A Note on Writing CharactersA Note on Writing Characters5 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
My dearest, darling Author:
I enjoyed reading your book, I really did. But there were some things that simply got on my nerves.
Your need to tell me absolutely everything, as if every tiny detail were just so integral to the plot, was supremely annoying. I do not need to know a character's hair and eye color when I first meet them, or every detail down to the style of his buttons when he walks into a scene; I do not necessarily need to know what his lunch was or that he went bowling with the guys last Saturday and has been in the league for five years. Take for instance that scene on the veranda, where the one protagonist stepped up to the wall and got his first good look at the sea in years. You wasted paragraphs and paragraphs of words explaining how, when he was a boy and saw the ocean for the first time, it was terrifying to him, left him with a feeling of crushing loneliness. Now, if you had simply said he stepped up to the wall and saw the sea for the first time in years, and had
Challenge Prompts for WritersChallenge Prompts for Writers7 years ago in Scraps More Like This
2. a flooded field
3. what she keeps in
4. too precise
5. the most cutting criticism
7. ghost fingers
9. the disease that is not a disease
10. her greatest fear
12. moon eye
13. her feet are dragonflies
14. lights in the trees
15. the dead hawk
16. disaster in the snow
17. a memento
19. failed attempt
20. his rabbit paw
21. their unspoken understanding
22. that smell conjures memories
23. the room
24. jar of olives
25. wine and sea
27. wander through the fair
28. the wrong man's hand
30. unexpected call
31. sudden rain
32. clever fox
33. car in a field
34. the worst of human agonies
36. unfettered laughter
37. stolen fish
40. his umbrella he kept close but never opened
41. spotted cat
42. fortune teller
46. wife box
47. a disappointing affair
48. cruel intentions
49. hands tied
50. love a stranger
51. incense of one's soul
The Purpose-Driven Plot Pt. 3The Purpose-Driven Plot Pt. 34 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Part III - Just Around the River Bend: Subplots
I feel it there, beyond those trees,
or right behind these waterfalls;
can I ignore that sound of distant drumming?
---from Disney's Pocahontas, "Just Around the Riverbend"
Subplots provide the basis for the meat of a story. They can be as small or as grand and complex as the situation may require; there can be as many or as few as you see fit to include.
There are generally two basic kinds of subplot: major and minor. The major subplot is one that may stretch over a longer section of your work and involve many important events or ideas. The minor subplot is usually smaller, and usually of less importance in the grand scheme of things. Both of these kinds of subplots fill in the space between the beginning and ending, and both are a means to move your characters or trigger events throughout your story.
A subplot can begin with almost any detail of your character, your world, or your concept. It often begins with a que
The Purpose-Driven Plot Pt. 2The Purpose-Driven Plot Pt. 25 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Part II - Get Out the Map: Outlines
Get out the map, get out the map
and lay your finger anywhere down;
we'll leave the figurin' to those
we pass on the way out of town.
---Emily Saliers, Indigo Girls, "Get Out the Map"
Shaming of the Sun: Epic Records, 1997.
An outline serves as a map, a guide, a foundation for your story. It is designed to make the whole writing process easier. However, drawing one up from scratch can be a very intimidating task, especially if you're not sure where to start, and, even worse, if you're not sure where you want to go. Luckily, in the last part, we've thought about our answer to the question, "What is most important in the story I want to write?" and have chosen the type of plot that will best suit our wishes.
Here's the next challenging question to consider: "Where does my story start?"
Let me allay some of your fears. We authors often start way before we have to, thinking that the reader must understand all sorts of background info
The Purpose-Driven Plot Pt. 1The Purpose-Driven Plot Pt. 15 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
Part I - The Big Four: Exploring Plot Types
Before we start, it will be prudent to know what kind of plot you seek for your project. There are four main types that we will explore here:
- The character-driven plot.
- The event- or situation-driven plot.
- The world-driven plot.
- The concept- or theme-driven plot.
The character-driven plot is employed in stories that are propelled forward by the learning, changing character or characters. Harry Potter is an example of character-driven plot. I have one friend who is absolutely certain that this is the future of literature, because of the way we view and understand the human psyche.
The event-driven plot takes as its focus the events or chains of events that affect characters and the world in which the story is set. Choose-your-own adventure books are event-driven. Another example is Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, in which the absurd situations that arise out of the setting are the main focus of the novel and the charact
Prompts for Writers1. StaccatoPrompts for Writers7 years ago in Writing More Like This
2. Loves me not
4. Lethal habits
8. "You're so full of shit."
12. Little quirks
23. A waste of time
25. Hold me
27. Don't worry
31. Slow motion
36. Prime numbers
38. Stop and stare
41. Sleeping bag
43. "You take that back."
45. Touch the clouds
47. It takes three
51. Can't say I'm sorry
56. Time capsule
60. "Don't touch me."
61. Play pretend
62. Tea time
65. Suicide note
71. Backed up
On Detailing CharactersOn Detailing Characters5 years ago in Reviews & Guides More Like This
"Your need to tell me absolutely everything, as if every tiny detail were just so integral to the plot, was supremely annoying." You can always tell when an author has gone through many drafts, and when an author has gone through just a few. There are many details that work their way into writing that don't necessarily have to be there. Some of these unnecessary details may offer seasoning to the story---mood, tone, or serve to draw attention to something specific; just be careful, as too much seasoning can ruin the flavor of your soup. You don't want it too bland, but you don't want it too salty, either. This is what makes being a writer nicer than being a cook; you can add more detail or edit superfluous detail out without destroying the piece, whereas a soup might be ruined with too much fiddling. By trial and error, you can find a good balance and I encourage you to experiment this way. To play on one of Gandalf's quotes: "A good author is neither too detailed nor too sparse, but p
10 Writing Prompts"The purpose of life is to fight maturity." -Dick Werthimer10 Writing Prompts7 years ago in Writing More Like This
"Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep."-Fran Lebowitz
"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed."-Carl Jung
"Sometimes when you look back on a situation, you realize it wasn't all you thought it was. A beautiful girl walked into your life. You fell in love. Or did you? Maybe it was only a childish infatuation, or maybe just a brief moment of vanity. "-Henry Bromel
"Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love." -Jane Austin
"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."-Nelson Mandela
"When someone allows you to bear his burdens, you have found deep friendship."
"I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don't believe I deserved my friends." - Walt Whitman
"It hurts to find out that what you wanted doesn't match what you
Write What You KnowWrite What You Know3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Once upon a time, a young woman was so in love with books that she decided she wanted to become a writer so she, too, could create loveable stories. She read everything she could about writing. Then, one day, she found herself in a book store where she bumped into an old man among the shelves. Turning to apologize, she discovered it was a venerable, much-loved author.
As soon as she could find her voice to speak, she said, "Oh, sir! I know you are very busy, and so I would just like to ask you one small question: what is the best piece of advice you have for a beginning writer?"
The old man smiled and said, "Certainly, young lady. In fact, I will write it down for you." He took out a small slip of paper and a pen and jotted something down. Then he handed the paper to her.
She thanked him profusely and moved out of his way so he could go about his business. Then she looked at the little paper in her hand. She frowned.
"Write what you know."
Well she was very disappointed. In fact, it m