Tag Archive - motif

How to Come Up with Motifs in Your Novel

Motifs are powerful elements that writers can take advantage of when constructing their novels. But few novelists ever give thought to adding motifs. They might do so subconsciously or inadvertently, but I’d like to encourage you to take some time and deliberately construct some motifs so that they serve as superglue in your story.

We looked briefly last week at what a motif is, and how it differs from theme. However, the best way to bring a motif into your story is to tie it intrinsically into your theme. We looked at The Hunger Games and saw that not only does author Collins use an actual object or thing—the mockingjay itself, and the metal pin Katniss wears—the “song” of the mockingjay is used symbolically. The characters adopt the bird as a symbol for their revolution, and so the object and the theme are bound together. Continue Reading…

Getting to the Core Idea in your Novel

As we continue on with exploring cinematic secrets that can supercharge your novel, we’re going to focus on something that is crucial to filmmakers, and that is getting a clear vision for the story.

Novelists, just like filmmakers, need to truly understand the story they are trying to tell and what impact or take-home feeling or message they want to leave with their readers. Just coming up with a neat idea for a novel is only the first step, and is no guarantee they will have a terrific book. Continue Reading…

Be Clever to Be Riveting

Has anyone ever told you how clever you are? No? Or maybe they said that to you but didn’t mean it in the way you’d wished. Sometimes being told we are clever is an insult, as if we’re being sneaky and deceptive.

However, I think clever is good. I like clever people. One definition of the word in Merriam-Webster is “marked by wit or ingenuity.” And what does ingenuity mean? Aside from “being clever” (don’t you love it when dictionaries give you circular definitions like this?), it means skillful in devising. Inventiveness. Continue Reading…

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