Category: STRUCTURE

A Review of Murdock Tackles Taos

The Man, the Modulars, the Mystery A review of Robert J Ray’s Murdock Tackles Taos Invisible to all but the most astute reader, yet tools of the trade to the writer, modular scenes are the core of the mystery novel. Modular scenes are those universal elements every mystery has or it’s not a mystery. To name a few: Crime Scene Sleuth on Stage Victim Killer on Stage First encounter—Victim and Killer First encounter—Killer and Sleuth Object links Victim’s lair Killer’s lair Return to the crime scene Killer confrontation. Modular scenes are frames that contain the story. In the hands of an amateur, the modulars are clunky and obvious. In the hands of a master, such as Robert J. Ray, the modular frame dissolves leaving character, action, image, lust and desire. Every Murdock mystery has two defining characteristics: Good writing and control of the elements. Good Writing: Buried in the action sequences in this novel there are, for example, subtle techniques of language that harken back to the rhetorical past: “He drove a Humvee. Humvees smelled of money, money in her life was like manna, manna made her thighs quiver.” In sentences such as this, Ray pays homage to Aristotle and the Trivium all in the context of a 21st Century detective novel…which, by the way, I believe Mr. Ray is in the process of reinventing by sticking with tradition...

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The Life of Objects in Gabriela and The Widow

This essay first appeared on Andrea Buginsky’s andisrealm as part of the blog tour organized by Virginia Grenier of World of Ink to promote Gabriela and The Widow. The link to the original posting is this url: Objects and Sentiment in Gabriela and The Widow  Objects in Gabriela and The Widow To write Gabriela and The Widow I started with the idea that one character, Gabriela, was thin, while the other, The Widow, was thick. What I would like to lay out is a study of the way I use “objects” in this novel to build both emotional attachments between characters and to push the story line along to its conclusion.  This is a preliminary working of the topic which developed more in the course of writing the novel. By focusing on the objects in a story and their relationship to character, you can go deeper into the emotional reality associated with objects. In this, fictional characters share an aspect of the sentimental life of people and that helps to make them whole. Step One: Emotional Attachment to objects. The main object in Gabriela and The Widow is the List that Gabriela has to keep for La Viuda. Boxes: carved, painted, decorated, engraved, different kinds of wood, metal. Each box comes and goes in the story: some days, La Viuda wants to examine the painted box with photos, other...

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A Short Course in Structure ~ Writing Tips for the Committed Novelist

Paula Lowe, editor at Solo Novo Magazine, invited me to write a few guest blog posts on the magazine’s Facebook page. I saw this as a chance to pull together into one sequence some of the ideas Bob and I have developed about structure, the novel, and screenwriting.

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Screenwriting techniques and the Novel–Roxana Arama

(To answer the question: “why are there two postings of the same Guest Writer work?” Answer: we post each Guest Writer’s work in two categories–Posts and Guest Writers.  Posts get archived and disappear. Guest Writer material is permanent. Thanks.) What do software code writers and novelists have in common? In this, Roxana’s second guest blog, she makes that connection. The Wedding Bell © 2012 Roxana Arama January 26, 2012 In my previous post on Bob and Jack’s blog (see Guest Writers), I wrote about the early stages of my novel The Wedding Bell. This post is about my journey as an apprentice toward the later stages of writing a novel. Before turning to fiction writing, I was a full-time software developer with a bachelor of science in computers. Once I began writing, I renounced all my project-development training in order to be a real writer, one that lets the book reveal itself to her as she listens to those voices in her head. I knew what I wanted that book to be about, I had a laptop, so I began writing. I goaded every character and prop in my story to do the work I wanted it to do. I thought that I was letting the creative part of me blossom, when, in fact, I was writing myself into every scene, and plastering myself over every prop. I was...

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Deborah Allen Interviews Jack Remick

Deborah Allen Interviews Jack Remick: Today’s questions focus on Remick’s path to publication. One technique he uses is called ‘timed writing’. Tomorrow I’ll let him explain what timed writing is, and how it helps the writing process.

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©2010-2017 Jack Remick, Robert J. Ray. All rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including text and images, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Short excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jack Remick and Robert J. Ray and "Bob and Jacks Writing Blog" with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.