In a Mirror Dimly

The friendship of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis is widely known throughout the world today.  Both influenced modern fantasy in profound ways.  Both of their respective writings were charged with Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  As writers and storytellers we can learn much from Tolkien, Lewis, and other fine storytellers throughout history. But why have the…

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The Middle of Nowhere

I grew up in a rural town in a farming family. One day when I was little, I was riding along with my mom in the car. I can only guess we were driving out to meet my dad at one of the fields we happened to be farming at the time. My siblings and…

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The End of the Line

Previously on Parable Presents we have discussed story values in terms of positive and negative charges.  Today, let’s talk about taking these story values to the end of the line.  Again, I’m drawing from Robert McKee’s book Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting.   In the book, McKee notes that enduring stories take…

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Character and Characterization

In this article we explore the differences and relationship between character and characterization. We can think of characterization simply as the outward appearance of a person or, more specifically, as the observable aspects of that person. This may include how he dresses, what he drives, where he chooses to live, what he does for work,…

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Why Do I Write, Part I: A Noble Task

From time to time it is good to ask ourselves the question, “Why do I write? Why do I tell stories?”  We often focus on the craft elements of writing—plot structure, characterization, pacing, etc.— which is a good thing, but it is also good to look at our stories on an even deeper level.  At…

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The Gap, An Introduction

What is the Gap? The Gap is a term I learned from the book Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee.1 I refer to this book often as McKee does a great job teaching story craft, beginning with the basic elements of story and building upon them.  While primarily targeted…

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MFA in Creative Writing

Ever wonder what it’s like to study creative writing in college? What does one do/learn in such a program? Now you can find out. Today, I would like to begin a series of articles describing my experience in an MFA program in creative writing–especially sharing what I learn along the way. In this particular article,…

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