|Posted by Brandy Potter on July 9, 2013 at 12:55 AM|
Ok so you have begun to write……. great…. Or you maybe one of those people that want a written guide on what to write before you write..........
What are the most important things to any writing project? If you MUST have a list….. then…..
- Plot – Now I find that this is very closely linked to all of the elements that follow. However the plot is what is happening in your story. There has to be a conflict internal or external. Internal conflict can be something like a commitment phobe falls in love. Or grief etc…. External would be a mystery to solve, or a way to save a lover or to plan a crime. The list goes on and on. There should also be an end to the conflict one way or another at the end of the novel or series.
A plot can be a simple or complex as you want it. However I find that when writing for an adult audience a simple plot requires complex characters to hold interest. However that is just my opinion and we all know about those
- Character – To me this is the meat and potatoes of the story. Characters drive many if not all of my stories (the Mafia work being the exception at this point). But if your plot is your meat and potatoes a simple bio and description may be enough. Back stories can complicate things but they make for interesting reading… again opinion….
- Setting – WHEN is something taking place? WHERE is it taking place? This is what is meant by setting. Where meaning what city, town, country not necessarily the settings of individual scenes. For example, if you want to have someone speaking or dressing in Victorian fashion, you probably don't want to have the story take place in Elizabethan times. I was going to use modern times in that sentence but my best friend Liz will say that Steam punk IS Victorian and IS modern. SO out of respect.. but I digress…..
Ok so the time is right but where are they…. A story about the French revolution can hardly take place in China... Right now I know you are saying Brandy.. this is obvious but you would be surprised at how many people try to do these things… seriously.
Oh and one other thing that myself and other history nuts find INCREDIBLY annoying… if you are going to write historical fiction (defined as any fiction set in a specific time in the past, i.e. the 80's) DO YOUR RESEARCH! Read a story from someone asking for me to give an opinion and I couldn't get past the first three paragraphs…. Why? It was set in Scotland in the late 1600's with Charles I as king…. In fact during the time it was set Charles II was on the throne and since my great great grandmother's maiden name was HYDE (Charles' sister in law Anne Hyde married to James II of England (VII of Scotland) and yes we are very distant relatives) I was more than well aware of the historical faux pa… Another story by another author had a "King of Germany" who's family had been kings in Germany for centuries.. . oops digressing again.. you get the point….
- Writing style – Are you descriptive ie Steven King or dialog/action driven ie David Eddings….. Translation do you describe every little thing in extensive detail or do you allow the details to be filled in as the plot develops…. Are you going to write in 1st, 3rd or the almost impossible second person? What dialog are you going use? Are you going to write in prose or poetry? Is this going to be a screenplay, a script, a novel, a short story, a graphic novel, a comic book? Is this fiction or non fiction? Etc Etc
Now all of that being relayed; understand 1 thing…. As I said in my 1st blog post…. Write the story you want to read… write for yourself. All of these 'technicalities' will work themselves out as the story flows. If not then you can always edit later….. Just Write!