Monday, 25 August 2014 19:13
on August 25th, 2014 at 8:50 PM
In part 6, I promised to wrap up this series with some pointers on how to select, hopefully, the best point of view (POV) for your story. Along with those, I’m going to discuss choosing the right verb tense for the story as well.
Viewpoint in fiction writing really encompasses two concepts. The first involves which character is telling the story, and the second determines how that character’s perspective is portrayed.
Let’s deal with choosing the POV character first. In “Jury Duty” we really had only one choice since the story had only one main character: the one summoned for jury duty. Such will often be the case in most short stories. When the writer comes up with his story idea, he usually knows who his main/viewpoint character will be.
Monday, 11 August 2014 19:48
on August 11th, 2014 at 9:05 PM
Last time we completed the first draft of “Jury Duty.” Now, it’s time to look at some revisions. The original version was about 2100 words, a reasonable length for a short story.
We can approach our revision from a number of directions, but it’s often best to start with the opening. I had already decided to cast this in first person, and it seems to work well in that point of view. We’ll look at other options in Part 7.
The first thing I’m going to do is remove the date. It there because that’s when I wrote the story, but if I were to try to submit it for publication today, that date would serve no purpose. In fact, dates in stories should be left out unless they’re directly relevant to the story.
Monday, 04 August 2014 18:30
on August 4th, 2014 at 8:12 PM
This week I’m going to finish the rough draft “Jury Duty,” but I’ll do it in two stages. Let me explain. A story needs five elements: setting, character, plot, conflict, resolution. The first two are easy to understand. “Plot” is sometimes vague thing to some people, but a good definition is “the main events of a presented as an interrelated sequence.” Plot isn’t what the story is about, some believe. Plot is merely what happens in the story.
“Conflict” is often defined as what prevents the character from achieving his or her goal in the story. Conflict can be external or internal. Many stories have both. Which type does David Blayne have in “Jury Duty?”
Monday, 28 July 2014 20:34
on July 28th, 2014 at 9:44 PM
Guest post by Sherri Ellerman
Sherri Ellerman has been a very active member of Silver Pen since she joined several months ago. Aside from her activities and work at Silver Pen, she recently became the flash fiction editor for Liquid Imagination magazine.
When I saw her post on the Silver Pen forum about elements in a romance novel, I knew we should have it here at Write Well, Write To Sell. I asked Sherri to expand her ideas. Further, since I had recently decided to do a series on how to write a story, I thought it would be good to include her piece there.
Because romance is a very popular–and often profitable–genre to write in and there are so many out there, many new writers seem to feel that they must be really easy to write. Further, they think that because they’ve read a ton of them, they can write one, too. And maybe throw in some hot sex for good measure.
Unfortunately, it’s much easier to write a bad novel than a good one. Even though romance novels proliferate, very few of them stand the test of time. Sherri gives some excellent advice for writing a good romance, and she uses examples of some very memorable ones.
It’s an interesting exercise to look at what makes some romance stories stand out from the myriad others and to become popular and bestsellers.
On that note, here’s Sherri–
Monday, 21 July 2014 18:29
on July 21st, 2014 at 7:51 PM
This week I’m going to pick up where I left off two weeks ago. In that post, I began with an idea, showed how I developed it into an initial and potentially workable story concept, and created the main character. I also picked the viewpoint (third person) and the tense (past).
I’m sure that some of you who read the opening probably yawned at it or at least said “This isn’t very good.” And you’re right to have done so. It’s not the most engaging of openings.
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 07:53
on July 14th, 2014 at 8:08 PM
Guest post by Annette Taylor
This week’s post comes from writer Annette Taylor who originally submitted this as an article to Fabula Argentea magazine. It was an excellent article, but FA only publishes stories. It gave me an idea for a series of articles for the blog, so I contracted Annette about letting us use her article as the opening for that series, which I’m calling “From Idea to Story.”
I recall from a workshop many years ago the instructor saying that she could teach craft from could not teach imagination. We may not be able to teach imagination, but we can certainly stimulate it with ideas for stories. Annette gives excellent advice on where to find ideas along with suggestions on how to turn those into stories.
Sunday, 13 July 2014 12:48
on July 7th, 2014 at 9:41 PM
Over the next several weeks (at least), I’m going to be doing a series on how to write a story from idea to finished product. Along the way, we will also have some guest blogs that tie in to this as well.
We’ve talked before about various aspects of fiction (point of view, openings, conflict, action scenes–to name a few), and we’ve mentioned the five narrative forms (description, exposition, dialog, thoughts, action) and talked about some of these.
At the very least, a story needs four basic things to get it started: story idea, character(s), setting, and conflict.