10 – Interior Monologue

For the reader, it’s rather like wearing earphones plugged into someone’s brain, and monitoring an endless tape-recording of impressions, reflections, questions, memories and fantasies, triggered by physical sensations and the association of ideas. Unlike stream-of-consciousness, which is not punctuated an interior monologue can be integrated into a third-person narrative. It’s a character talking/thinking, using words specific to that character, making assumptions, mistaken judgements, conclusions RIGHT FOR THAT CHARACTER.

Interior monologues in literature are a narrative technique that provides insight into a character’s thoughts, feelings, and inner experiences. They allow readers to delve into a character’s consciousness, providing a deeper understanding of their motivations and emotions. Here’s a list of types of interior monologues commonly found in literature:

  1. Stream of Consciousness: This type of interior monologue presents thoughts in a continuous, unfiltered flow, mimicking the way the human mind works. It often includes a mix of coherent and fragmented thoughts, memories, and associations.
  2. Self-Reflective Monologue: Characters engage in introspective reflection, analyzing their own actions, decisions, and emotions. This type of monologue delves into self-awareness and self-evaluation.
  3. Confessional Monologue: Characters reveal their innermost secrets, regrets, and guilt, as if confessing to themselves or an imagined listener. This type of monologue often provides a sense of emotional release or catharsis.
  4. Decision-Making Monologue: Characters weigh the pros and cons of a decision they need to make, revealing their internal struggles and thought processes as they consider various options.
  5. Narrative Monologue: Characters recount past events, often reminiscing about significant moments or experiences. This type of monologue can provide backstory and context for the character’s current situation.
  6. Obsessive Monologue: Characters fixate on a particular thought, idea, or memory, circling back to it repeatedly as their mind becomes consumed by it.
  7. Fear or Anxiety Monologue: Characters grapple with their fears and anxieties, revealing their inner turmoil and the mental battles they face.
  8. Desire Monologue: Characters express their deepest desires and longings, showcasing what they yearn for and the emotional intensity behind those desires.
  9. Critical Monologue: Characters engage in self-critique or criticism of others, revealing their opinions, judgments, and biases.
  10. Dream-Like Monologue: These monologues have a surreal quality, blending reality, memory, and imagination. They often lack a linear structure and can feel dream-like in their composition.
  11. Monologue of Remorse: Characters express regret for past actions or decisions, highlighting their internal struggle to come to terms with their mistakes.
  12. Philosophical Monologue: Characters ponder existential questions, life’s meaning, and larger philosophical concepts. These monologues delve into deep contemplation and introspection.
  13. Monologue of Delusion: Characters reveal distorted perceptions of reality, showcasing their psychological instability or descent into madness.
  14. Monologue of Resilience: Characters reflect on their ability to endure challenges and hardships, displaying their inner strength and determination.
  15. Monologue of Transformation: Characters explore their personal growth and development, revealing how their experiences have led to changes in their mindset and outlook.

These various types of interior monologues serve to enrich characters, deepen the narrative, and provide readers with a more profound understanding of the human psyche. They are a powerful tool for authors to explore their characters’ inner worlds and connect readers on a deeper emotional level.

7 – Mystery

Mysterious death or a crime to be solved. Often within a closed circle of suspects, each suspect is usually provided with a credible motive and a reasonable opportunity for committing the crime. The central character is often a detective (like Sherlock Holmes,

Mystery fiction can involve a supernatural mystery in which the solution does not have to be logical and even in which there is no crime involved. Supernatural horror in the vein of Grand Guignol.

Below are 20 plot points commonly found in mystery novels, particularly those written by Agatha Christie (known for her Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple series) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (known for his Sherlock Holmes stories).

  1. Introduction of the detective: The story begins with the introduction of the brilliant detective, often renowned for their deductive skills and unique personality. Example: In Agatha Christie’s “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,” Hercule Poirot is introduced as the detective investigating the murder of Roger Ackroyd.
  2. Murder or crime scene discovery: The story kicks off with the discovery of a murder or a mysterious crime scene. Example: In Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” the body of Sir Charles Baskerville is found on the moor, with strange paw prints nearby.
  3. Gathering of suspects: The detective assembles a group of suspects who have motives or opportunities to commit the crime. Example: In Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” Poirot gathers the passengers on the train as suspects when a murder occurs on board.
  4. Clues and red herrings: The detective uncovers various clues, some of which are misleading red herrings, leading both the detective and the reader on a twisting path. Example: In “The Sign of Four” by Conan Doyle, Holmes finds a mysterious map, a broken treasure chest, and a wooden-legged man as potential clues to the case.
  5. Interrogations and interviews: The detective interviews suspects, witnesses, and anyone related to the case to gather more information. Example: In Christie’s “And Then There Were None,” the remaining characters start questioning each other as the body count rises.
  6. Complicated relationships: Mysteries often involve complex relationships and hidden secrets among the characters, which may play a crucial role in the resolution. Example: In “Appointment with Death” by Christie, a domineering matriarch’s relationships with her family members become central to the investigation.
  7. Investigative setbacks: The detective encounters setbacks and challenges while trying to solve the case, creating tension and suspense. Example: In “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” by Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes faces numerous obstacles in discovering the source of the mysterious whistling sound.
  8. Breakthrough moment: The detective has a sudden realization or breakthrough that provides a new perspective on the case. Example: In Christie’s “The Murder of the Orient Express,” Poirot has a revelation that changes the entire direction of the investigation.
  9. Reconstruction of events: The detective reconstructs the sequence of events leading up to the crime, often presenting the facts to the suspects. Example: In “The Five Orange Pips” by Conan Doyle, Holmes reconstructs the events leading to the deaths caused by a secret society.
  10. Hidden motives: The motives behind the crime are unveiled, showing the complex reasons driving the perpetrator. Example: In Christie’s “The ABC Murders,” Poirot unravels the killer’s motive for choosing victims in alphabetical order.
  11. False accusations: Innocent characters may face false accusations, adding more layers of mystery and drama. Example: In “The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot” by Conan Doyle, Holmes must prove that the local guide was not responsible for the deaths.
  12. Race against time: The detective faces a time constraint, urging them to solve the case before another crime occurs or a culprit escapes. Example: In Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” Poirot must find the murderer before the train reaches its destination.
  13. Climactic confrontation: The detective gathers all suspects and reveals the truth behind the crime, leading to a dramatic confrontation. Example: In “The Adventure of the Final Problem” by Conan Doyle, Holmes confronts his arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty, at the Reichenbach Falls.
  14. Twists and surprises: Mystery novels often have surprising plot twists that challenge the reader’s assumptions. Example: In Christie’s “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,” the murderer’s identity is revealed to be someone the reader least expects.
  15. Confession or confrontation: The culprit confesses their crime or confronts the detective before facing justice. Example: In “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder” by Conan Doyle, the accused confesses his guilt after Holmes exposes the truth.
  16. Wrap-up and resolution: The detective explains how they solved the case and ties up all loose ends. Example: In Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” Poirot presents his findings to the authorities and explains the intricate details of the murder.
  17. Justice served: The perpetrator faces the consequences of their actions, whether through the legal system or other means. Example: In “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” the villainous stepfather meets a grisly end after being exposed.
  18. Reflection on the case: The detective reflects on the solved case and its impact on their life or the lives of those involved. Example: In Christie’s “Death on the Nile,” Poirot contemplates the tragic events and the human condition.
  19. Secondary romance or subplot: Often, there is a romantic subplot or a side mystery intertwined with the main investigation. Example: In “The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor” by Conan Doyle, Holmes uncovers a hidden romantic connection during the investigation.
  20. Return to normalcy: The story concludes with the detective returning to their usual routine, ready for the next adventure. Example: In Christie’s “The Murder at the Vicarage,” Miss Marple continues with her daily life after solving the mystery in her village.

These plot points are common in mystery novels by Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and many other writers in the genre. They create a compelling narrative structure that keeps readers engaged and guessing until the final revelation.

8 – Names

Proper names have an odd and interesting status. Our first names are usually given to us with semantic intent, having for our parents some pleasant or hopeful association which we may or may not live up to. Surnames however are generally perceived as arbitrary,

The Art of Naming: Characters in Fiction

In the realm of literature, the creation and development of characters is a delicate and intricate craft that demands attention to detail, empathy, and a deep understanding of human nature. Central to this process is the act of naming characters, an endeavor that carries far more weight than might initially be apparent. Names have a profound impact on how readers perceive and connect with fictional individuals, influencing their personalities, motivations, and roles within the story. The naming of characters is an art that goes beyond mere labels, shaping the essence of the narrative and echoing the complexities of human identity.

Names are the first foothold readers gain in their journey through the fictional world. Just as a first impression in real life can set the tone for an entire relationship, a character’s name serves as the initial lens through which readers perceive their essence. A name can provide subtle hints about a character’s background, culture, and even foreshadow their destiny. For instance, a name like “Eleanor Fitzgerald” might conjure an image of a refined aristocrat, while “Jake Thompson” could evoke a sense of familiarity and approachability. Authors often imbue names with semantic intent, choosing appellations that reflect the character’s personality or role within the narrative.

Yet, the act of naming characters goes beyond these semantic associations. Names have a rhythm, a melody that resonates within the reader’s mind, influencing how the character’s voice and identity will be perceived. A name with harsh consonants might evoke a sense of strength and resolve, while soft vowels can convey gentleness or vulnerability. The name itself becomes a piece of the character’s identity, shaping their interactions with others and the trajectory of their personal growth.

Consider the iconic character Sherlock Holmes. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s choice of the name Sherlock instantly suggests an air of intelligence and mystery. This single name conjures images of a brilliant detective, one whose analytical prowess is unparalleled. In this case, the name itself has become synonymous with the character’s attributes, illustrating the power of a well-chosen name to become more than just a label—it becomes a symbol.

Surnames, although often perceived as more arbitrary than first names, can also play a crucial role in character development. They can hint at a character’s family history, social status, or even hidden connections within the narrative. A character with the surname “Blackwood” might be linked to themes of darkness or mysticism, while a character named “Everett” could signify longevity or a steadfast nature.

Moreover, the interplay between first names and surnames can create a harmony or dissonance that adds depth to the character’s identity. A character with a common first name and an unusual surname might reflect an individual striving to stand out in a conformist world. Conversely, a character with a unique first name and a common surname might symbolize the struggle to find personal identity within a broader context.

Authors can also subvert naming conventions to challenge readers’ expectations. They can use irony to great effect, naming a timid character “Lionel” or a graceful dancer “Clumsy.” Such contrasts can enrich the narrative by highlighting the complexities of human nature and the fluidity of identity.

As literature evolves, so do naming practices in fiction. Contemporary authors might experiment with unconventional names or draw inspiration from various cultures and languages to create a diverse and authentic cast of characters. Inclusivity and representation become vital considerations, with names reflecting the multiplicity of human experiences.

In conclusion, the act of naming characters in fiction is far from arbitrary; it is a deliberate and intricate process that holds the potential to shape the entire narrative. Names are more than labels; they are windows into the souls of the characters, bridges between their fictional existence and the reader’s imagination. They convey emotions, histories, and aspirations. A well-chosen name can transcend the pages of a book, becoming a symbol that resonates within our cultural consciousness. So, as authors continue to craft their fictional worlds, they wield the power of naming characters—an art that breathes life into the stories we love.

Stan Lee, the legendary co-creator of many iconic Marvel superheroes, had a theory about the importance of superhero names that he often referred to as the “real names” theory. This theory was his way of explaining why many of his characters had names that started with the same letter, often the same letter as their superhero alter ego.

Lee believed that using alliterative names, where both the character’s real name and superhero name started with the same letter, made the names more memorable and catchy for readers. It helped create a stronger connection between the character’s civilian identity and their superhero persona. This technique, according to Lee, made the characters more relatable and easier for readers to remember, which in turn contributed to their popularity.

For example, Peter Parker, the ordinary teenager behind Spider-Man’s mask, or Bruce Banner, the scientist who transforms into the Hulk, are both examples of characters with alliterative names. Stan Lee’s theory of using alliteration in naming characters became a hallmark of many of Marvel’s most famous creations.

In addition to the memorability factor, Lee’s theory also emphasized the idea that superhero names should reflect something about the character’s personality, powers, or origin. This ties into the broader concept discussed earlier in the essay, where names carry symbolic and semantic significance. By employing alliteration and carefully crafting character names, Lee aimed to enhance the overall impact of his creations and create a strong connection between the characters and their audience.

Stan Lee’s theory of names contributed to the enduring popularity of Marvel’s characters and left a lasting impact on the superhero genre. It underscores the importance of considering not only the sound and rhythm of a character’s name but also the deeper associations it carries. While the “real names” theory might not be universally applicable to all forms of fiction, it highlights the thoughtful approach that creators can take when naming their characters, especially when aiming to make a lasting impression on readers’ minds.

9 The Stream of Consciousness

Coined by the eminent philosopher and psychologist William James, the term “stream of consciousness” serves as an apt depiction of the unbroken current of thoughts, emotions, and sensations that course through the intricate channels of the human mind. This concept captures the essence of the mind’s ceaseless activity, where one idea effortlessly gives way to another, often without the constraints of chronological order or structured logic. This notion of a flowing mental experience recognizes that human consciousness is more akin to a river’s current than to distinct and isolated islands of thought.

As time marched on, this phrase was borrowed to extend its metaphorical arms into the realm of literature, particularly within the context of a distinctive form of storytelling. In this literary application, “stream of consciousness” found a home within the works of groundbreaking authors such as James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, who sought to replicate the intricate dance of the human psyche within the narrative structure of their writing.

James Joyce, for instance, wove intricate tapestries of thought in his magnum opus “Ulysses.” Through his masterful use of interior monologue, free association, and a playful manipulation of language, Joyce invited readers to delve deep into the minds of his characters, mirroring the way thoughts ebbed and flowed in our own minds. This technique often created a sense of intimacy, as readers felt as though they were not just observing the characters, but actively participating in their innermost musings.

Virginia Woolf, too, employed the stream of consciousness technique to stunning effect in works like “Mrs. Dalloway” and “To the Lighthouse.” Her exploration of the inner lives of her characters transcended conventional narrative structures, giving voice to the nuances of their thoughts, insecurities, and fleeting emotions. This approach could illuminate the hidden corners of characters’ psyches, unraveling their complexities layer by layer.

In essence, the literary application of the “stream of consciousness” technique was a courageous departure from traditional narrative forms. It transformed the act of reading into an immersive experience, akin to taking a journey through the labyrinthine corridors of human introspection. Just as William James had recognized the ever-flowing nature of human thought, these authors recognized the power of rendering this flow on the page, giving birth to a new, profoundly insightful way of storytelling that continues to captivate and challenge readers to this day.

here’s a list of 10 things that often happen in a stream of consciousness narrative:

  1. Nonlinear Thought Patterns: Thoughts unfold in a nonlinear manner, resembling the associative and spontaneous nature of real human thinking.
  2. Inner Monologue: Characters’ internal dialogues and self-talk are exposed, revealing their innermost desires, doubts, and reflections.
  3. Free Association: Thoughts move from one idea to another seemingly unrelated one, connected by personal associations rather than strict logic.
  4. Multiple Perspectives: The narrative can shift rapidly between different characters’ perspectives, reflecting the fluidity of thought exchanges.
  5. Present Moments and Flashbacks: The narrative may seamlessly switch between the present moment and memories from the past, as they come to mind.
  6. Emotional Depth: Intense emotions are explored in-depth, often capturing raw and unfiltered feelings as they emerge.
  7. Ambiguity and Uncertainty: The narrative might involve fragmented sentences or incomplete thoughts, mimicking the uncertainties of mental processing.
  8. Sensory Details: Vivid sensory descriptions immerse readers in the characters’ experiences, making them feel as if they’re directly sensing the world.
  9. Subconscious and Symbolism: Symbols, metaphors, and subconscious imagery are interwoven into the narrative, reflecting deeper psychological meanings.
  10. Intimacy and Authenticity: Readers gain intimate access to characters’ genuine thoughts, fears, and desires, fostering a strong sense of connection and authenticity.

These elements collectively create a rich and immersive reading experience, allowing readers to journey into the intricate landscapes of characters’ minds and emotions.

6 – Point of View, Rashomon effect, Blind men and elephant

The Rashomon effect is a term related to the notorious unreliability of eyewitnesses. It describes a situation in which an event is given contradictory interpretations or descriptions by the individuals involved.

The parable of the blind men and an elephant is a story of a group of blind men who have never come across an elephant before and who learn and conceptualize what the elephant is like by touching it. Each blind man feels a different part of the elephant’s body, but only one part. The moral of the parable is that humans have a tendency to claim absolute truth based on their limited, subjective experience as they ignore other people’s limited, subjective experiences which may be equally true.

Point of view, the Rashomon effect, and the allegory of the blind men and the elephant are powerful literary concepts that explore the subjectivity of human perception and the complexity of truth. These elements frequently appear in fiction to challenge readers’ understanding of events, characters, and the world itself. This essay delves into the significance of point of view, the Rashomon effect, and the blind men and the elephant allegory in fiction, highlighting how they provide nuanced perspectives and contribute to the richness of storytelling.

  1. Point of View in Fiction:

In literature, point of view refers to the narrative perspective from which a story is told. It determines the reader’s access to information and shapes their understanding of the events and characters. Different points of view can elicit varying emotional responses and judgments from the readers, enhancing the depth and complexity of a story.

Example 1: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee:

In Harper Lee’s classic novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the story is narrated through the eyes of Scout, a young girl. This child’s perspective provides a unique lens through which readers witness the racial prejudices and injustices prevalent in the 1930s American South. Scout’s innocence and lack of bias allow the audience to see the world from a fresh and untainted viewpoint, provoking empathy and understanding.

  1. The Rashomon Effect in Fiction:

The Rashomon effect is the phenomenon where multiple individuals recounting the same event present contradictory and often subjective versions of the truth. In fiction, this technique is employed to explore the complexities of human perception and the subjectivity of reality.

Example 2: “Rashomon” by Akira Kurosawa:

The term “Rashomon effect” finds its origin in Akira Kurosawa’s iconic film “Rashomon.” The movie revolves around a crime witnessed from different perspectives, each account contradicting the others. As the film unfolds, the audience grapples with the elusive nature of truth and the intricate interplay between memory, self-interest, and perception.

  1. The Blind Men and the Elephant Allegory in Fiction:

The allegory of the blind men and the elephant is a metaphorical tale that illustrates the limitations of individual perspectives. Each blind man touches a different part of the elephant and forms a distinct understanding of the animal, leading to conflicting descriptions. In fiction, this allegory is used to explore the complexity of truth and the need for diverse viewpoints to approach a complete understanding.

Example 3: “The Blind Assassin” by Margaret Atwood:

In Margaret Atwood’s “The Blind Assassin,” the novel weaves together different narratives, reflecting the blind men and the elephant allegory. The story comprises the personal memoir of an elderly woman, newspaper clippings, and a sci-fi novel written by the protagonist’s sister. Each layer adds new dimensions to the characters and events, emphasizing the subjectivity of truth and the ever-shifting nature of perspectives.


Point of view, the Rashomon effect, and the blind men and the elephant allegory are potent literary devices that challenge readers’ perceptions of truth and reality. In fiction, these elements are skillfully employed to explore the multifaceted nature of human experiences and encourage empathy and understanding. By acknowledging the subjectivity of viewpoints and the complexities of interpreting events, writers can craft captivating stories that resonate deeply with their audience and invite reflection on the intricacies of the human condition.

4 – Skaz

Skaz is a fascinating narrative technique that unites a vernacular colloquial style with a naive and immature narrator. The storytelling imitates actual speech, making it almost unintelligible, akin to transcripts of recorded conversations. However, this illusion is precisely what gives the narrative its powerful effect of authenticity and sincerity.

The essence of skaz lies in its ability to capture the unfiltered and raw expression of the narrator. The language used is not polished or refined; instead, it reflects the character’s personality, background, and emotions. This unpretentious approach brings a unique charm to the storytelling, as if the narrator is speaking directly to the reader in a candid, unfiltered manner.

The narrator in a skaz narrative often possesses a childlike or inexperienced perspective, which adds an element of innocence and naivety to the storytelling. This innocent tone allows the audience to see the world through the eyes of the narrator, experiencing events and emotions as they do. This emotional connection fosters empathy and makes the narrative more relatable and engaging.

However, it is essential to note that the use of a naive and colloquial narrator can present challenges for readers. The authenticity of skaz can sometimes make it difficult to decipher the exact meaning of the words and phrases used. Sentences might be fragmented, syntax might be unconventional, and grammar might be relaxed. These intentional deviations from standard language conventions can create an almost poetic rhythm, but they can also demand a bit more effort from the reader to understand the intended message.

Despite these potential challenges, the unconventional style of skaz lends a sense of realism to the narrative. It mirrors the way people actually speak, with all their quirks and colloquialisms. The overall effect is a story that feels organic and genuine, drawing the reader into the world of the narrator and making them feel like a participant in the unfolding events.

In conclusion, skaz is a powerful storytelling technique that combines vernacular colloquial language with a naive and immature narrator. While the resulting narrative may seem almost unintelligible at times, it creates an illusion of authenticity and sincerity that captivates the audience. By immersing readers in the unfiltered thoughts and emotions of the narrator, skaz forges a unique connection between the audience and the story, making it an enriching and memorable literary experience.

Skaz is a narrative style that has been used in literature, and one of the most notable examples is Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment.” In this novel, Dostoevsky employs skaz in the character of Marmeladov, a drunk and impoverished man. Marmeladov’s speech is characterized by a fragmented and colloquial style, reflecting his chaotic and emotional state.

Here’s an example of Marmeladov’s skaz speech from “Crime and Punishment”:

“Oh dear, oh dear!…How unfortunate…! Eh, dear friend, there’s a calamity. Listen, dear sir, just a moment, dear fellow! Listen…Dear friend, you see…Katerina Ivanovna…Katerina Ivanovna…murdered…she was kicked…dear friend…a beast…she came to the drunkard…drunk…beast…and she was kicked…in the street…in front of everyone.”

As you can see, Marmeladov’s speech is filled with repetitions, ellipses, and exclamations, reflecting his intoxicated and distressed state of mind.

Another famous example of skaz in literature is Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” The character of Huck Finn, a young and uneducated boy, narrates the story in a vernacular colloquial style. Huck’s use of regional dialect and colloquial language gives the narrative an authentic and immersive quality.

Here’s an excerpt from “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” showcasing Huck’s skaz-like narrative:

“Well, I got a good going-over in the morning from old Miss Watson on account of my clothes; but the widow she didn’t scold, but only cleaned off the grease and clay, and looked so sorry that I thought I would behave awhile if I could. Then Miss Watson she took me in the closet and prayed, but nothing come of it. She told me to pray every day, and whatever I asked for I would get it. But it warn’t so. I tried it. Once I got a fish-line, but no hooks. It warn’t any good to me without hooks. I tried for the hooks three or four times, but somehow I couldn’t make it work.”

In this passage, Huck’s narration is characterized by simple language, grammatical errors, and colloquial expressions, creating a distinctive voice for the character.

Both “Crime and Punishment” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” demonstrate how the skaz narrative technique can add depth and authenticity to characters and immerse readers in the world of the story.

One Horse Pony, One Trick Town

In the murky underbelly of linguistic reality, we find ourselves entangled in the enigmatic web of “one horse pony, one trick town.” This cryptic phrase, a concoction of metaphorical musings, unravels the fabric of stagnation and limitation with the razor-sharp edge of its words.

In the wild frontiers of imagination, envision a lone horse traversing the barren terrain, a singular companion loyal but bereft of the kaleidoscopic tapestry of a stable. A “one horse pony” it may be, restrained in its abilities, lacking the multifarious flair that a herd of horses brings. Such limitations, dear reader, paint the bleak picture of monotony and predictability.

Yet, our tale extends beyond the confines of literal plains. This “one horse pony” echoes the human spirit ensnared by a single obsession, a singular pursuit. They excel in their chosen domain, oh yes, but the danger lies in the confinement it births, a stagnation veiled by expertise.

And lo, the one-trick town manifests, as if a reflection in the funhouse mirror of existence. A microcosm of sameness and routine, it clings to the known, fearing the shroud of uncertainty. As the inhabitants circle the repetitive routine, they become marionettes pulled by the strings of habit and tradition.

But, ah, dear traveler, resist the pull of conformity! Venture beyond the “one horse pony, one trick town” and embrace the infinite possibilities of diversity. Let curiosity be thy compass, and break free from the fetters of the familiar. Many horse ponies, oh yes, explore the vast expanse of skills and interests, their versatility a beacon of boundless potential.

Behold the kaleidoscope of existence, where “many horse ponies, many trick towns” flourish in their myriad splendor. Embrace the chaotic symphony of life, for it is in the exploration and openness to novelty that the true essence of living unfolds. The vistas of growth and fulfillment beckon, awaiting those who dare to shatter the illusion of limitation.

3 – Suspense

Suspense is a powerful storytelling tool that captivates audiences by creating tension and anticipation. It operates on the principle of withholding information or delaying the resolution of important questions, thereby piquing the audience’s curiosity and keeping them engaged until the climax. There are two main types of questions that suspense raises in the minds of the audience: those related to causality (the “whodunnit?” question) and those concerning temporality (the “what will happen next?” question). These questions are prominently featured in two distinct genres—the detective story and the adventure story.

  1. Causality in Detective Stories (“Whodunnit?”): In detective stories, suspense revolves around the central mystery: a crime has been committed, and the audience is left wondering about the identity of the perpetrator. The plot is constructed in a way that reveals clues and red herrings, leading both the protagonist (the detective) and the audience on a journey to uncover the truth. As the story progresses, more questions arise, and the tension builds as the audience attempts to piece together the puzzle. The resolution of the mystery is often delayed until the end, ensuring that the audience remains engrossed until the final reveal.

The detective plays a crucial role in maintaining suspense. Their pursuit of the truth involves strategic thinking, deduction, and the unveiling of hidden connections between seemingly unrelated events. The audience follows the detective’s thought process and becomes emotionally invested in solving the mystery alongside them. This engagement heightens the sense of suspense as they navigate through twists and turns, suspecting various characters and scenarios until the truth is finally unveiled.

  1. Temporality in Adventure Stories (“What Will Happen Next?”): In adventure stories, suspense arises from the anticipation of future events and the uncertainty surrounding the hero or heroine’s fate. The protagonist often finds themselves in perilous situations, facing dangerous adversaries, natural disasters, or life-threatening challenges. The story employs a series of cliffhangers—suspenseful moments that leave the protagonist in imminent danger—to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

With each cliffhanger, the audience experiences sympathetic fear and anxiety, genuinely concerned about the outcome of the protagonist’s predicament. Will they survive? Can they overcome the odds? These questions keep the audience engaged and emotionally invested in the story. As the adventure unfolds, the protagonist must display courage, resourcefulness, and resilience to escape perilous situations, leading to moments of relief and triumph.

Here’s a 10-point list of suspenseful characteristics commonly found in thrillers:

  1. Cliffhangers: Thrillers often employ cliffhanger endings or chapter breaks, leaving the audience in suspense and eager to know what happens next.
  2. Time Pressure: Adding a ticking clock or a sense of urgency to the story creates tension as the protagonist races against time to achieve their goal or avert a disaster.
  3. Unexpected Twists: Unforeseen plot twists and revelations keep the audience guessing and engaged, as they try to unravel the mystery alongside the protagonist.
  4. Moral Dilemmas: Confronting the protagonist with difficult choices and moral dilemmas generates suspense, as the audience wonders how they will navigate these challenges.
  5. Red Herrings: Introducing false clues or misleading information keeps the audience on their toes and heightens the sense of mystery and uncertainty.
  6. Unpredictable Antagonists: Antagonists with complex motives or hidden identities create a sense of unpredictability, leaving the audience uncertain about their next move.
  7. Narrow Escapes: Moments where the protagonist barely avoids danger or capture create heart-pounding excitement and maintain a constant state of suspense.
  8. Psychological Mind Games: Pitting the protagonist against a manipulative and cunning adversary who challenges them mentally adds psychological depth and intensity to the story.
  9. Unresolved Questions: Leaving some questions unanswered or mysterious elements unexplained keeps the audience curious and invested in finding out the truth.
  10. High-Stakes Situations: Placing the protagonist in life-threatening situations or situations where the consequences of failure are dire heightens tension and keeps the audience invested in the outcome.

