The structure of every story follows the pattern of the average human emotional experience. That pattern is the same, whether it’s a first kiss, eating a chocolate bar, having sex, or reading a full-length novel. Hollywood scriptwriters have found this pattern, follow it, and often make great heaps of money for their producers by doing so.
But how does this help the novel writer? We’re all much more “seat of the pants,” aren’t we? Creative, innovative, never following the crowd? Well, yes, we all have an intuitive grasp of the idea, or we wouldn’t be writers. But my experience is that a formula helps you most when you discover you’ve screwed up. Be as creative as you want, but when you finish your first draft and discover it’s flat, boring, and takes too long to get anywhere, what do you do? You go to the formula to see what you missed. Because it will be there.
My favourite crutch at times like that is Continue reading “Story Structure: All a Novelist Needs to Know”
I saw an article the other day that uncovered striking similarities between several country music hits. The blog, Saving Country Music, posted about the mashup from Greg Todd which you can view below:
Sir Mashalot (Greg Todd) took six different current hit country songs and combined them at the same key and tempo. The result produced an eerie combination of, in its rawest form, the same song.
Just recently, I was working on a jingle with a producer/songwriter. After weeks of back and forth with the producer, I gave up. He wasn’t willing to change. I bagged the project about a month ago. Why? It sounded like everything else on the radio.
The combination of these two events got me to thinking about the writing industry. You can find millions of new books each year. Yet, the majority of them read like the same book. Once you scrape away the window dressing — “tweak them with tempo and key” — you’ve got the same book.
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Continue reading “Is It Okay for Our Stories To Be The Same?”
Over the past couple of nights, I’ve had a sequential dream. It’s turning into a really cool book … one day. It got me thinking. How do you come up with your book ideas? Typically, the dream thing isn’t my best fodder for novels. This one just happens to keep returning night after night. I keep a notebook in my nightstand for those occasions. I’ve been known to get up at 3:00 in the morning and blast off ideas into a Word document just so I won’t forget them in the morning.
As I said, I don’t normally get my inspiration from dreams. The Van Stone series is more of a planned series, fictionalizing events and adventures that kids would likely not experience. As with many of you, my characters lead the way and talk to me way too much. At this time, I have five different adventures conceptualized for the series. I’ve actually written parts of most of them (which is why it’s taking so long to get out #2 in the series.) Continue reading “Amp Up Your Story Development”
by Darlene Deluca
They may push you. They may make you rewrite. And rewrite some more. They might ask you tough questions like, “what’s the point of this scene?” They may be brutally honest. You might not like them very much sometimes.
But, relax, they’re making you a better writer, and your book a better product.
They’re called critique partners. And you need them. Why? Because they’ll tell you if something doesn’t make sense, if you need to chop twenty-five pages of backstory, or if you’ve used the word “just” fifty times in one chapter. Continue reading “Get A Group: Critique Partners Make a Difference”