Understanding the Role of Subplots When Structuring Your Story

You often find writers and reviewers speaking of a story’s layers — whether they viewed those layers as in-depth or lacking. Layers might be defined as the presence of subplots. Subplots, when broken down, are often scenes strung together that reveal a closer look at a hero’s personal life in a way that exposes deeper [...]

Georgie-Porgie, Puddin’ and Pie

You know the nursery rhyme, but do you know the story behind it? Georgie-Porgie, Puddin’ and Pie (King George was a fat glutton) Kissed the girls and made them cry. (He was also a philanderer who used his position to make unwelcome advances on women.) When the boys came out to play (When Parliament was [...]

The Value of Primary Sources (Part 2)

So, continuing the discussion of how primary sources can feed our stories … I forgot to mention that spelling and punctuation were not standardized until sometime in the nineteenth century. This can be very jarring for those of us trained to be picky about these things! Just keep in mind as you write that misspellings [...]

The Value of Primary Sources (Part 1)

Story research can be intimidating, thrilling, exhausting. When it comes to writing historical rather than contemporary, it’s doubly so. You must consider dress, transportation, location, accessories and weaponry. Then there are manners, customs, modes of speech … and a sometimes-overlooked aspect of writing the past: mindsets and attitudes. People in different time periods often thought [...]