Barrie Writers' Club

Official Page

The Basics Of Plot Structure: Freytag’s Pyramid In Fiction

Freytag's Pyramid

Graphic Of Freytag’s Pyramid¹

Freytag’s Pyramid or dramatic structure is the structure of either a piece of literary work (a book, a story or play) or even a film. Gustav Freytag arrived at creating this arc by examining Ancient Greek and Shakespearian dramas. But this arc can also be applied to many modern forms of fiction successfully too. He divided the parts of a drama into five acts or parts. They are:

Where the writer sets up the story for the reader with important background information, such as: setting, prior events, and the back story of characters.

Rising Action
The story sets up various related incidents for the reader, generally where the reader becomes ‘hooked’ into the story being told.

The epicentre of conflict where action begins, also the turning point for the protagonist(s) or characters. Comparable to a punch line when a joke is told.

Falling Action
The conflict between protagonist and antagonist unravels…

Dénouement (resolution, revelation or catastrophe) Old French: untying of the knot.
Comprises the events from falling action into resolution, or the ending.

Below is a video and downloadable PDF graphics which discuss Freytag’s Pyramid:

Plot Structure, feat. Freytag’s Triangle

Downloadable Blank Worksheets PDF’s of Freytag’s Triangle

Blank Freytag’s Pyramid PDF 1

Blank Freytag’s Pyramid PDF 2

Enjoy and write on!

¹Freytag’s Pyramid Arc. Graphic. Dr. Kip Wheeler. Freytag PDF. Carson-Newman College,  2003. Web. 18 Jul. 2015. ‹


Narrative Voice In Fiction: Part 2, Point Of View & The Basics Of Deep POV


So I collected a number of videos about Narrative POV (Point Of View) from YouTube and also found some resources for Deep Narrative POV too.

Things to keep in mind when using Deep Narrative POV:

  1. The narrative removes the author from the story and creates intimacy; the character becomes the storyteller. The author’s voice becomes silent.
  2. The author never tells the character’s thoughts, feelings nor actions, this is left up to the reader to discern from showing these behaviors.
  3. Remove adverbs, such as ly words, this creates distance between the reader and the author. The author is then too visible.
  4. Also remember that writing in First Person Narrative doesn’t also constitute Deep Narrative POV, this can also be achieved using Third Person Narrative too.

In Deep Narrative POV also remember to remove:

  • All dialogue tags, such as: he/she/they said.
  • All sense verbs, “describe the sense itself”.
  • Never write what the character cannot see for themselves. Also the character cannot remark on their own facial expressions either, unless looking into a mirror to view themselves.
  • Remove all thinking verbs. Immerse the reader within the character’s thoughts.
  • Remove any writing that contains emotional naming, show the characters actions; this creates yet more intimacy again and removes the author from the storytelling also.
  • Never name the character in the action either. The character would never name themselves when completing an action.
  • Give the “evidence not the verdict”, the readers from your writing should be able to discern the verdict, you shouldn’t have to tell them.

Resources And Guides For Deep Narrative POV (Point Of View):

Deep POV: What’s So Deep About it?
Diving Into Deep Point Of View
Emotional Depth For Deep Point Of View
Trouble Shooting Deep POV and Voice

More YouTube Videos Of Narrative POV (Point Of View):

Writing with Jane: Point of View

Narrative Point of View

Point of View (POV) – The Book Editor Show Episode 001

POV: Point of View

Enjoy and Write On!



Narrative Voice In Fiction: Part 1, The Basics Of POV (Point Of View)


Narrative Voice: Part 1, The Basics
POV (Point Of View)

“The author’s persona of a fictional narrative can help or hinder the success of the story. Which persona you adopt depends on what kind of story you are trying to tell and what kind of emotional atmosphere works best for the story.
“The persona develops from the personality and attitude of the narrator, which are expressed by the narrator’s choice of words and incidents. These in turn depend on the Point Of View of the story.”
“If the narrator is just the author telling a story in the third person, the persona is less clearly defined; it may be a lot like the author himself or herself, or very different. But the persona will still tell readers what’s happening in the story and what kind of attitude they should adopt toward events. For example, the persona may describe a death and make us feel outraged, or horrified, or amused.”¹

Point Of Views (POV):¹

Example sentence:
I walked to the store.

