background preloader

Scene-Creation Workshop — Writing Scenes that Move Your Story Forward

Scene-Creation Workshop — Writing Scenes that Move Your Story Forward
As the atom is the smallest discrete unit of matter, so the scene is the smallest discrete unit in fiction; it is the smallest bit of fiction that contains the essential elements of story. You don’t build a story or a book of words and sentences and paragraphs — you build it of scenes, one piled on top of the next, each changing something that came before, all of them moving the story inexorably and relentlessly forward. You can, of course, break the scene up into its component pieces — words, sentences, and paragraphs — but only the scene contains the vital wholeness that makes it, like an atom of gold, a building block of your fiction. It contains the single element that gives your story life, movement, and excitement. So what is this magical element that gives your scene its life and makes it the brick with which you build your fiction? Change. When is a scene a scene? We’re going to create some very short scenes here — I’ll do some demos, and then you’ll do some practice scenes. Related:  StructureWriting Styles

102 Resources for Fiction Writing « Here to Create UPDATE 1/10: Dead links removed, new links added, as well as Revision and Tools and Software sections. Are you still stuck for ideas for National Novel Writing Month? Or are you working on a novel at a more leisurely pace? Here are 102 resources on Character, Point of View, Dialogue, Plot, Conflict, Structure, Outlining, Setting, and World Building, plus some links to generate Ideas and Inspiration. Also, I recommend some resources for Revision and some online Tools and Software. Too many links? 10 Days of Character Building Name Generators Name Playground The Universal Mary Sue Litmus Test Priming the idea pump (A character checklist shamlessly lifted from acting) How to Create a Character Seven Common Character Types Handling a Cast of Thousands – Part I: Getting to Know Your Characters It’s Not What They Say . . . Establishing the Right Point of View: How to Avoid “Stepping Out of Character” How to Start Writing in the Third Person Web Resources for Developing Characters Speaking of Dialogue

7 Essential Elements of Scene + Scene Structure Exercise Today’s post is excerpted from The Plot Whisperer Workbook (Adams Media, 2012) by Martha Alderson. Two lucky commenters were chosen to receive a free copy of the book: Tanette Smith and Mindy Halleck. Congratulations! In a scene, a character acts and reacts to people, places, and events. As a pre-writing exercise, it’s helpful to generate and analyze scenes for your story. If you have no scene ideas, consider what your character wants and then visualize the steps the character will take to get what she wants. When generating a scene list, do not concern yourself with the specific elements in each scene. It’s also helpful if you give a very brief title to each scene—no more than one line. The trick to this exercise is not to see how many scenes you can list. Whether you write short stories, novels, or memoirs and/or creative nonfiction, you will write countless scenes. The first layer of every scene deals with time and setting.

Dark Treasury: World Building World Building is fun. It can also be a nightmare. How can one person possibly create an entire world? There's just so much to consider. If you miss something, your world may not feel real to your readers then, your story fails. Templates Below are some awesome sites with amazing details about each characteristic of World Building. SFWA: Fantasy World Building QuestionsCreating Fantasy and Science Fiction WorldsConsider WorldbuildingBerley’s Top 10 World Building Tips for Sci Fi or FantasyInkwell Ideas: Worldbuilding: Local Area DesignSquidoo: Fantasy Worldbuilding Resources Darkness/Dark-side Defined (Physical and Psychological) For some reason, I've always been facinatd by darkness. DarknessMerriam-Webster: DarknessEssential Secrets of Psychology: "What is the Shadow?" Characters, Creatures & Powers Most dark fantasy stories have some sort of non-human character. Setting I'm a visual person. Government Your world will have a governing body (maybe more than one).

Writer's Café fiction writing software - novels - screenwriting - short stories - creative fun Five Open Source Apps For Writers and Authors by Lisa Hoover - Jul. 17, 2009Comments (9) Even if you have the perfect idea for the next Great American Novel, getting it down on paper is never easy. While you could always use standard word processors like OpenOffice Write or AbiWord, they don't have the bells and whistles that make writing books, manuals, and theses as easy as possible. Kabikaboo - This recursive writing assistant is perfect for managing large documents, technical manuals, and long novels. Storybook - Any author or novelist will tell you writing a book is a complicated affair. Celtx - Many scriptwriters swear by Celtx, and with good reason. LyX - If you do a lot of academic writing, theses, or scientific papers, Lyx will make sure the structure of your documents meets formal acceptance requirements. Scribus - We've mentioned this desktop publishing app before as a way to create presentations and newsletters, but it's also an award-winning way to put together your next blockbuster novel.

Writing a Multiple Viewpoint Novel | Novel Writing Help Let's start with the basics... A multiple viewpoint novel is one in which two or more members of your cast list are viewpoint characters – that is, those characters through whose eyes we witness the events of the novel and whose thoughts and feelings we have direct access to. Or to put it even more simply... If different chapters are narrated by different characters – chapter one from John's point of view, chapter two from Helen's – you're writing a multi-viewpoint novel. Multiple viewpoints are common in novels, so it would hardly be a risky choice if you chose to write one yourself. The Pros and Cons of Using Multiple Viewpoints Is it better to stick with one viewpoint character, or does having two or more characters in the spotlight add dimension to your novel? First the "difficulty" issue... While it's certainly the case that writing from more than one point of view is more complicated, it isn't much more complicated. A bigger issue than difficulty is that of "focus"... My best advice?

