So, here I go. Much of my learning came from Randy Ingermanson's class on the Snowflake method, given free by ACFW last month. But I also got some gems from a few writing magazines.
So here I go!
From the July issue of The Writer and the July/August issue of Writer's Digest:
- There IS a difference between deep third person point of view and deep first person - besides the pronouns.
- "A line of dialogue cannot just be doing one thing. It has to be characterizing, it has to be atmospheric, it has to be informative and provide exposition." ZZ Packer
- Plot twists are TOUGH - but totally worth working to get right.
- A great plot twist is more than just believable - it is, in retrospect, the only possible ending to that scene, act, or story.
- When creating a rivalry between characters, the two should be evenly matched, though in different areas.
- I am absolutely, positively a PLOTTER/PLANNER.
- Less is more
- It's crucial to be able to boil your story down to one idea that can be communicated in a few seconds.
- More people will dislike your story than will like it - and that's okay (even J.K. Rowling has only sold her books to 7% of the population).
- Your characters need to be both comprehensible and unpredictable.
- Character's motivations (a combination of their goal, ambition, and values) make it possible for characters to be both comprehensible and unpredictable.
- The three-act structure is a good basis for a one-paragraph summary of your story.
- The first act ends with the first disaster, which forces your lead character to commit to the story.
- The first half of the second act ends with the second disaster, which forces your lead character to change direction.
- The second act ends with the third disaster, which forces your lead character AND your villain to commit to a final showdown.
- The third act includes the final showdown and brings the story to a satifying conclusion.
- Writing character synopses is a great way to learn more about your characters and how they fit into the story.
- I absolutely, positively NEED TO work through all ten steps of the Snowflake Method on my current WIP.
Questions? Comments? Observations? What was most interesting/helpful to you?
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength