(Okay, let's just pretend it's Friday and I'm doing my weekly update on the subject that came up several weeks ago) (The pic comes from Fandango and his Flash Fiction Challenge, except I'm not writing fiction -- or am I?) photo from Nicolae_Balt at Pixabay.com. Conflict: See that balloon? The conflict comes from the character … Continue reading Conflict, suspense, and tension
And it's not because I forgot it was Friday again. It's about stories. Where the open lies, where the build happens, how it all crashes together to form an ending. I use a couple of methods to get the shape of the story. The first thing I do is a paragraph about the idea. A … Continue reading How to get to the Starting Point
There's this little wordage thrown around that goes something along the lines of Show, Don't Tell. And it's good advice. Except when it isn't. There are times when a bit of summarising is a good thing. "Two weeks later and she'd found nothing to indicate his history." That's a good summary unless something very important … Continue reading The Big Summary
It's a story thing. When does the story start? Is it with a big bang moment, or an introduction to the normal life? None of the above, is what I'd say. Why? I read a lot of stories that open with a big moment, or a deep character moment, and after a page or two, … Continue reading Where to start?
Stories are set somewhere. It's either background or part of the story in how it interacts with those who travel therein, or the character interacts with it in some way. We do not exist in white space. And yet I read stories where it's completely missing. There is nothing to visualise or imagine, no hint … Continue reading What do I see?
When writing essays and non-fiction, there are rules for what a paragraph is, what it does, what is presented for the beginning, middle and end (sounds a bit familiar, I'm thinking). In fiction, however, it seems the same rules don't work. They must not, or I wouldn't be reading (or trying to read) a story … Continue reading Easy-to-Understand Fiction paragraphing
In a professional sense, this time. Something I've noticed recently is the lack of professional attitude in story characters. It's disappointing, even if I understand how much work goes into the story. The character can't be identifiable by a reader as a fraud, out of place/time, or using the wrong objects/words. A priest doesn't walk … Continue reading Being True to Character
Or Wicked Witch. Whatever. I'm the witch. It's not a compliment, I'm sure of that. Picky, pedantic, pushy. A few other words. Why? Some people get offended when I give them a critique of their work. Maybe I'm not as nice as I could be, maybe I don't want to lay on the sugar, but … Continue reading The Word-Witch
Otherwise known as Setting. It's one of the [many] things I struggle with. The basics of an opening to a story needs to make clear the Who is Where and When, Why they're there (maybe just a hint), and What they're doing. This post is about the Where and When of a story. The place … Continue reading Place and Time
It's that old conundrum of show versus tell. Every story has summary, every story has immediacy, but they don't usually end up in the same paragraph. There are reasons for that. A tell is summarising something, a conclusion made, or an unmoving description (static, unattached to a character). There are several ways to tell. Summarising … Continue reading Summary Tell, or Interactive Show?