So, in review, the first post about becoming a writer talked about the necessity of perseverance and the second discussed helpful resources. Today, we're moving past the soup and salad to the entree of writing.
Have you ever thought, "I wonder what I really need to know about writing,"? I thought this often as a new writer. I also strove to learn as much as I could from wherever I could. After several years of writing, critiquing, rewriting, editing, and revising, I can look back on everything I've learned along the way - everything I wish I'd known in the beginning.
While it takes the work - effort and time - to put many of these things into practice, it's helpful to know the ins and outs of writing rules and tips for taking an idea and molding it into a well-written story. Writing is a craft, an art, and there are techniques that are just as important to the process as skill and practice. This post will cover the first 2 of the 3 mail elements of Good Writing.
1 - Plot Development: make sure it's enough to keep readers interested. A good idea, a good scene, realistic issues may not be enough for a reader to tag along for 300 pages, or 150 for that matter. A plot should develop throughout the manuscript, always keeping the reader guessing as to how things are going to work out. Don't avoid foreshadowing completely, but don't give away the resolution, either. Additional plots, anywhere from 1-3 subplots, are helpful in increasing investment in the overall story. Think about the best books, movies, shows. There is always something more going on than just the main story.
2- Character Development: the people in your stories should be 3-dimensional. So what does that mean? First, it's not just about what they look like, say, and do, but also what they feel, believe, ad what experiences brought them to those things, mixed in with their personality. You should know your characters in depth, down to some of the smallest details, but you don't want to and shouldn't include every minute detail about them in your manuscript. You'll know your characters so much better and more things about them than your readers need or want. Lastly, remember to keep in mind these questions: What's unique about your character or makes them stand out? Do they have a personality that attracts the reader? (Unless its the antagonist, then do they sufficiently repel the reader?)
This list is by no means complete and comprehensive, but hopefully is a good springboard. There are many great writing books available, and tips on various websites (do I see a future blog post?),