Tag: Courage The Cowardly Dog

  • How can setting be a character?

    How can setting be a character?

    When asked to write something about setting, for an essay or an exam, what exactly are we being asked to describe? When I was in high school my English teachers advised us all against writing the exam essay on setting. So I did. But I wouldn’t advise the same thing. Setting essays provide plenty of opportunity for demonstrating knowledge and…

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  • The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee Analysis

    The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee Analysis

    This month I’m blogging a series aimed at teaching kids how to structure a story. This seven-step structure works for all forms of narrative. It works for picture books, songs, commercials, films and novels. Today I take a close look at The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee to show how universal structure exists behind all good stories, even…

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  • The Woods At The End of Autumn Street by Lois Lowry

    The Woods At The End of Autumn Street by Lois Lowry

    Lois Lowry is an American children’s author, best known for The Giver. The Woods At The End Of Autumn Street is an upper middle grade novel set in WW2 America. The following biographical information feels relevant to The Woods At The End of Autumn Street: Born in 1937, that makes Lois Lowry the same era/age as Liz in Autumn Street. The…

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  • Hair In Art and Storytelling

    Hair In Art and Storytelling

    It’s stating the obvious to point out that, in children’s fiction, a character’s hair maps onto personality. But in continuing to use hair-personality shortcuts, are writers perpetuating stereotypes? Canadian teen actor Sophie Nélisse plays the title role, a young girl in foster care who we know is not terribly well-off emotionally because her hair is so flat. Her attitude stinks,…

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  • The Iron Giant Storytelling Technique

    The Iron Giant Storytelling Technique

    The Iron Giant is a 1968 science fiction middle grade novel by Ted Hughes, adapted for film in 1999 by Tim McCanlies and Brad Bird. Brad Bird later wrote the screenplays for The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Tim McCanlies has worked on Denis the Menace, among many other things. SETTING OF THE IRON GIANT PLACE Rockwell Maine, in a leafy, hilly…

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  • Deliverance Film Study

    Deliverance Film Study

    Deliverance is a 1972 movie based on the 1970 novel by James Dickey. Watch it in 2017 and it could have been made this year. The river setting, the timeless costuming, the themes and the film-making techniques have not dated. In fact, Deliverance continues to influence film to this day, including an homage in Carrie (the image of the floating hand), and the obvious influence on the 2017 film Jungle, starring Daniel Radcliffe.

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  • Who is the main character?

    Who is the main character?

    Most of us writing about story pick one of the following terms and stick with it: Main character — shortened to MC Hero(ine) — the feminine form has pretty much died, though we still often say ‘actress’ Protagonist — which these days means ‘main character’ On this blog I use these terms at random, though I’ve started to drift away…

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  • What Is Anagnorisis?

    What Is Anagnorisis?

    Anagnorisis is a moment in a work of fiction when a character makes a critical discovery. Even for plotters rather than pantsers, this is the part of writing that often emerges in the process of storycrafting.

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  • Humour Writing And Spongebob Squarepants

    Humour Writing And Spongebob Squarepants

    SpongeBob Squarepants is a fast-paced children’s cartoon for a dual audience, written by a guy who is also a marine biologist. This is a highly successful and long-running show, with humour that broadly appeals. This series has been running since 1999. Critics say the show has been declining in quality in the last few years, which is what critics also…

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  • Welcome To Camp Nightmare Storytelling Study

    R.L. Stine has written a huge number of horror books for middle grade and young adult readers. I was a bit old for them when they first came out, though I recollect reading one or two. Now I’ll read some of his works to see how, exactly, Stine took the horror genre and bowdlerized it into something adults would happily…

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  • Story Structure: The Big Struggle

    Story Structure: The Big Struggle

    All complete narratives feature a big struggle scene. No, that doesn’t have to be a literal big struggle scene, Lord of the Rings style. In fact, we should be thinking outside that box altogether. One thing I love about Larry McMurtry’s anti-Western novels (especially Lonesome Dove) is that he condenses the gun big struggles and torture scenes in favour of character conflict. I often…

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  • Humour In Children’s Stories

    Founding editor of The Onion wants to help with the job of learning the write comedy. Stephen Johnson argues that every joke falls into one of 11 categories. At first glance this sounds like the ‘Seven Basic Plots’ idea, which is a pretty unhelpful way of looking at story if you’re harbouring hopes of telling one — forget whether there’s…

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  • Secrets, Liars and Lies In Storytelling

    Secrets, Liars and Lies In Storytelling

    Liars are everywhere in stories. Stories themselves can be considered giant lies (which tell a deeper truth). The trope of the mask is a part of all this. Certain genres demand a ‘mask’, or, lying. That’s because entire genres are about finding out the truth: Detective Crime is all about deciding whose version of a story is the truth. Our crime…

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  • Proulx’s Bunchgrass Edge Of The World Short Story Analysis

    This modern retelling of The Frog Prince by Annie Proulx was published in the November edition of The New Yorker in 1998 and included in her Close Range collection of short stories. Many of [Proulx’s] stories are explicitly anchored in the history of the United States, and abound with references to background historical events and to real places. To give but one…

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  • Wallace and Gromit: A Matter Of Loaf Or Death

    In Wallace and Gromit: A Matter Of Loaf Or Death, Wallace and his dog, Gromit, open a bakery and get tied up with a murder mystery. But, when Wallace falls in love Gromit is left to solve the case. GENRE BLEND OF ‘A MATTER OF LOAF OR DEATH’ comedy, horror, romance >> cosy mystery STORY WORLD OF ‘A MATTER OF…

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