True Myths

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Today’s Assignment:

1. Watch this video on youtube.

2. Use it to inspire your writing today.


Remember these guidelines for your manuscript:

Use a 1″ margin on all sides
Use a title page, set up the same as the title page in your package.
Don’t number the title page. Begin numbering with the first page of the text of the book, usually the introduction, prologue, or chapter one.
Use a header on each page, including your name, the title of your novel in all caps, and the page number.
Start each new chapter on its own page, one-third of the way down the page.
The chapter number and chapter title should be in all caps, separated by two hyphens:

                                CHAPTER 1—THE BODY.
Begin the body of the chapter four to six lines below the chapter title.
Indent fives spaces for each new paragraph.
Double-space the entire text.
Use a standard font, 12-point type. Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier is fine.

_______ This info and more is in this book:

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If you wish to buy this book, it is here.


Read more from Brian A. Klems at Writer’s Digest.





The Inverted Plot

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Watch inverted flight on youtube.


The Inverted trope is also known as the Russian Reversal or the transpositional pun.

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(TV Tropes)


Obviously, this is not meant to be a political discussion, but rather a challenge put forth to you—  to make your plot unexpected, dynamic, and unpredictable.

While readers seem to like consistency in the characters, they often get bored with a story with a too-predictable ending.


Today’s assignment: Jazz up your plot. Throw in an unexpected twist.


Bonus Points:

This reversal is similar to antimetabole:

Antimetabole is derived from a Greek word which means “turning about”. It is a literary term or device that involves repeating a phrase in reverse order.

“You like it; it likes you” and “Fair is foul and foul is fair” etc.

“Eat to live, not live to eat.” (Socrates)

“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” (JFK)

(Literary Devices net)

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Watch Paris When It Sizzles with Audrey Hepburn.

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Paris When It Sizzles trailer


Here is a twist generator to get you started.



Hobson’s Choice: Take It or Leave It

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Hobson’s Choice:

“Thomas Hobson leased horses, and having noticed that given a real choice his customers tended to pick the same horses over and over again,

leaving them seriously over-used while leaving others almost completely unexercised,

he had customers automatically assigned the one nearest the door rather than let them pick, so all the horses would be used and exercised equally.

The customer’s choice was “Take it (the horse assigned) or leave it (don’t get any horse).”

A Hobson’s choice is a false choice because there’s only one real option if you’re in need of the thing being offered.” (TVtropes)

Morton’s Fork is not a restaurant.

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Morton’s Fork

A character is presented two alternatives, A and B.

If the character chooses A, then something bad happens.

If they choose B, a similar or identical bad thing happens — but for a different reason. (tvtropes)


A Morton’s fork is a . . . [superficially plausible, but actually wrong] piece of reasoning in which contradictory arguments lead to the same conclusion.

It is said to have originated with the collecting of taxes by John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury in the late 15th century,

who held that a man who was living modestly must be saving money and could therefore afford taxes,

whereas if he was living extravagantly then he was obviously rich and could still afford them.



When faced with two bad choices, the temptation may be to do nothing,

but sometimes this is also a bad alternative.

Sometimes, a more thoughtful consideration of the options either reveals an additional choice,

or a choice in the array of existing options which is less repugnant.

It may also be possible to subvert the dilemma by finding or creating an exception to the rule.

Being between a rock and a hard place is sometimes solvable if

one is willing to develop a hammer to smash the rock out of the way, in other words. (wisegeek)


Today’s Assignment:

Consider using the Morton’s Fork in your plot. In other words, give your character two choices that both result in bad or similar results, but for different reasons.

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Also, don’t forget to enjoy spring.


Literary Device: The Double Bind

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(Steve Richter)

The double bind is often misunderstood to be a simple contradictory situation, where the subject is trapped by two conflicting demands.

While it’s true that the core of the double bind is two conflicting demands,

the difference lies in how they are imposed upon the subject,

what the subject’s understanding of the situation is,

and who (or what) imposes these demands upon the subject.

Unlike the usual no-win situation,

the subject has difficulty in defining the exact nature of the paradoxical situation in which he or she is caught.

The contradiction may be unexpressed in its immediate context and therefore invisible to external observers, only becoming evident when a prior communication is considered.

Typically, a demand is imposed upon the subject by someone who they respect (such as a parent, teacher or doctor)

but the demand itself is inherently impossible to fulfill because some broader context forbids it.

For example, this situation arises when a person in a position of authority imposes two contradictory conditions but there exists an unspoken rule that one must never question authority. (wiki)


A catch-22 is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules. For example:

To apply for a job, you need to have a few years of experience. But in order to gain experience, you need to get a job first. (wiki)



In the film, Catch 22, “a man is trying desperately to be certified insane during World War II, so he can stop flying missions.” (imdb)

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Available at: Amazon Video

The term ‘double bind’ is also used by psychiatrists regarding an individual’s complex perception of relationships. (Psych link)


This Larsen cartoon doesn’t exactly catch the full meaning of the ‘double bind’ but it’s funny anyway.

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