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Sunday, August 21, 2022

The rise and fall of a story

cj Sez: Let’s talk a bit about story and story arc. What follows in this post are excerpts and tidbits of information that I’ve gleaned from many sources over the years.

  First let’s agree that a story needs a beginning, a middle, and an end. What often may be missed, especially by new authors, is that it also needs a story arc—a rise and fall of tension and emotion. Ideally that would happen in every scene, but certainly in every chapter and absolutely an overall arc that carries the reader and character development from the beginning to the end. 

  The term “story arc” was coined in 1988 in relation to the American TV series “Wiseguy” and sometimes unfolds over many episodes. In terms of what authors do, the Oxford English Dictionary defines the term this way:  a story arc is “(in a novel, play, or movie) the development or resolution of the narrative or principal theme.” 

   The graphic is attributed to Kurt Vonnegut . . . part of a presentation he gave to illustrate the story arc of “Cinderella.”

For fun or for research, analyze your favorite stories, and see if you can identify the arcs that keep you turning the pages.


Readers and writers:  If you’re in the Mobile, AL, this is for you:  

  The Mobile Public Library is celebrating 120 years of
service, and on August 25, the organization will host a special author event for best-selling author Carolyn Haines at its designated Literary Landmark, the Ben May Main Library. 

  Haines, a multi-genre author—suspense, horror, mystery, Southern Gothic, humor, the popular Sarah Booth Delaney series and the cat-detective Trouble series—has written more than 70 books. She will discuss her literary career and inspiration, and there will be a question and answer session, followed by a book signing and reception.

  Carolyn Haines is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alabama Library Association and the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Writing. She was inducted into the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame in 2020.


  That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same. Raising prayers for your health and safety during these uncertain times. 


  No inflation here: THE DAWGSTAR and DEATH ON THE YAMPA, my fast-paced, exciting thrillers with a smidgen of romance (ala Jane Bond) ebooks, are now lower-priced at $2.99.

P.S.  The Haunted Bookshop has signed paperback copies of my books in stock. TO ORDER my author-graphed books or any book of your choice on-line, contact The Haunted Bookshop here:

P.P.S.  Sorry, pre-signed copies of THE BIG FANG are not yet available at The Haunted Bookshop, but I’m working on that.

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