How to build a fictional world - Kate Messner The world building strategies of popular books like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter have been analyzed in great detail by writers and critics alike. The NPR piece “At Home in Fantasy’s Nerd-Built World” continues the conversation, taking a look at the magical creation of George R. R. Martin’s world in Game of Thrones. If you’re ready to create your very own fictional world, it’s great to start by reading lots of examples – and read like a writer, studying the craft of world building. When you’re ready to move forward, you may want to use author Kate Messner’s world building worksheet as a guide. Author/educator Kate Messner’s science thrillers Eye of the Storm and Wake Up Missing may serve as additional mentor texts for writers who want to build their own futuristic worlds.
Three Ways to a Killer Opening Line By Diane O’Connell When you first crack open a new novel, there’s so much riding on that first sentence. I know it sounds a bit extreme, but hear me out — aren’t opening lines that immediately pull you into the novel’s story world so much more invigorating and intriguing than lackluster ones? A powerful and utterly interesting opening line can not only draw readers into your novel, but also hint at the overarching themes your work explores in a deep and lasting way. Here are 3 ways to open your novel: 1. It was the day my grandmother exploded. Did you just ask yourself, “What? Often, the best of these jolting lines have short, choppy syntax, or contain phrases that are downright confusing to readers (like the one above). 2. “Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in small-town 1950s.” Gorgeous, almost poetic prose can sweep readers into your novel’s setting, as this opening line does here. A vibrant opening like this also sets the tone for the rest of the novel. 3.
The Online Community for Writers Main Character: How To Kill Your Protagonist There are many reasons writers decide to kill off their protagonist. The trick is to do it for the right reasons and in a way that won’t make the reader stomp off in a huff. If you’re a writer considering doing away with the main character (MC) in your short story or novel, we’ve got a few tips to keep in mind. In 1893, thousands of English readers canceled their subscription to The Strand when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle simply was tired of the series and wanted to move on to other things. He was a little surprised by his readers’ outrage, and, eventually, he succumbed to public pressure and resurrected the beloved detective in The Hound of the Baskervilles. When Tony Soprano was killed in the season finale of The Sopranos—well, we’re assuming he was whacked, as the tension built and the screen suddenly went black—the audience had no choice but to accept it. Be somewhat realistic. Ronnie L.
Setting the Scene - Four Ways to Put the Reader in the Picture Whenever you start a new scene or chapter in your story, it is always a good idea to orientate the reader. The reader wants to identify with a character, get a sense of place and time, and understand the needs of this character right before the conflict or tension starts. In a way, the writer can think of these as scene markers. Here are the four ways to make your reader comfortable. Character markerSetting markerTime markerGoal marker The basics For example, you could open a scene like this: Greg stood barefoot on the warm wooden deck of his holiday house in Clarens, looking out at the Maluti Mountains. Take a different approach Of course, you could play with each of these markers as you become more experienced as a writer. Deep space Indeed, you could create abstract elements in each marker to intrigue the reader and pull them in, taking them in to the story from a different viewpoint or using an unusual narrative voice. by Anthony Ehlers Follow Anthony on Twitter and Facebook.
Creative Writing Prompts for Sci-Fi & Fantasy Lovers | Creative Writing Prompts Posted by Melissa Donovan on April 5, 2013 · Fantastical creative writing prompts. In the world of creative writing, we’ve only begun tapping the possibilities in speculative fiction, a genre that includes science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, and superhero stories, as well as anything that ventures beyond known reality. Speculative fiction is an under-recognized genre: Academia and literary elitists traditionally haven’t given it much credence, although it has been gaining acclaim in recent years. But the genre’s fans are rabid. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to step outside of reality and see just what your imagination can do. You can write about knights and dragons, spaceships and far-off planets, the apocalypse, ghosts, or strange islands with magical properties. The creative writing prompts below can be used in any way you want. The Speculative Fiction Edition* A plane is flying from Australia to Los Angeles.