10 Lessons I Learned While Writing My First Novel Within the last week, I’ve completed the final round of revisions on my first novel and started querying agents. Woo! Huzzah! It’s been a long road… I started this novel about four-and-a-half years ago. Here are the top ten lessons I learned while writing my first novel: 1. And that means everything. Art simply doesn’t play nicely with timelines. 2. You know what I’m talking about, right? Not the kind where it sparks and then deflates seconds later. 3. This simple question got me over every hump of writers block while writing my novel. 4. Yes, your plot needs to make sense. 5. I thought getting through my rough draft meant the hard part was over. But, somewhere, eventually, edits start getting easier again… and that’s called the light at the end of tunnel. 6. It’s just impossible to be an artist and view your own creation with an unbiased perspective. 7. Receiving critique can sting a little. The ones who give it to you do it because they care, and they believe in you. 8. 9. 10.

A Simple Novel Outline – 9 questions for 25 chapters « H.E. Roulo Just as every tree is different but still recognizably a tree, every story is different but contains elements that make it a story. By defining those before you begin you clarify the scope of your work, identify your themes, and create the story you meant to write. At Norwescon 2011 I sat in on a session called Outline Your Novel in 90-minutes led by Mark Teppo. I’ll give you the brief, readable, synthesized version. Here are the 9 questions to create a novel: 1.) 2.) 3.) 4.) 5.) 6.) 7.) 8.) 9.) Now, with those 9 questions answered to your satisfaction, try to fill in a 25 chapter, 75,000 word outline. Chapters 7-18 are the middle of your book. Chapters 19-25 depict the heroic act to victory. Wasn’t that easy? Okay, sure, the work isn’t done yet. Using the idea that there are 25 chapters, I outlined my current work in progress. I hope that was helpful. Tell me what works for you. Related 6 Steps to Masterful Writing Critiques June 7, 2013 In "Writing Tips" Writers love to write. In "News"

Be a better writer in 15 minutes: 4 TED-Ed lessons on grammar and word choice There’s no denying it — the English language can be mighty tricky. When writing a paper, a novel or even an e-mail, you might look at a sentence you just wrote and think, “Is that comma supposed to be there?” or “Is that really the best word to use?” First, let’s look at the often-confusing comma. What about the Oxford comma? Now, take an adjective such as “implacable” or a verb like “proliferate” or even another noun “crony,” and add a suffix, such as “-ity” or “-tion” or “-ism.” Finally, when it comes to good writing, don’t take the easy route!

7 ways writing by hand can save your brain It's time to put pen to paper. Our tech-dependent society has put keyboards at the tips of our fingers at all times, from our smartphones to our laptops. But when was the last time you wrote by hand? Science shows that handwriting can benefit our minds in a number of ways. We spoke to Dr. 1. Writing a calming sentence is a form of graphotherapy, Seifer says. "This actually calms the person down and retrains the brain," Seifer says. 2. Writing something in cursive, that beautiful archaic form, can coordinate the left brain and right brain. 3. For young children, writing by hand is an imperative tool in improving cognitive skills. 4. Taking pen to paper inspires more creative thought, because it is a slower process than just typing something on a keyboard, Seifer says. 5. Writing by hand is a great tool for baby boomers who want to keep their minds sharp as they get older. 6. Let's say you're taking notes in class. 7. "One key difference is movement. Have something to add to this story?

A quick overview of the Hero’s Journey | Jordan McCollum Planning out a novel? Be sure to join my newsletter for a FREE plotting/revision roadmap, and check out the full series on plotting novels in a free PDF! Over the last two weeks, we’ve looked at two plotting methods. One helped us parse our story into parts, the other helped us grow it from an idea. But a weakness of both is that neither really tells us what kind of events we need in a story—especially in the sagging middle. The Hero’s Journey is based on the universal archetype work of Carl Jung, as applied by Joseph Campbell. I first learned about the hero’s journey in high school. Ahem. The Hero’s Journey The story begins in The Ordinary World. Then comes the Call to Adventure. Normally, the hero isn’t interested. Fear doesn’t have to be the only reason for refusal—he may also have noble reasons, or perhaps other characters are preventing him from leaving (on purpose or inadvertently). Sometimes it takes a mentor to get the hero on the right path. The Ordeal. What do you think?

Using Effective Diction "The difference between the almost-right word and the right word is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning." —Mark Twain Writing teachers often tell their students to "show--don't tell." To make your writing effective, "show" something to readers that they can imaginatively experience; don't just "tell" readers an abstract idea. Notice, for example, the two sentences below, both conveying the same basic idea. Abstract "Telling" Even a large male gorilla, unaccustomed to tourists, is frightened by people. The second sentence is memorable and brings the experience to life, whereas the first sentence is rather dull, telling readers that a large gorilla is frightened but not showing readers a frightened gorilla. This web page offers suggestions to help you use concrete and specific diction in your writing, the kind of diction that can make your writing vivid and engaging. 1) Abstract and Concrete Diction Abstract words include . . .