Incorporating these suspenseful characteristics into a thriller ensures that readers or viewers are hooked, eagerly turning pages or glued to their seats, as they journey through the twists and turns of a gripping and thrilling narrative.

2 – Intrusive Author

Intrusive Author: Eliot, Tolstoy and earlier An omniscient narrator who, in addition to reporting the events, allows the novel to be used for general moral commentary on human life, sometimes in the form of brief digressive essays interrupting the narrative.

Modern fiction has tended to suppress or eliminate the authorial voice, by presenting the action through the characters consciousness, or by handing over to them the narrative task itself. When the intrusive voice is employed, it’s usually with a ironic undertones.

In the vast landscape of literature, there exists a unique narrative technique known as the “Intrusive Author.” This approach involves an omniscient narrator who not only reports the events of the story but also steps beyond the boundaries of the narrative to provide general moral commentary on human life. Often presented in the form of digressive essays interrupting the main storyline, this technique allows authors to delve into profound reflections and philosophical musings. Two illustrious authors who masterfully wielded the Intrusive Author technique are George Eliot and Leo Tolstoy. Their works, alongside earlier examples, showcase the power of this narrative device to enrich storytelling with profound insights into the human condition.

George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, was a master of the Intrusive Author technique. In her magnum opus, “Middlemarch,” Eliot weaves a tapestry of interconnected lives in the fictional English town of Middlemarch. Throughout the novel, the omniscient narrator frequently steps forward to impart wisdom on the complexities of human nature and societal norms. In one such instance, the narrator reflects on the ambitions of the protagonist, Dorothea Brooke, and the consequences of pursuing lofty ideals:

“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.”

This digression not only offers insight into Dorothea’s character but also serves as a universal reflection on the limitations of human perception and the overwhelming intricacies of existence. Eliot’s skillful use of the Intrusive Author technique allows her narrative to transcend the mere chronicle of events, transforming “Middlemarch” into a profound exploration of human aspirations and their inherent limitations.

Leo Tolstoy, in his epic masterpiece “War and Peace,” employs the Intrusive Author technique to great effect. Amidst the tumultuous backdrop of war and social upheaval, Tolstoy interjects philosophical discourses that contemplate the forces shaping history and the nature of free will. In a reflective digression, he ponders the unpredictable course of events and the influence of individuals on historical outcomes:

“The most difficult thing—and for an educated man the most natural—is to do nothing. Here you have wisdom and goodness.”

Tolstoy’s intrusion provides readers with a deeper understanding of the characters’ actions and choices, intertwining the personal with the grand sweep of history. By offering profound moral commentary, he elevates “War and Peace” from a mere historical saga to a profound meditation on the human capacity for agency in the face of destiny.

The Intrusive Author technique, though most prominently displayed by Eliot and Tolstoy, finds roots in earlier works of literature. In Samuel Richardson’s “Pamela,” published in the 18th century, the author employs letters and interspersed moral reflections to comment on virtue, social class, and the struggles faced by the protagonist, Pamela Andrews. Similarly, in Laurence Sterne’s “Tristram Shandy,” the narrator frequently engages in digressive asides, playfully exploring the intricacies of language and the nature of storytelling.

In conclusion, the Intrusive Author technique, exemplified by the works of George Eliot, Leo Tolstoy, and their literary predecessors, offers a profound mode of storytelling. By interjecting digressive essays into the narrative, these authors transcend the boundaries of the plot and use their omniscient voices to impart moral commentary on the human condition. Through this technique, they enrich their narratives with timeless reflections on life, society, and the intricate web of human existence. As readers, we find ourselves not only immersed in captivating stories but also confronted with profound insights that transcend time and space. The Intrusive Author, with their piercing gaze and wise musings, leaves an indelible mark on literature and our understanding of humanity.