and during the 20th-century many prose authors, including Wyndham Lewis and Christopher Isherwood, took inspiration from film. Published in 1960, John Updike’s present-tense novel Rabbit, Run was subtitled originally, “A Movie”, and he was explicit that “The present tense was in part meant to be an equivalent of the cinematic mode of narration.” From what I’ve seen, the cinematic mode of narration often dominates Creative Writing classrooms. But what is it? What are its limitations? And what are our alternatives?

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Controlling pace: different modes of storytelling (tip 44) Reply

In this video we identify four possible relationships between narrative time and story time. You will probably use them all, and how wisely you move between them will in part determine the strength of your writing. As an example, we look at how Zoe Heller paces Barbara’s first encounter with Sheba in Notes on a Scandal.

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Writing stories: journeys and character transitions (tip 37) 2

D.D. Johnston explains in five minutes everything you need to know to understand every story ever told. Enjoy!

Click this link to open the story planner worksheet that accompanies this video.
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