First person Point Of View is usually subjective: readers learn the narrator’s thoughts, feelings, and reactions to events.

Unreliable Narrator:
Willfully obtuse or is plain lying or at least giving only half-truths. The reader then must spot the inconsistencies in the story.
First Person Objective:
The narrator tells only what the characters said and did, without comment, and leaves it up to readers to imagine exactly what they’re feeling.
Observer Narrator:
Is a narrator outside the main story.
Detached Autobiography:
Is a narrator looking back on past events, with the benefit of hindsight.
Multiple Narrators:
Are First Person accounts by several characters.
Interior Monologue:
An interior monologue is one in which the narrator recounts the story as a memory, i.e. a stream of consciousness.
Dramatic Monologue:
The narrator tells the story out loud without interruption.
Letter/Diary Narrative:
The narrator writes down the events as they happen.

Example sentence:
You walked to the store.

Rarely ever used in short stories and novels; mostly this POV is relegated to poetry, prose and song lyricism.

Example sentence:
He/she/they walked to the store.

The story is told about the character, not from the character’s account of the story.

Third Person Limited:
Persona depends upon a single character who eyes witness the story.
Third Person Objective:
Readers have no entry to anyone’s thoughts or feelings. The author describes, without emotion nor editorializing what the characters say and do.
Third Person Omniscient:
“All-Knowing” the author tells the story from all perspectives, in this author’s persona the story can develop in any way of several directions.
Episodically Limited:
Whoever the Point Of View is for a particular scene determines the persona.
Occasional Interrupter:
The author steps in from time to time to supply the necessary information but otherwise stays in the background.
Editorial Commentator:
This narrator persona has a distinct attitude toward the story’s characters and events then frequently comments on them.

Hazards Of Using Persona:¹

One problem is when the author’s editorial rhetoric tries to evoke an emotional response that the story’s events cannot evoke by themselves.
Another issue is when the author’s persona seems more important that the story itself, and the author keeps reminding us of his/her presence through stylistic flamboyance, quirks of diction, or right editorializing about the characters and events of the story.
This issue happens when the persona’s excessive objectivity trivializes the events of the story, suggesting that the characters problems not be taken seriously.

Verb Tense:¹

“Verb tense can also affect the narrative style of the story. Most stories use the past tense.”
“Be careful to write consistently in one verb tense unless your narrator is a person who might switch tenses.”


¹Kilian,  Crawford. Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy. Bellingham, WA: Self-Counsel Press, 2007. Book.

YouTube: I stumbled upon these helpful writing videos

10. C - Wild Tiger Lily - Innisfil, Ontario, Canada July 2014. (SM CADMAN)

So I was wandering through the dearth of documentaries and How-To videos on YouTube and I happened to come across these writing tips and Vlogs by Ellen Brock.  Usually I haven’t been able to find many high-quality visuals for writing tutorials and often find most lack decent explanations, examples and tips. If you’re like me, and struggle with a particular issue in your writing (mine is info dumping and too much telling) you may want to follow her for some very excellent information on how to improve your writing skills. You can find her here on WP at: Ellen Brock Editing and on Twitter at @EllenMBrock.

Here are some of my favorite videos I’ve found thus far from her to help you along with your writing 🙂

Enjoy and Write On!


What Flash Fiction and Microblogging have in common: Saying more by writing less.

Micro-Blogging & Flash Fiction Graphic

One of the first commercial flash fictions to ever be put into a novel was only six words. It was written by Ernest Hemingway. And it contained everything traditional lengthy fictional prose and novels must have: plot, suspense, and intrigue. The story was: For sale: baby shoes, never worn. Yes, only that! But it was able to effectively convey to readers a story.

