The story arc of sort-of triumph

By Elizabeth McGuane
While all stories have a structure that fits into certain categories, they all have unique shapes.
My esteemed colleague wrote this in a post on...

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The shape of the tale: an experiment in storytelling

By Randall Snare
Outlines make a liar out of me. I used to hate them; now I just begrudge them. When I wrote fiction, the outline killed my plot; I would race from one section to another....

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A dialectic on cute

By Elizabeth McGuane
“Why is my soup talking to me like it's a person?” I heard a friend say this recently, to no one in particular, while glaring at the back of a tub of soup. This is what...

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How words should be

By Elizabeth McGuane
Back in the days when my job mostly involved hacking through sizable tracts of web content undergrowth (which it still does, sometimes), I believed in something: that content on the web should be short,...

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A beginning in the middle: opening a narrative

By Randall Snare
Where to start? A shaky shot of snow and mountains, with a very tiny helicopter flying over them. Later, we realize we’re seeing from the point of view of a dog, who, we’ll realize later...

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The fallacy of the backstory

By Randall Snare
I'm writing a novel. Correction: I wrote a hundred pages, then put it away for 2 years lest I develop trichotillomania. Then I took it out again for a workshop this summer, in...

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About Mapped.

We're two writers who make web things. We're interested in what makes stories go: in our brains, online, in design, fiction, culture and everywhere.

Further reading.