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2008-06-23 14:36:28
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The Art of Fiction


This is Part of the Literature Department here at the Elftown Academy. Here I will do my best to present to you simple lessons I have had to learn the hard way about writing fiction and getting a manuscript fit for publishing. Below are the topics I will cover. Feel free to post links to your practice pages which I encourage as part of this class.

Please send me a message when you sign up.
Taught By: [Runingwhispers]



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Students:

1. [miekje]
2. [Tears of the Dead Star] - Shaladi's Writings
3. [Shadowsoul]
4. [Kitara Softpaw] - Kitara's Fictional Writings
5. [Rosette]


Introduction
Do not mistake your premise to be the story, its only the first step.
Remember to work with what makes you comfortable.

You may deviate from the outline when you need to, to keep the story moving, but remember to track changes and edit earlier parts so that everything makes sense, or your readers will be really pis*ed

Don't worry about spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Just write. Get all the ideas down.
If it doesn't support the main theme or plot, leave it out

Proof/rewrite, if necessary, using Spell, Thesaurus, and Grammar checkers.



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Story Development:

1. Generate charts, possibly with a word processor or database program to track characters events, places, historical data, etc.

2. What's the major theme – outline (well go on write it down)

3. The story must be entertaining, remember to add conflict and action as rime considerations.

4. Make the story line short, several paragraphs, Include conclusion

5. Organize plots and subplots and how they link (and lead) to the climax

6. Organize those into chapters (noting single themes relating to time, crisis, characters and/or place(s)

7. Do Your Research on places and events, try to follow the order in which they occurred or stick to what you know, otherwise invent something believable.


Note: Many successful writers prepare a synopsis of the plot after writing the first three chapters of the book. At that point, the characters have taken shape, and the writer has a good idea of where the story is going. This is useful as a guide, and gives the writer assurance that there is a middle and end to the story. When the novel is complete, it may not completely follow your original plan, but at least you will not have been groping around aimlessly. Do not become a slave to the plot line; it can always be changed to improve the story.

There is an organic unity to the relation of the structure of the novel to the composition of each scene within the story. The novel is a sequence of scenes, followed by sequels. Each scene is constructed in the pattern of the novel, with a beginning, a middle and an end. Each element of the scene has the same dramatic purpose as the corresponding element of the story. - Dunahue



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Character Development

1. Make them real and believable, like people you know from everyday life. But don't fall into the temptation to make them a lot like someone you know. This is fiction, so use only bits of their personalities.

2. Create a chart for every character (at least the major ones at the minimum) to help you track them (your readers will notice – trust me). You could fashion it out to some thing like the one below, or anything that works for you.
Age, Height, build, Eye and Hair color, Birth Date, Birth Place, Scars/handicaps, Education, Work, Best friend(s), Marital status, disposition, Philosophy. etc

3. Similar Names: be careful not to confuse your readers by giving your characters similar names like Sammy and Manny, or Fred and Ted. They sound too much alike and if you are like me and hear the names in your head this could get annoying.

4. Name Variations: When shortening a name in the story for any reason, try to stick to one variation. For instance Samuel: Sam and Sammy, or Margaret: Maggie, Marge and Meg. Using two or more variations is inconsistent and could also be a little confusing. 


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Working with your Premise
Conflict the driving force
Padding and plotting
Description
Rewriting
Editing
Manuscript Preparation and Thinking like the Editor


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2006-07-31 [Kitara Softpaw]: If you have any part of the story, right it down it could be the middle, or the end. Then work backwards from that point. Roleplaying helps give me inspiration for some of my stories...Basically write down anything you can and go from there. ^^' I'm not the expert, but it's helped me

2006-07-31 [Kitara Softpaw]: The worst thing I have a problem with is that I'll start a story and then I will run out of ideas and I'll never finish it. Because I write down whatever comes into my mind I sometimes will start a spontaneous story and then not know where I want to take it. It's hard sometimes.

2006-08-02 [Runingwhispers]: I don't think anyone is an expert :P I have read crappy stuff from the best writters, but Acorna is right, just write down what you have and work from there outwards.

2006-08-02 [Kitara Softpaw]: Yey! I'm right. ^^' *chuckles*

2006-08-03 [Runingwhispers]: lol

2006-08-03 [Kitara Softpaw]: *pokes Whispers* Too bad this isn't a poetry class...have you seen the amount of poetry I've been uploading lately? BTW, I was wondering what you think of this --> using my poetry in my stories.

2006-08-04 [Runingwhispers]: yes I noticed, but I haven't read any yet, I have been kinda distracted. The idea is great though, I have used a bit of my poetry in stories too, plus I have seen it in alot of books. One writer used it as the main theme to solve a murder another used his as a prophecy ... you can use it any way you want, with your talent you wont have a problem finding a place to fit it ;)

2006-08-04 [Runingwhispers]: yes I noticed, but I haven't read any yet, I have been kinda distracted. The idea is great though, I have used a bit of my poetry in stories too, plus I have seen it in alot of books. One writer used it as the main theme to solve a murder another used his as a prophecy ... you can use it any way you want, with your talent you won't have a problem finding a place to fit it ;)

2006-08-04 [Kitara Softpaw]: Thanks Whispers, for the ideas and the compliments...

2006-08-07 [Runingwhispers]: ;)

2006-08-08 [Kitara Softpaw]: And thanks for your critiques on my peoms, even though they are technically not part of this class. >.> <.< They always helpalot. I know get reviews on my poems from you and one other person almost everyt time I add a new one.

2006-08-08 [Runingwhispers]: I am not mch of a poet so no one should be listening to me :P

2006-08-08 [Kitara Softpaw]: I like to listen to you though. Anyone can give good advice, even if they can't write in the style.

2006-08-08 [Runingwhispers]: thanks... you do have great stuff on your wiki...

2006-08-09 [Kitara Softpaw]: *bows humbly* Thank you great master. ^^' *dances nimbly out of whispers reach* Just take a look at the name of our relationship...you'll get it.

2006-08-09 [Runingwhispers]: hahaha hardly... I think we all are in a way.

2006-08-09 [Kitara Softpaw]: Yes, but our relationship is termed as "aprrenticeship"

2006-08-11 [Runingwhispers]: I was referring to the relation - we are all learning in a way :). Then again with the stuff you have you will soon become a master at what you do ;)

2006-08-12 [Kitara Softpaw]: *chuckles* I doubt it...

2006-08-26 [Dsaruk]: How do I join your class?

2006-08-28 [Runingwhispers]: Just sign up by adding your name above and keep this page on watch

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