Flash-forward to our modern era, and we can see many examples of Flash Fiction in our daily lives. From Microblogging websites such as: Twitter and Facebook, to even humorous websites such as FMyLife where authors write short but witty quips about daily blunders and general life occurrences. But they all have evolved from the same groundwork that was set in motion by this one idea: Saying more by writing less.

So the key to being successful when accomplishing this endeavor is to communicate overall meaning. Opulent prose and wordiness has no place in this type of writing so editing what you want to reveal to readers is the challenge.

This forces you to reconsider what the important tidbits in storytelling actually are; and it can take some practice to understand this somewhat abstract concept. But once you understand the mechanics of being able to edit yourself down to only a few words, then you will be able to discard what is unimportant and know exactly what truly matters.

And you can relay your prose any way you want to, whether you chose to do it with humor (which is often the case for both Twitter and FMyLife) or with profundity. But make it short and meaningful!

Here are some examples:


From @BronxZooCobra – He escaped a few years ago and was recaptured, then returned to his zoo habitat. He tweets about his adventures, plans new escapes and tweets about his fellow escapees from his zoo. Oh and his preference of “food”  😉

Escapes boaBoa on ValentinesBoa x-mas present

 And G-d/God the omnipotent force of our universe, also has a Twitter account. He tweets out small wisdom’s about his many magnificent creations – and to his humans too. And yes, he only follows @JustinBieber 😉

From @TheTweetOfGod

God on TwitterTweets - G-d FishTweets - G-d Piano Recital

FMyLifeOffers funny quips about all of life’s foibles. I’m often not sure of the veracity of some stories there, but that’s not the point of it, fictional or not, it serves its purpose for entertainment and human comradery. And most of what’s posted there is really quite funny.

FML - Dog & Husband bathFML - Traffic ConeFML - Therapist

FacebookUsually directed at more personal and intimate relationships,  and also contains some microblogging type of prose too. Real or not,  enjoy it for what it is – either entertainment or a time-suck* to connect and share with friends and family, you decide.

FB - Siri develops a stutterFB - History

Keep to the Golden Rule when using these mircoblogging sites, for example Twitter’s: Tweet unto others what you’d want tweeted unto you (Treat others how you want to be treated). And everybody has made a few blips with that at sometime or another (I certainly have! Sorry!) but remain calm; don’t feed any Trolls; and do your best to make amends 😉

Some good guides I’ve come across in the last few days since joining Twitter have been:

For Twitter:

Forbes: 31 Twitter Tips by Ken Krogue @KenKrogue More sort of business-to-business directed, but it’s still a very concise and useful guide which can be broadly applied to your own Tweeting habits.

WikiHow: How to use Twitter General guide

Twitter Tips by Media Bistro Find out what’s trending and popular or find your niche!

And who knows with enough originality, you may even get as popular as @TheTweetOfGod or  @BronxZooCobra 😉

~Sara, on  Twitter: @SMCADMAN

From The Trenches…

Helpful How To Articles Graphic ResearchResearch Part 2

Research Part 2


General Directories, Libraries and Academic Directories

+Writing Labs and Publishing Tools

Sometimes using superficial articles from Wiki resources aren’t enough to support your work.  So in order to create an authentic voice for your fiction, especially if it’s for a profound piece of fiction or creative nonfiction: You must know exactly what you’re presenting the reader so that they can feel fully immersed in your story.

Often times, especially with creative nonfiction, we forget the factual information that illustrates the entire narrative.  Such as: specific geographical names and locations; the specific cultural impressions and even the foreign languages which heavily influence certain societies.

By researching these important details and re-familiarizing oneself with this pertinent information, it will improve the characters and events you have chosen to write about. Your story will become more believable, thus making the plot more cohesive and readable.  This allows the reader to burrow themselves deeply into your written world.  They will be able to identify with it intimately; and that’s exactly what the relationship between the writer and reader should be.

General Directories

Open Directory Project

Although this directory is composed of mostly volunteer edited links and categories, it contains a vast amount of resources for reference on every subject matter imaginable.  In the Arts directory, there are large amounts of information specifically regarding writing and media.  Within this directory, this resource contains close to 200,000 links of various websites specifically about writing.  So go, take some time and explore; enjoy the process of researching.  Understand what you’re presenting so that you can create a more enjoyable environment for your reader.

