Structure and Pacing

Sentence Structure: Verbs

Sentence Structure: Verbs

Flashback to the second grade. You’re learning about the parts of a sentence. How does the teacher define ‘verbs’? Why, they’re action words, of course! And that’s actually a pretty good description. The verb makes the subject of the sentence do something. When “the cat jumps”, ‘jump’ is your verb. So without verbs, nothing can…

Paragraph Structure: Pacing & Rhythm

Paragraph Structure: Pacing & Rhythm

In school, you probably learned how to construct the classic, academic paragraph. The O.G. paragraph, if you will. You’ve got your topic sentence, your supporting sentences, and then your concluding sentence. A nice snug package of information. Also, a total bore. In fiction, paragraphs never have to be this structured. Indeed, paragraphing is an author’s…

Scene Structure: Proactive and Reactive

Scene Structure: Proactive and Reactive

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash Unless you’re working on microfiction, flash fiction, or very short stories, your plots will almost always require you to write multiple scenes. When I say ‘scene’, I’m talking about a specific segment of a larger story that contains its own miniature story arc. Scenes can flow one into the other or be…

Sentence Differentiation

Sentence Differentiation

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash I live in the heart of a medieval Dutch city and everything in my neighborhood is made of bricks: the cathedrals and cafes, the old houses and the new houses, the streets, parking lots, bike paths, garden walls. Everything. But if you’re picturing some red-brown dystopia of uniform cubic edifices—like a city…