Book Manuscript Format – The Writer’s Craft Book manuscript format is too frequently overlooked by many beginning writers. Of course, story is king. Nothing will help in your search for an editor or an agent if your story is weak. There must be something about the story which stands out—an essence which makes it memorable and unique. But there are some universal conventions in how you format your manuscript for submission. These book manuscript format conventions are what make your work acceptable to an editor and presentable to the writing world, much like your personal manners and style of dress influence the opinion of the public or your peers. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. After writing and rewriting your novel, you may think that book manuscript format is a small concern.
First Person Point of View — The Writer’s Craft When you tell a story through a viewpoint character using I or we, you are using first person point of view. Example: The banging on my door reverberated within my skull like a giant church bell in an empty hall. I groaned and rolled onto my stomach, pulling the pillow over my head. Every detail of your story must be filtered through the storyteller. This impacts your choice of narrator—it may be, and most often is, your main character. If your main character cannot see, hear, touch, smell, taste, think, know or feel it, you can’t include it. First person point of view is the most reader friendly. This can be a comfortable point of view as it allows the writer to get right into the character’s head; however, beginners often find first person challenging because you really need to understand your character and his role. The most common problem when using first person POV is that it is difficult to resist the urge to tell the reader everything rather than show it. Considerations:
Plotting Made Easy - The Complications Worksheet Want to create a book readers can't put down? A book you'll itch to write? A protagonist you'll love? An antagonist who will give you shivers? And (simultaneously) the first draft of a synopsis you can send to literary agents? Like many writers struggling with the question of how to create a good book, I've spun my mental wheels researching and experimenting with different methods of plotting: outlining versus free writing versus turning points versus notecards versus snowflake method etc. It works equally well in developing a first draft and in checking that the draft you've written has enough story behind it to hold together. Try the Complications Worksheet as a thinking tool. ACT ONE – Separation (Adult, Long YA: 30 to 35K Words/YA: 20K Words/MG: 6.5K to 13K) 1. What is the opening image that will stick in the reader’s mind? ACT TWO - Descent (Adult, Long YA: 25 to 30K Words/YA: Words 16K Words/MG: 5.5K to 11K) 1. Who are the following characters:Additional Allies? 1. 1. Martina
Barnes & Noble.com - Tom Perrotta - Books: Meet the Writers My Ántonia by Willa Cather -- Cather is the most underrated stylist in American literature, and My Ántonia is her masterpiece -- simplicity itself. What are some of your favorite films, and what makes them unforgettable to you? I'm a big fan of the great American movies of the '60s and '70s -- The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy, The Last Detail, Chinatown, Taxi Driver, et al. -- the realistic, dark-hued, character-driven movies that were pushed aside by the flashy, soulless blockbusters of the '80s. You can feel their influence in the work of great new filmmakers like Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways), Todd Field (In the Bedroom), and David O. Russell (Three Kings). I also love Truffaut's Jules and Jim, Fellini's Amarcord, and Billy Wilder's The Apartment. What types of music do you like? What are your favorite kinds of books to give -- and get -- as gifts? Do you have any special writing rituals? Many writers are hardly "overnight success" stories.
Writing The Perfect Scene Having trouble making the scenes in your novel work their magic? In this article, I’ll show you how to write the “perfect” scene. Maybe you think it’s impossible to write the perfect scene. After all, who can choose every word perfectly, every thought, every sentence, every paragraph? What does perfection mean, anyway? Honestly, I don’t know. But structure is pretty well understood. The Two Levels of Scene Structure A scene has two levels of structure, and only two. The large-scale structure of the sceneThe small-scale structure of the scene This may seem obvious, but by the end of this article, I hope to convince you that it’s terribly profound. Before we begin, we need to understand how we keep score. Your reader is reading your fiction because you provide him or her with a powerful emotional experience. If you fail to create these emotions in your reader, then you have failed. Large-Scale Structure of a Scene The large-scale structure of a scene is extremely simple. GoalConflictDisaster
Story Questionnaire – Development 1. Who is your main character? Hero? Anti-hero? 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100.
Creating A Character Profile When you get an idea for a short story or a novel you probably get the basic idea of the characters with it. But in order to build believable characters you need more than just a basic idea of them. You need to really them. The easiest way to flesh out a character is with a character profile, so get out a blank sheet of paper and follow the sample profile below. NAME: Put your characters full name - first, last, and any nicknames that he goes by. BIOGRAPHY: Write a description of your character's life; past and present. AGE: If you don't know the exact age of your character then you can put it's approximation, such as late thirties, mid-twenties etc. HEIGHT: How tall is your character? WEIGHT: You probably won't know your character's exact weight, but I'm sure you can guess its approximate one. BODY TYPE: Is he wiry and agile, or does he work out and his body is the proof? FACE TYPE: Is your character baby faced, or does he have a sharp, chiseled bone structure?
Creating an Original Character By Maisha Foster-O'Neal You've heard the old maxim before... 'a character can make or break your story.' Okay, okay, so you want to write an interesting character. You've got some plot ideas, you know a little bit about your world, but now you need your characters. And not just any old characters - no, these have got to be the most original, most interesting characters your reader will ever come across. Ah yes, such is the desire of all writers. Enough already! Before we dive into Creating Original Characters, I'd like to offer a disclaimer. Disclaimer: I don't claim to know everything about writing. Note: There is already an excellent tutorial about writing the Villain, so I won't make specific references to writing an antagonist. The Basics of Characters The first thing about characters - They are just one facet of a good story. Character Creation: Little Exercises Open up a phonebook and pick out a name, and write a description of that person based only on their name. A note on Romance