What Counts Most And It Aint Talent

We are all something else besides novelists, but if you are not a novelist in your heart, at your core, you are a dilettante and should not bother trying to be a novelist. Being a novelist is not just a matter of reading a book of technique and fiddling around at your typewriter putting little blotches of ink on paper. If you were to list the qualities a person needs to become a novelist, what would you put first A college education Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and Daniel...

The Magic Of Identification The Greatest Trick Of

Fiction gives us insight into other people as no other medium can. When we read fiction we participate in the lives of others at a much deeper level than when we read, say, a newspaper account. In fiction, we are intimate with the characters. Fiction can be more real to the reader than reality itself because fiction is the essence of life. In a fictional story, the reader is brought into the inner experience of the characters. If the writer is skilled enough, the reader will...

Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is so important that Lajos Egri in The Art of Dramatic Writing makes it a type of conflict, along with static, jumping, and slowly rising. Foreshadowing is not actually conflict, but rather the promise of conflict. Joe got out of bed, ate breakfast, loaded his gun, and set out for town. This is foreshadowing because the reader thinks, What's the loaded gun for A story question has been raised. Foreshadowing is the art of raising story questions. If the story questions are slight,...

Dialogue Direct And Indirect Inspired And Uninspired

Mary looked up from the book she was reading. Hi, she said. Joe shuffled his feet nervously. He was sure everyone in the school cafeteria was looking at him. What ya doin' he asked. Joe sat down. He ran his finger around his collar to wipe away the sweat trickling down his neck. Ah, I've got to ask you something, he said. Er, have you got a date for the prom I wasn't going to go to the prom. Gee, everyone goes to the prom. How'd you like to go with me Hmmm. I'll think about it, okay Don't think...

Modified Objective Viewpoint

One way to achieve more intimacy is through modified objective viewpoint. In modified objective viewpoint, the narrator does not claim to know the character's inner workings, but makes guesses about them. Sometimes the guesses prove wrong, resulting in what has been called an unreliable narrator. In other words, in modified objective viewpoint the narrator describes honestly what is going on, what any sensible observer would see, and draws the same conclusions as the reader would. As long as...

Firstperson Subjective Viewpoint

The first-person narrator is always writing from a subjective viewpoint . The first-person narrator has access to one character, the narrator, who is himself a character in the story. He may be the protagonist, the antagonist, or any other character. In Cuckoos Nest the story is narrated by the Chief, a minor character. Lolita is narrated by the protagonist, Humbert Humbert. First-person narrative has many attractions, especially for the beginning novelist. A beginner often feels comfortable...

The Fine Art Of Flashbacking

The flashback is the most misused and overworked device in fiction writing. Readers are totally absorbed by what happens next. That is one way storytelling works its magic. The author gets the reader interested in a character and situation, plunges the characters into conflict, and soon the reader is caught up in the characters' lives. The reader can't wait to find out how the mess the author got the characters into is going to turn out. Say Sam Smoot, your hero, is finally coming to terms with...

Rising To The Climax Or The Proof Of The Pudding Is In The Premise

Think of a climax as the target and the rest of your story as the flight of the arrow. Think of a climax as the other shore toward which you are building the bridge of your book. Think of a climax as the goal line where the winning touchdown is made. Think of a climax as the knockout punch of the heavyweight prizefight of your novel. A story is a question mark a climax, an exclamation A story is tension a climax, satisfaction. A story is the face-off, the quick draw, the pull of the trigger the...

The Pattern Of Resolving Conflict

Conflict that comes after the climax, after the core conflict is settled, is resolving conflict. In a story, the conflicts grow and intensify, the stakes rise, and the situation becomes more desperate up to the climactic moment. This is rising conflict. Then pow the climax. Now, the conflicts that follow have the opposite pattern. The storm is receding the intensity is lessening rather than increasing. An event is anticlimactic if it has a rising conflict and comes after the core conflict is...

The Three Cs Of Premise

There is no formula for constructing premises, but according to Egri, every good premise should contain an element of character which through conflict leads to a conclusion. A coward goes to war and becomes a hero. A brave man goes into battle and becomes a coward. Samson has his hair cut and loses his great powers, but he gets them back. When you formulate your premise, remember the three C's character, conflict, and conclusion. A dramatic story is the transformation of character through...

The Unconscious Writer

Shocking as it may seem, some theorists don't believe in the concept of premise. One of them is Kenneth MacGowan who, in A Primer ofPlaywriting 1951 , explains Egri's theory of premise in some detail, but then says, I suppose it finding your premise is merely a harmless little exercise in the manufacture of bromides all it amounts to is saying a good play will have a moral message. MacGowan has come to this conclusion because of the many writers who sell fiction by the truckload but have never...

Proving The Premise Of The Character

Each major character in a story has his own fate. Therefore, each character has a premise of his own. If you are proving in your story that the big lie brings ruin, one character may be a liar that does not mean all the characters must be liars. It simply means that one lie brings ruin. Michael Corleone's ruling passion in The Godfather is love of his family. His love leads him to become the Don the ruler of the family's illegal business despite the fact that he is morally opposed to the...

Incident And Character How Each Grows Out Of The Other

Aristotle said in The Poetics that the length of a drama should be such that the hero passes by a series of probable or necessary stages from misfortune to happiness, or from happiness to misfortune. Twenty-three centuries later, Egri says the same thing when he insists that a character should grow from pole to pole. A coward becomes brave, a lover becomes an enemy, a saint becomes a sinner this is growth from pole to pole. When you plan your novel you will need to plan not only the incidents,...

Premise Defined

If you wished to make an argument, say, that dogs make better pets than cats, how would you go about proving it You would argue that dogs are friendlier, more trainable, more likeable, more agreeable, and so on. You would include all the good things you can think of about dogs and all the bad things about cats. Even if you knew any good things about cats, you would exclude them, because it would be contrary to your argument. The premise of an argument is the statement of the conclusion that...

Story About With Dialogs Of Dramatic Storytelling

WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT IS WHO 1 What's the who Subspecies of Homo Fictus. Creating wonderfully rounded characters, or, how to play God. Making characters sizzle. Building character from the ground up the fictional biography. Interviewing a character, or, getting to know him the easy way. At the character's core the ruling passion, and how to find it. The steadfast protagonist, heartbeat of the dramatic novel. Stereotyped characters and how to avoid them. Character maximum capacity and the would...

Limited Omniscient Viewpoint

The modernized version of omniscient viewpoint is limited omniscient viewpoint, a very powerful technique indeed. Limited omniscient viewpoint works like this the author claims the right to go into the heads only of certain characters and not others. These selected characters, usually the protagonist and two or three others, are called viewpoint characters. While the narrator is in the head of a character, because of the magic of identification, the reader is living that character's life....