Rhetoric of Story – Part Seven

Structure – the key to complex storytelling The sixth element of the Rhetoric of Story is the key to telling stories at longer lengths and greater complexity. Without a clear structure, novels and plays are unlikely to hold the attention of an audience for any length of time. Structure is bigger than any single writerContinue reading “Rhetoric of Story – Part Seven”

Rhetoric of Story – Part Six

Events – stories within stories We continue the Rhetoric of Story with the fifth element – events! What are stories made of? Not words, not pictures, but events. And what are events made of? More events. Stories are made of events. Our mind pays close attention to events, times when reality does not meet expectation.Continue reading “Rhetoric of Story – Part Six”

Rhetoric of Story – Part Five

Conflict – why can’t we all just get along? The fourth element of the Rhetoric of Story – conflict! Why can’t we all just get along? And even if we did, why stories would still always contain conflict. The important ideas introduced in this lecture include: Conflict arises inevitably because al humans have their own,Continue reading “Rhetoric of Story – Part Five”

Rhetoric of Story – Part Four

Other – the web of relationship This lecture in the Rhetoric of Story introduces the third of seven foundational elements of storytelling – the other. The key ideas introduced in this lecture are: how do stores that travel through time? as humans we are fascinated by the relationships between people. archetypal relationships repeat again and again inContinue reading “Rhetoric of Story – Part Four”

Rhetoric of Story – Part Three

Self – the engine of story This lecture in the Rhetoric of Story explores the second of seven foundational elements of storytelling – self. The key ideas introduced in this lecture are: every story has at its heart a hero, a protagonist, a central character – a self. we make sense of the world by tellingContinue reading “Rhetoric of Story – Part Three”

Rhetoric of Story – Part Two

Change – where all story begins and ends The first full lecture in the Rhetoric of Story introduces the first of seven foundational elements of storytelling – change. The key ideas introduced in this lecture are: the quality that helped one story live for over 5000 years our brains make sense of constant change byContinue reading “Rhetoric of Story – Part Two”

The remarkable Neal Stephenson interview

Neal Stephenson – legendary author of speculative fiction –  on Elon Musk and geek culture, the  NSA revelations of Edward Snowden, how negative cultural narratives are killing big science  – and the upbringing that made him the writer he is. IN LATE 2013 I had the opportunity to interview the author Neal Stephenson. Some Remarks,Continue reading “The remarkable Neal Stephenson interview”

Introduction to the Rhetoric of Story

What is the Rhetoric of Story? This section contains a few important ideas to take away: The course covers the seven basic elements of storytelling that comprise the “rhetoric of story”. Storytelling has a very long history, new techniques are always being developed, but the basic elements of story remain the same. Rhetoric is theContinue reading “Introduction to the Rhetoric of Story”

7 literary Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels you must read

Sci-fi & Fantasy are best known as genre fiction. But truth be told, they have their roots in works of literature. For fans, and especially creators, of today’s modern mythology, it’s a good idea to get familiar with the literary novels that made SF&F what it is. The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse isContinue reading “7 literary Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels you must read”

Who will write the 21st century myth?

When Damien Walter asked Twitter to name the greatest 21st century myth he got an unexpected answer – from Neil Gaiman himself “When the 21st century myth comes along, we will know.” Neil Gaiman My new course is Advanced Science Fiction & Fantasy, writing the 21st century myth. Pre-enrollment has already attracted almost 4000 studentsContinue reading “Who will write the 21st century myth?”

The 8 Tribes of SciFi

Calling sci-fi a genre in 2016 is about as accurate as calling the United States one nation. In principle it’s true, but in practice things don’t work that way. While crime, romance and thrillers all remain as coherent genres of fiction, it’s been decades since sci-fi could be comfortably understood by any shared generic criteria.Continue reading “The 8 Tribes of SciFi”

David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and Booker nominee, is a true geek

David Mitchell is one of the world’s most successful literary novelists. He has been twice nominated for the prestigious Booker prize, and his novel Cloud Atlas was adapted to the Tykwer and Wachowski film starring Tom Hanks. He’s also a huge sci-fi fan with a long love of geek culture. Damien Walter sat down with the bestselling author to discuss his SF influences, which D&D character type he plays, and the future of the novel in a multi-media age.