Thursday 27 July 2017

Fiction Workshop 11 Getting the story right

As an editor who both selects texts and works on them with writers to improve them I find a frequent problem is that there is no story. The writing can be technically perfect and perhaps also aesthetically pleasing but what actually happens?
The trick is to be able to tell anyone who needs to know what your story is about. This video explains it all beautifully.See it here.
You should be able to tell your story in two lines or a couple of sentences. Even if you're a "panster", someone who never plans their work in detail, it can be quite useful to know how your story ends.
If you're a planner, the brief outline may be useful:
Inciting incident
·         Complexity 1
·         Complexity 2
·         Complexity 3
Crisis point (the point of no return)
           Climax (Filling the gap between the crisis and the resolution
However, this will not be useful at all if you are not absolutely clear on what your story is about.  Not only is this important when you are shaping your story it is also crucial when you come to pitch your perfectly formed story later. As well as being able to write a story that is convincing you must be able to persuade others that it has merit.
Editors can fix poor writing. They can't always help you to fix your story.
More on story shape next time.  
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