Where Should a Second Chapter Start? on October 12th, 2010 by Fiction Editor Beth Hill and last modified on October 12, 2010 We’ve all read advice about the first chapter—how and where to begin a story; what makes for strong openings, depending on the genre; what not to include in the first paragraph or page of chapter one; what to include in a novel’s opening. We understand that a good opening chapter sets the tone and introduces lead characters and gets the plot rolling. We know almost as much about the final chapter, the final paragraph, and the final words. About how to finish a story so that it’s complete and satisfying and induces the reader to want more. Yet, where’s the advice for chapter two? What do we do to move from that compelling first chapter—the one that’s seen more rewrites than all other pages combined and multiplied by 10—and into the meat of the story? We certainly want to continue the tone we’ve established. Sure there are. Where should a second chapter start? 1. 2.
Seven Common Character Types Seven Common Character Types by Terry W. Ervin II Fiction writers employ a variety of characters while weaving their tales. Beyond the standard definitions of protagonist (the main character in a literary work) and antagonist (the main character or force that opposes the protagonist in a literary work), recognizing the types of characters and the parts they play while reading an interesting story can add to the experience. Confidante- someone in whom the central character confides, thus revealing the main character’s personality, thoughts, and intentions. Example: In a story, Melvin Sanders is a detective on the trail of a serial killer. In this example Chops is a confidante. Dynamic Character - a character which changes during the course of a story or novel. Example: Ebenezer Scrooge, in A Christmas Carol by Dickens, was very stingy with his money. In this example Ebenezer Scrooge is a dynamic character. In this example Louis Drud is a flat character. In this example Betty is a foil.
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
How to write a scene One of the thing I admire most about Jane Espenson’s blog is that she talks very directly about the words on the page, giving names to techniques I use but never really think about. The two-percenter, for example. So one of my goals for 2007 is to get a little more granular in my advice-giving, and talk less about Screenwriting and more about screenwriting — in particular, scene writing. Spend a few years as a screenwriter, and writing a scene becomes an almost unconscious process. It’s like driving a car. Most of us don’t think about the ignition and the pedals and the turn signals — but we used to, back when we were learning. It’s the same with writing a scene. So here’s my attempt to introspect and describe what I’m doing that I’m not even aware I’m doing. Many screenwriting books will tell you to focus on what the characters want. The question is not, “What could happen?” Imagine the projectionist screwed up and accidentally lopped off this scene. But it’s so dramatic! Tough.
The Fatal Flaw - The Most Essential Element for Bringing Characters to Life By Dara Marks Growth is the by-product of a cycle that occurs in nature; that which flowers and fruits will also eventually wither and go to seed. The seed, of course, contains the potential for renewal, but does not guarantee it, nor does the seed instantly spring to new life. There is a necessary dormancy where the possibility of death holds life in suspended animation. In the cycles of our own lives, these near-death moments are rich with heightened dramatic possibilities that the writer wants to capitalize upon. These are the moments in the human drama where the stakes are the highest, where our choices matter the most: What's it going to be, life or death? This brings up the most essential demand for a well-dramatized script: In order to create a story that expresses the arc of transformation, a need for that transformation must be established. First, it's important to highlight the fundamental - organic - premise on which the fatal flaw is based: Finding the Fatal Flaw 1.
Fiction Writer's Character Chart - EpiGuide.com If you're a fiction writer -- whether you're working on a novel, short story, screenplay, television series, play, web series, webserial, or blog-based fiction -- your characters should come alive for your reader or audience. The highly detailed chart below will help writers develop fictional characters who are believable, captivating, and unique. Print this page to complete the form for each main character you create. IMPORTANT: Note that all fields are optional and should be used simply as a guide; character charts should inspire you to think about your character in new ways, rather than constrain your writing. If this character chart is helpful, please let us know! Looking for more character questionnaires / charts?
10 Amazing Historical Conflicts That Are Completely Forgotten History While some wars and skirmishes stand out and are immortalized in television, art, and film, history is full of thousands of fascinating conflicts that most have never heard about. The following are just 10 of these. 10The Battle Of Bloody Bayc.1480 This just might be the mother of all father versus son conflicts. After King James I of Scotland was captured and held prisoner in England in 1406, Scottish barons gained tremendous authority over the people. Everything was to change, however, when John Macdonald took over as ruler of the clan. With Angus Og and his father John commandeering either side, the two armies met in an extraordinarily violent and murderous skirmish that took place off the coast of Mull. 9The Lusitanian War155–139 B.C. When the army under praetor Servius Sulpicius Galba and proconsul Lucius Licinius Lucullus occupied the land of the Lusitani, a small Celtic tribe, the Lusitanians offered a treaty of peace to the Romans along with willful submission. Dr.
8 Ways to Write Better Characters The very first novel I, aged 20-something, wrote, is unpublished and will stay that way. An ensemble coming-of-age story of four teenagers, its weaknesses are legion: tame story line, thin action, unimaginatively rendered settings, hackneyed themes (though I will say the dialogue wasn’t bad). Having now published seven novels, I look back on that manuscript and realize that underlying the shortcomings I just mentioned lies its principal flaw: poor character development. The kids just don’t pop. So I’ve been pleased to read reviews of my latest novels (the Rita Farmer mysteries) that praise the characterization—and I’ve been struck by the number of them that cite the realism of my characters’ relationships. While plot is important, good characters can make or break your book. Let’s consider, to start, the categories of relationships we might write in our fiction: … and so many more. Everybody has relationships. Then, explore who they are beyond themselves. Here’s how. 1. 2. 3. No. 4. 5. 6.
10 Steps to Finding Your Writing Voice Bonus: Need help finding your writing voice? Click here for free tips. I write only because / There is a voice within me / That will not be still.–Sylvia Plath Awhile ago, I wrote an article called, “Finding Your Blog’s Unique Voice.” In it, I explain that a blog needs a voice that is both exclusive and authentic. Photo credit: Dan Foy (Creative Commons) But here, I want to share a little bit more about how to find your overall writing voice. Spending some time deliberating over voice is worth your attention and focus. If you struggle with getting people to read your writing or with staying consistent in your craft, you need to stop chasing numbers and productivity and reboot. An exercise for finding your voice Not sure where to start? Describe yourself in three adjectives. Why do you need a writing voice? Finding your voice is the key to getting dedicated followers and fans and that it’s the only sustainable way to write. Once you’ve found your voice, make sure you continue to develop it.
Creative Writing For Dummies Cheat Sheet Rewriting and editing helps to tighten up your work. But it can be difficult – what to chop and when to stop may not be clear, and you may change your mind more than once during the process. Ask yourself whether you need to take out: Unnecessary information and explanation. Passages of dialogue that go on too long. Clunky descriptions that give too much detail. You may need to add or expand: Something you know but have forgotten to tell the reader; perhaps the age of the main character. You may need to move: Dramatic sections to make a stronger opening. In your final edit: Check for grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes. 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. Answer 9 questions and create 25 chapter titles and you’re there. 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