Truly Devious Scene Analysis

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The real reason I think Truly Devious doesn’t entirely work for me is that Stevie doesn’t really make any irreversible decisions. At least not ones with meaningful consequences. Meaning, the book doesn’t split easily into 3 acts. Instead, it weakly moves from the beginning to the middle and the end without clear boundaries forcing the characters into a new way of responding to the world. Stevie doesn’t have to leave anything behind in the novel.  She’s in exactly the same […]

Deconstructing Truly Devious

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Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson is an interesting book to study. Not because it hits all the points of a crime novel, but because it hits all the right points of a YA novel. Which, I’d argue, is more important when writing YA than focusing on the genre.  Don’t forget. Spoilers Ahead. Proceed with caution.  1. What is the Global Genre? Truly Devious is a long form, arch-plot, realistic, drama that turns on justice and injustice (or, life and death […]

Write Like Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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What I love about The Daughter of Smoke and Bone is that it’s uniquely familiar. It’s Romeo and Juliet in a way I’ve never seen before. And the amnesia coupled with a mixed up timeline create a mystery I want to know more about. Not only do I love Karou, I also want to know how she relates to Madrigal. And, what does that mean to the love story, but also to the battle between angels and chimaera? To learn how […]

Scene Breakdown of Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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I love a beautifully written sentence. Revel in the beauty of a well-turned phrase and a highly livable world. And, Laini Taylor’s The Daughter of Smoke and Bone does just that and more. Her story dramatizes scenes. Provides an example of craft weaved with well-spun phrases. And, Taylor knows “the rules” and when she can break them. That’s not to say she’s perfect, but I’d call her a master. And, one well worth studying.  So, here’s an in-depth look at […]

Deconstructing The Daughter of Smoke and Bone

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Question: what if Romeo and Juliet weren’t just star-crossed lovers, but ancient species from another world? Chimaera and Angel. A love story with a mystery at its core. And elements of a society at war. Answer: The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.  Born from a seed and a ton of “what if” questions, this book turns Romeo and Juliet on it’s head. In fact, the answer to who “Juliet” is isn’t answered until the ending payoff of the […]

Write Like the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

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We’ve come to the portion where I attempt to break down story so that you can learn to write better. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel gives context clues, dramatizes the backstory, shows us rather than tells us what happens, and uses subplots effectively.  What we know about the characters and how One of the hardest things to teach when it comes to reading is inference. Basically, inference means picking up on context clues that aren’t directly told in the story to […]

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Scene Breakdown

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The first episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel introduces the characters, the sense of humor, and 1950’s New York. It sets the stage for the marriage subplot and shifts Miriam from blind belief (self-deception) to truth however horrible that truth may be. And, it lets the audience know what they’re in for should they choose to continue through the next 7 episodes.  The episode is told in one act, meaning, only one major decision is made. That is to say, […]

Deconstructing The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

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If you haven’t seen the Amazon Prime show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel yet, I suggest you do so immediately. I mean it. The show is funny, charming, and full of wit. It features a couple trying to survive in a world one thinks is perfect and the other realizes it isn’t. The two must decide what’s important. Where do they find meaning? How do they go about searching for it when it could mean pain for the other? Ultimately, it […]

Write Like Warcross

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Every story has its ups and downs. And not every reader will like everything in the same way. You might hate a piece the next person falls in love with. And the beautiful thing about stories is that that’s perfectly acceptable. We bring our lives to our stories as writers and readers/viewers. If you want to craft your story with purpose, there are many things you can do. One of which is to study stories that work. Here’s how you […]

Warcross Scene Breakdown

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First and foremost, I enjoyed this book. I liked the pacing, the romance (though, perhaps, rushed), and the high-stakes virtual reality game that ended in people losing their ability to make their own decisions. I think it was interesting to combine technology with the question of how freewill relates to our identity as humans. But, I did still have some issues. I’m all for filling in details with my own imagination, but I wanted more. I wanted to know more […]