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All Posts By Gar Mallinson

Simply Write a Story

Posted on 3 min read 11 views

Fiction is fabricated and based on writers’ imaginations. Short stories, novels, myths, legends, and fairy tales are all considered fiction. Many writers use historical or current events as jumping off points since every story must start somewhere. Whatever writers’ inspiration, they use specific narrative techniques to heighten their story’s impact. Major narrative techniques include character, plot, point of view, setting, and certainly some kind of conflict. These elements overlap and depending on the story, it’s often difficult to determine which is the most important. Some people say it’s setting, others character, but they’re also interdependent. Characters are often based on real …

Atmos

Posted on 2 min read 57 views

  What is atmosphere? Atmosphere for me is something that the writer creates through setting to make a reader feel a certain way in a particular scene. Mood, on the other hand, creates a feeling that lasts from cover to cover. Creating mood through setting seems to me to be a subtle manipulation of the reader to feel a certain way throughout an entire work.  Atmosphere, however, can change as the story shifts. Atmosphere, like mood, comes from description, from word choice, from sentence structure, from the rhythm of the prose.  So sun and warmth should make us feel good and …

Mood

Posted on 2 min read 77 views

Mood is just what it says; it evokes feelings in readers mostly through description. Mood is therefore buried in the setting; it’s part of the setting and setting surrounds readers with material that links the concrete world of things with the abstract world of feelings and ideas. Setting does this through the use of imagery, word choice, and tone, creating a kind of objective correlative, a linking of concrete image to abstraction. That’s how literature works. When you read a novel that’s heavy on mood, you respond to the language in either a positive or negative way. And language can be …

Write More of What You Know

Posted on 3 min read 99 views

I’ve been thinking about this topic again and I should add some stuff. It’s not enough to take your visual experiences, deconstruct them and rebuild them into what you need for the setting of your story. As important as that is, you need to do more. You remember a lot more than the places you’ve been from your childhood on. You remember people, you remember personalities, attitudes, expressions, language. All those things are grist to the mill. Settings built out of bits of what you’ve seen are only there in your story to provide a background for your characters, and your …

Imagery

Posted on 3 min read 165 views

I’ve been thinking about the settings that novels use. In my own stuff, I see a basic dichotomy in imagery, a polarization between positive and negative settings whether it’s a city setting of alleys and parks or a more natural one of forest and farm. And since I know that I use imagery to reveal characters’ feelings, I want to talk about how that works. I use the natural world as a kind of objective correlative for feelings, and I think that sort of image use gets into everything from literature to the kind of world we build for ourselves. Think …

Metaphor

Posted on 3 min read 516 views

I’ve been thinking about metaphor. But to talk about it, I have to at least mention simile. As I understand it, a simile is simply a comparison: something is like something else. And usually, at least in literature, similes are used to link something concrete to something abstract, like a feeling or an idea. Although there’s a big difference between a rose and a feeling, a simile can suggest what the feeling is like by comparing it with the rose. For example: My love is like a red, red rose. Something of how we respond to roses, their beauty, their colour, …

Literature and Identity

Posted on 3 min read 242 views

Reading fiction provides a foundation that initiates in us greater awareness of ourselves and of our culture; that helps to liberate us from provincialism;  that provides the potential for personal growth that leads to identity. We learn through familiarity, through repeated exposure, and it’s important to expose ourselves to the best that has been thought and said. Such exposure fosters open-mindedness and a respect for the integrity of systems of thought. Exposure to literature helps alleviate our own moral ambiguity by developing in us a disinclination to accept a relativism which tends to ignore moral issues. If we learn by example, …