Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ethos, Pathos, Logos and Fiction Writing - Part 3

The final installment here deals with the element of Logos.

When we talk about Logos, we are dealing with the logic and the argument. In fiction writing, we can translate that to the storyline and the structural elements of the story.

While you might have characters that are believeable, and you might have found a way to put the right words into the story, if the storyline isn't logical, if the things the characters are doing don't work, then the whole thing simply falls apart.

In this case, I want to remind you of what I have mentioned in the past when it comes to romantic suspense. I think this is really the best analogy to what I am trying to get across here.

If a heroine is being stalked by an abusive husband, there is no way she would ever have romance on her mind. In fact, that is the furthest from her thoughts. In this case, make sure to take the time to learn and understand Maslow's hierarchy. That should make some sense.

But we can take this logos element to another level. Have you created a story that simply wouldn't happen in the real world? In the case of a historical story, do you have the heroine doing something that socially would never have been acceptable? Do you have characters that are in jobs that would never happen? Or worse yet, are they in jobs but in relationships that would never be acceptable (I'm referring to doctors dating patients or teachers dating students).

The key thing here is to make sure it all makes sense.

Hope these three days helped.



  1. There are women running from an abusive husband who would be looking for a hero to save her. And she might decided that hero is her next great love -- or that she owes him the next 20 years for saving her dropping into a similar relationship to the first but this time all her own making. So these will be best served if she stands up on her own before the HEA, but a few little twists could make that work.

  2. Good posts to use as reality checks as I think about my current WIP. Thanks-especially thought the Logos post was worth reflection.

  3. I've really enjoyed these last three posts, very informative. Thanks so much--lots to chew on!

  4. Thanks for your imput Mr. Eagan. I know at least for me I am taking in evey thing you have written for the last three days and hopefully producing a story worthy of the book shelves. Merry Christmas.