Category: subplot

Subtext and the Biological Code

Subtext in a Scene—Biology and the Three Goods  ©2013 by Robert J Ray             Subtext is one key to a good story. Subtext is that unseen turmoil boiling under the surface of your tale. To create subtext, you can use the ritual of sexual selection, your character’s choice of a date or a mate. To create drama in the selection ritual, we focus on two characters, one female and one male. To get drama, we deploy the three goods: good genes, good resources, and good behavior. Three Examples of the Three Goods             The guests are 30-something, educated, attractive, a mixture of singles, marrieds, and divorced persons. The male is Claude, the female is named Eileen. Claude is handsome. He’s sporting a Rolex and driving a Mercedes. Eileen is attractive. She has no car; she came to the party with a friend. Claude is witty. He tells a good story. Eileen is reserved, formal. She’s attracted to Claude. Her secret in this scene is her borrowed wardrobe. She loves good clothes. Two days before the party, Eileen was laid off. One week before the party, she broke off a relationship. She is polite, well-mannered, a lady. What’s going on in the subtext? To find out, we decode the details. Handsome is code for good genes. Mercedes and Rolex code for good resources. Claude has two goods out of a...

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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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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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©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.