Other Directories

Yahoo! Directory


The Educational Encyclopedia

Subject Finder Directory

Best of the Web Directory

Best of the Web Directory:


Best of the Web Directory:

Major American city guides

Best of the Web Directory:

UK and Ireland

Learning to code WebPages and Websites, Resources for:

Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Technology Learning

 Is an excellent resource guide for learning and testing coding/programming languages; especially if you would like to understand how the World Wide Web (WWW) is built and what functionally makes it run.

It has an easy to understand format for learning the most commonly used web coding and programming languages.  From beginner to advanced, you can even experiment with their native code compilers to test the web coding-languages you’re learning, thereby making it a truly active learning process.  They also provide short quizzes on the coding-languages you’re learning, in code-languages such as:

  • HTML/HTML5/CSS/CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX, JSON, PHP, SQL, ASP, VBScript, XML

Libraries, Academic Directories and Writing Labs

Librarians’ Internet Index

The WWW Virtual Library

The InfoMine

International Library Index, LibDex

Government Information (Library and Archives Canada)

Statistics Canada

Library of Congress (America)

Free Internet Resources and Journals:

Directory of Open Access Journals

Galileo, from the university system of (the state of) Georgia



Google Scholar

Bartleby Free, Great Books Online

Perseus: Collection of Classical,

Renaissance texts and reference materials

Project Gutenberg, collection of public (non-modern) texts

English Online Writing Labs, Language and Grammar

 The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

 Literature Resources (MIT Libraries)

 English Scholar, “A Compendium of Electronic Resources”

Maths, Sciences and Humanities, along with test prep

Khan Academy

Tools for:

Writing, Publishing and Graphic Arts

Free and Open Source Software

Scribus, Open Source (Free) Desktop Publishing Software

Lyx – The Document Processor, Open Source (Free)

Free and an excellent PDF real-time editor

PDFy by Sven Slootweg @Joepie31

PDF Xchange Viewer (Free)

“[The] Web’s Best Graphic Design Software, Page & Logo Maker. Free!”

LibreOffice 4.0 (Free)

PDFescape Free PDF Editor and Form Filler

“PDFzen Free PDF editing in your browser.”

Apache “OpenOffice  – The Free and Open Productivity Suite”

PDFedit pdf manipulation library, GUI, tools

Qoppa Software PDF Studio (Free Trial Software Downloads)

Affordable and powerful software options for design, print and DIY projects

Various software titles for word processing,

desktop publishing and graphics.

Scrivener word-processing program designed for authors

(free trial and paid full version available)

 Broderbund Software

“CutePDF ideas for PDF”


“iStudio Publisher, Desktop Publishing. Simplified.”

Serif Software WebPlus, Page Plus, PhotoPlus, DrawPlus, MoviePlus, PanoramaPlus, CraftArtist (both free and paid full version software, very affordably priced!)

Corel: CorelDRAW, WordPerfect, painter, PaintShop, VideoStudio

PDFFusion and CorelCAD

Flip PDF Professional

The Gold Standard for professional

publishing, web design and graphics:

(Higher priced, investment software)

Microsoft Office Publisher

 Quark Desktop Publishing


Adobe InDesign Publishing

 Adobe PageMaker

***The end***

“Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.”
William Shakespeare


Hackman, Grant Thomson Nelson Guide to Web Research, 2007-2008 ed. University of New Brunswick at Saint John, 2007-2008. Toronto: Thomson Nelson P, Print.


From The Trenches…

Helpful How To Articles Graphic Research

Research Part 1 graphic

Understanding the World Wide Web

The quest for the holy grail of information!

Every website has an address, called an URL (uniform resource locator). These URL’s follow a fixed pattern and order. They become specific to accommodate more complex websites that contain more information.

