Lisa Voisin | Young Adult Fiction Writer "Supernatural Horror in Literature" by H. P. Lovecraft I. Introduction The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. These facts few psychologists will dispute, and their admitted truth must establish for all time the genuineness and dignity of the weirdly horrible tale as a literary form. The appeal of the spectrally macabre is generally narrow because it demands from the reader a certain degree of imagination and a capacity for detachment from every-day life. Man’s first instincts and emotions formed his response to the environment in which he found himself. Because we remember pain and the menace of death more vividly than pleasure, and because our feelings toward the beneficent aspects of the unknown have from the first been captured and formalised by conventional religious rituals, it has fallen to the lot of the darker and more maleficent side of cosmic mystery to figure chiefly in our popular supernatural folklore. II. III. Mrs. Of Mrs. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII.
untitled ‘Based on a true story’: the fine line between fact and fiction Frontiers are always changing, advancing. Borders are fixed, man-made, squabbled about and jealously fought over. The frontier is an exciting, demanding – and frequently lawless – place to be. For many years this was a peaceful, uncontested and pretty deserted space. While it’s important not to convert prejudices into manifesto pledges, my experience is in keeping with actuarial norms: middle-aged now, I look forward to the days when I join that gruffly contented portion of the male population that reads only military history. As a consequence, the one thing I don’t go to fiction for, these days, is entertainment. Within the sprawl of nonfiction there is as much genre- and convention-dependency as in fiction. Don’t let me be misunderstood. The difference between fiction and nonfiction is quite reasonably assumed to depend on whether stuff is invented or factually reliable. That book was dedicated to John Berger. Geoff Dyer received the 2015 Windham-Campbell prize for nonfiction.
Back to Basics: Writing a Novel Synopsis Photo by reamyde / Flickr Note from Jane: The following post is an old favorite; I’ve updated it to be more specific and useful. It’s probably the single most despised document you might be asked to prepare: the synopsis. The synopsis is sometimes required because an agent or publisher wants to see, from beginning to end, what happens in your story. Thus, the synopsis must convey a book’s entire narrative arc. It shows what happens and who changes, and it has to reveal the ending. Don’t confuse the synopsis with sales copy—the kind of material that might appear on your back cover or in an Amazon description. Unfortunately, there is no single “right” way to write a synopsis. While this post is geared toward writers of fiction, the same principles can be applied to memoir and other narrative nonfiction works. Why the novel synopsis is important to agents and editors The synopsis ensures character actions and motivations are realistic and make sense. What the novel synopsis must accomplish
A One-Sentence Summary Clinic | Advanced Fiction Writing One of the most popular features that I do on this blog is to periodically hold a clinic in writing a one-sentence summary. It’s time to do it again. I think we’ll have a lot of fun. Simply put, the one-sentence summary is one of the most effective marketing tools you’ll ever find for your novel. Not to mention, it’s one of the most powerful ways of keeping you on track as you write or edit your novel. What’s a one-sentence summary? Here are a couple of examples which I’m going to steal from my book WRITING FICTION FOR DUMMIES. OUTLANDER, by Diana Gabaldon: “A young English nurse searches for the way back home after time-traveling from 1945 to 1743 Scotland.” THE KITE RUNNER, by Khaled Hosseini: “A boy raised in Afghanistan grows up with the shame of having failed to fight the gang of boys who raped his closest friend.” One thing a one-sentence summary does is to tell you instantly whether you’d be interested in reading the book. What’s your one-sentence summary?
Writing a Synopsis from the Ground Up Writing a Synopsis from the Ground Up by Dee-Ann Latona LeBlanc Return to Getting Your Book Published · Print/Mobile-Friendly Version Tell most aspiring novelists that they must synopsize their masterpiece, and they run screaming into the hills. A synopsis should be a breakdown of the central plot and storyline, and introduce the central characters. So how do you avoid this? A single sentence. The One Sentence Synopsis In writers' circles, something similar to the following is often bantered about: "If you can't tell someone what your novel is in a sentence, you don't know what it's about." Don't panic, you don't have to come up with something perfect right now. Who is the central character? Now, grab a blank sheet of paper (or open a new document) and start jotting down sentences that capture the essence of your answers. The One Paragraph Synopsis If someone just walked up to you and asked you to summarize your novel into a single paragraph, you'd probably laugh at them. Finally!
So You Wrote a First Draft—Dear God! What NOW? Once we have that crappy first draft usually there will be two major things we need to do…fill or cut. Okay, drinking makes three. And maybe wondering why we didn’t go to dental hygienist school instead makes four…. Anyway. While it is true that too little substance can generate confusion, too much fluff can create distraction. There needs to be a balance between… Enough about the damn snowstorm! Thus, once we have that completed first draft and begin our read-through we need to make these refinements to see if what we created meets or exceeds our expectations. Sadly this is usually the first draft. Much of what we will need to do is going to be dictated by what kind of writer we are. Some writers do a very sparse first draft that acts a lot like a frame for paper machet. Image via Flickr Creative Commons courtesy of Suzette. Once the structure is inspected and found to be solid enough for government work, the writer then goes back through and fleshes in the work. Character Redundancy