How to Structure A Story: The Eight-Point Arc By Ali Hale - 3 minute read One of my favourite “how to write” books is Nigel Watts’ Writing A Novel and Getting Published. My battered, torn and heavily-pencil-marked copy is a testament to how useful I’ve found it over the years. Although the cover appears to be on the verge of falling off altogether, I’ve risked opening the book once more to bring you Watts’ very useful “Eight-Point Story Arc” – a fool-proof, fail-safe and time-honoured way to structure a story. (Even if you’re a short story writer or flash fiction writer rather than a novelist, this structure still applies, so don’t be put off by the title of Watts’ book.) The eight points which Watts lists are, in order: StasisTriggerThe questSurpriseCritical choiceClimaxReversalResolution He explains that every classic plot passes through these stages and that he doesn’t tend to use them to plan a story, but instead uses the points during the writing process: So, what do the eight points mean? Stasis Trigger The quest Surprise Climax Reversal
6 Ways to Hook Your Readers from the Very First Line Although I consider myself an avid reader, I must admit I have a short attention span when it comes to getting into books. If you fail to grab my attention in the first few lines, I start spacing out. Most readers are like me. Here are a few things I find annoying in the first lines of a story: Dialogue. The last thing you want to do as a writer is annoy or bore people. (N.B. 1. Put a question in your readers’ minds. “Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.” 2. By starting at an important moment in the story, your reader is more likely to want to continue so he or she can discover what will happen next. “It was dark where she was crouched but the little girl did as she’d been told.” 3. Description is good when it encourages people to paint a picture in their minds. “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” 4. The promise of reading more about a character you find intriguing will, no doubt, draw you into a story’s narrative. 5. 6.
About a little thing called 750 Words Useful Sites for Beginners to Creative Writing Jul 20, 2011 Creative writing can be a fun and satisfying pursuit, but getting started is often intimidating. Check out the following websites for writing prompts, style tips and other essential resources for beginning poets and creative writers. Writing Prompts Find yourself staring at a blank page? Creative Writing Prompts - Over 300 quick story ideas and inspirations. Mechanics & Style Good grammar, tight mechanics and a strong personal voice are essential elements to good creative writing. OWL - Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) covers just about everything writing-related. Writing Forums Not ready to join a 'real life' writer's group? Writing.com - This forum for writers of all skill levels has been operating for over a decade. Other Resources Writer's Digest - The website for the Writer's Digest magazine offers a huge range of resources in one place: forums, style tips, creativity prompts and much more.
The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations is a descriptive list which was created by Georges Polti to categorize every dramatic situation that might occur in a story or performance. To do this Polti analyzed classical Greek texts, plus classical and contemporaneous French works. He also analyzed a handful of non-French authors. In his introduction, Polti claims to be continuing the work of Carlo Gozzi, who also identified 36 situations. Publication history “Gozzi maintained that there can be but thirty-six tragic situations. This list was published in a book of the same name, which contains extended explanations and examples. The list is popularized as an aid for writers, but it is also used by dramatists, storytellers and many others. The 36 situations Each situation is stated, then followed by the necessary elements for each situation and a brief description. See also References External links
3 Steps to Writing a Novel with Unforgettable Characters Character development is one of the first essential steps of writing a novel and it involves creating the people who will carry out your story. There will most likely be a variety of characters needed for your story, but none as important as your lead character – your protagonist. A well-developed protagonist has much to do with the success of writing a novel. When writing a novel, the protagonist should be someone that your readers feel is a “real person” that they come to love (or at least like a whole lot), can relate to in many ways, and will care about and think about long after they’ve turned the final page on your novel. How to Create “Real People” for Your Novel When writing a novel, there are many ways to go about creating characters and much has been written about it in “how to write a novel books”, sometimes in great detail. Writing a Novel – Four Attributes of a Lead Character: 1. 2. 3. 4. Writing a Novel – Three Attributes Every Character Has: 1. 2. 3. 1. 2. 3.
hero's journey "A Practical Guide to Joseph Cambell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces" by Christopher Vogler © 1985 “There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before.” In the long run, one of the most influential books of the 20th century may turn out to be Joseph Campbell’s THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES. The book and the ideas in it are having a major impact on writing and story-telling, but above all on movie-making. The ideas Campbell presents in this and other books are an excellent set of analytical tools. With them you can almost always determine what’s wrong with a story that’s floundering; and you can find a better solution almost any story problem by examining the pattern laid out in the book. There’s nothing new in the book. Campbell’s contribution was to gather the ideas together, recognize them, articulate them, and name them. This accounts for the universal power of such stories. 1.) 2.) 3.) 4.) 5.) 6.) 7.) 8.)