First we’ll examine our own web address here at the Barrie Writers Club:

http:// – Stands for “hypertext transfer protocol”. This provides access to this website. Most times within our current framework of the internet now, it’s not always necessary to provide this protocol of “http://”, often just using “www.” with the website address is sufficient.

www. – The server name, this stands for: World Wide Web.

.barriewritersclub – The domain name.

.wordpress – The domain name where our website/blog is hosted and maintained.

.com – The domain type.

If we are to click on one of our pages, the About page we will see this in our internet browser:

The last part of this URL, /about/ is referred to as the directory path.

Other types of Internet resources have their own identifying protocols such as:

(The majority of these protocols you may never even have to know or use!)

telnet:// – Usually used to access another computers’ login screen.

news:// – Provides access to a newsgroup.

ftp:// – Stands for: “file transfer protocol” and provides access to files.

file:// – Gives access to a specific file.

Domain types:

.com = Commercial.

.biz = A business. It can be used with any website. No specifications are required. Basically anyone can set-up shop online so Caveat Emptor, Buyer beware!

.info = Information. But can be used with any website. No specifications are required. Same Latin phrase may apply here also 😉

.edu = Usually an accredited academic educational institution, most notably used within the USA.

.org = Organization, usually non-profit.

.net = Networking.

.gov = Government.

.mil = Military (Only in the U.S.)

.ca = Our very own domain type from websites that originate from Canada.

.uk = Domain type from the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

.au = Australia

.museum = A verified museum.

.mobi = A mobile compliant website, used for mobile devices such as: iPads, Tablets, Smartphones and even some Netbooks; along with some Kindle and Kobo readers now.

A very thorough list of top-level Internet domains may be found here:

The re-Search Continues!

Using Boolean Operators


Using Boolean Operators can really aid you in being able to tell whichever search engine you use, exactly what you’re looking for. This can save a lot of time and frustration when you want to find something specific.

Using these operators involves inserting certain words into your search to allow you to communicate with the search engine you’re using. Using these operators will help you to locate only the information you need.

And”, “or” and “not” are used to save you from weeding through a huge amount of hits that your search engine may hit you with. It has the ability to narrow in on the information you want and discard what isn’t important to your research.

For example, I need to look up a poem by Dylan Thomas, and the poem I’m looking for is a very specific one it’s, Do not go gentle into that good night.

So I could do this search:

Dylan Thomas AND Do not go gentle into that good night

(Keywords 1) (Keywords 2)

Or I could know exactly what it is I want by specifying what I don’t want the search engine to return to me:

Dylan Thomas NOT Biography

(Keywords 1) (Keywords 2)

This tells the search engine that I need information about Dylan Thomas but what I don’t want to receive back are search engine hits containing his biography, maybe I would like to just find his work.

Perhaps I’m looking for a result that contains either or any of those words, and something less specific:

Dylan Thomas OR Do not go gentle into that good night OR Biography

(Keywords 1) (Keywords 2) (Keywords 3)

To simplify things even further and to make it even easier we can type in specific keywords, or phrases within quotation marks, by using them as a Proximity Locator, like this:

“Dylan Thomas”

“Do not go gentle into that good night”

We may even specify further by doing this:

“Dylan Thomas” AND “Do not go gentle into that good night”

You may also try this to get exactly what you’re looking for:

“Dylan Thomas: Do not go gentle into that good night”

With or without the colon and you may reach the same results from the search engine (depending on the engine you use).

If we don’t have time to use AND or NOT we can really simplify what we mean when communicating with our search engine by using these Boolean Operators:

+Dylan Thomas Biography

We can use + (a plus/addition sign) to tell the search engine what we want to locate. Conversely, we may tell the search engine what we don’t want to find by using a – (a minus/negative sign), and just like how we use positive and negative integers, we can specify exactly what we’re trying figure out then find what we’re looking for.

You can even add a Boolean Operator at the end of a string of letters to return several search engine hits back on what you’re looking for by adding a wildcard, an * (asterisk) at the end of the word, letters or phrase.

Do not go gentle*

You may do that, if perhaps you’ve forgotten Dylan Thomas’ title of his poem – it will pull all of the results from that string of words to find you the title and his poetic masterpiece!

