Tuesday, July 26, 2011

YOU CAN Write a Story, Part 3

Here is the last part of "How YOU can Write a Story,"  the workshop I presented for the younger generation.   Please share your thoughts.  Do you have certain methods that you use when you write?  Do you use an outline?
Happy Writing!

Start with a bang! Your story's opening scene
  • Start with the day that is different -- the day the hero is called to adventure
  • Start your story as close to the "big event" as you can
  • Show the main character and the problem, or hint at the problem.
Use action to get your story rolling and make your reader want to see what happens next

Part Six: Write
I don't write until I've planned my character, conflict, scenes, and especially my opening. In your rough draft, just concentrate on getting it all on paper. You can go back and fix things later.

Part Seven: Revise
It's important to correct spelling and grammar mistakes, but first, make sure your story is in good shape. Look at your plan again and make sure that you showed those things in your story. Here are two examples:

Sometimes writers plan a great character, but reread their rough draft and discover they left out important information about the character. Check that you showed the character's problem, strengths, and weaknesses.

Sometimes writers find that important parts of their BIG SCENE were not properly set up earlier in the story. For example, if your character solves a riddle in the big scene, you need to show earlier in the story that your character is good at riddles.

Be sure to read your story several times.  Sometimes I leave my story for a day, come back to it, read it again and find new things to improve.  Another idea is to read it out loud.  Sometimes, dialogue doesn't sound right when read out loud.
I hope these tips help you create wonderful stories!  Have fun!  Good luck!


BarbaraB said...

Pam, these are good instructions for writing a story. But I'm not good a following a plan. I do know where my story will end. And I know most of the problems the MC will encounter along the way. But I love it when new ideas crop up. My biggest problem is with the beginning. Sometimes I rewrite the beginning several times. I usually correct spelling, etc. as I go because I can't stand those squiggly red lines.

Michelle Shaeffer said...

If I'm writing fiction, I've got to have an outline or I tend to meander. For general blogging, I have a basic outline probably half the time. I think it does help. For ANY writing, revision is critical. :)

Pam said...

Barb, I have to correct spelling too. What is it about those red squiggly lines? :) They are so irritating!
Michelle, Yes, revision is so important. I was very embarrassed to see that I spelled discover wrong in one of my blog titles. Somehow, I forget to check the title when I am editing. I won't do that again.
Thanks ladies for visiting!

Anonymous said...

I edit FOREVER. I'm editing my first full length novel. I'll write differently next time. I'll spit the story out and worry about making it flow, showing & not telling and everything else during the editing.

I've a text reader, critique group and have hired an editor. I let it sit for a few months before I started. That was hard. I'm feeling my way through it now.

Pam said...

J. Aday, We love our critique group! I don't know where I'd be without our group!
Thanks for visiting!

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