A list of popular search engines and websites:

The Fort Knox’s of Internet Gold!


The Barrie Public Library

Our very own Barrie Public Library website contains access to many resources, I encourage everyone to take the time and explore the website thoroughly. It has many valuable links to local and worldly information; it even provides access to your Barrie Public Library account where you can reserve and even download in some instances: books, e-books, other media, and even audio books. All resources are freely available to borrow for the residents of Barrie, and it’s connected with the Painswick Library and with many other libraries in our region too. To access some of these features you will need your library card to input your membership account ID number, and if you haven’t already created a login and password you will have to do that also.



Dealing with the mightiest beast on the Internet…


For information on this search engine and what it can do for you, check out this link:


Google is an especially friendly search engine for using Boolean Operators to narrow down your results or hits. Plus, it features the “I’m feeling lucky” button if you really want to play Russian roulette with your internet searches. It has some really interesting quirks built into its search engine input that can even allow you to solve math equations. Some other Google offerings include viewing their website (and even other websites!) in various odd forms of dialect, such as Pirate, aaaRR!

For a complete list of Google Hoaxes and Easter Egg Hunts, check out this page:


Yodeling all the way to search results!


Yahoo! Has an easy to use internet search engine but rarely is it able to narrow down to precise results when you’re using Boolean Operators. When you’re looking for something quite specific it can often return a huge amount of hits on your searches that have nothing to do with what you’re actually looking for. In the late ‘90’s it was one of the most popular search engines to use but has now evolved into a more user friendly, less specific result search engine. It’s great for popular information such as general news, entertainment and shopping but for the meatier stores of information, it doesn’t fare as well as Google.


The quick look-up that leads you everywhere!

Is an excellent place to begin a search for quick, convenient and free information. I must stress that if you’re looking for academic information and/or research that you will have to cite, then this accessible encyclopedia will not be as useful but it can point you in the right direction as to where to find that information.

It doesn’t contain any academic or research journals although it does cite some of its articles from publicly available academic resources and journals. Articles will often cite various well-known newspapers, articles and magazines online. It strives to accurately cite each article and each piece of information it presents but because it’s a free encyclopedic resource, registered users contribute to the entire volume of information that it contains: in this respect, it’s a very human encyclopedia that translates to being both brilliant and sometimes prone to error with the information it contains!


A very private place, shh!

Ixquick is touts itself as one of the most private search engines and returns search hits back that are rated with a star system to eliminate duplicate search results. This search engine again is not especially friendly to the use of Boolean Operators but it does provide a narrower return of search results to locate exactly what you’re looking for.

We’re Canadian, eh! is a branch of the CanWest Global media group; it provides Canadian media content and issues within a Canadian context here and abroad.

A precise slice of Canuck!

The Canadian Broadcasting Company (Corporation) media website for news, art, radio, television and movies, is all contained here. You can listen, watch and look-up information and various media content that’s made by the CBC. It’s also a fairly decent and precise resource for academic information regarding Canadian media and production.

Words? Why doth thou protest?! is an easy, free and accessible way to look up words, both synonyms and antonyms are provided – This website even contains a thesaurus. It has a treasure trove of flash cards for learning new words, testing your knowledge of words, and even word games to play to enhance your learning experience. And if that wasn’t enough, they also have these word games and flash cards in foreign languages as well, along with other popular subjects!

Also YouTube contains a lot of information from ordinary contributors and experts alike. Digging your way through this surplus of video information and tutorials to find what you want can be frustrating. I will make a separate post with some of the best YouTuber’s and their videos; both from the realm of entertainment and educational perspectives and how to get the most from this website.


Next week:

Where to find information within the portals of online academic institutions, government websites and university/college writing labs. With a few added extras: respected research journals and their websites.


  • Remember: Information and knowledge is [now] free, how you find and use it is up to you.



Hackman, Grant

Thomson Nelson Guide to Web Research, 2007-2008 ed.

University of New Brunswick at Saint John, 2007-2008. Toronto: Thomson Nelson P, Print.