Posts Tagged ‘larry brooks’

Writing in Scenes, part 2

Last time I talked about writing in scenes: what they are and how they can discipline your writing. But not all scenes are equal.

We all know that some scenes need to carry more weight than others. But which ones? And where do they fit in a novel’s architecture? While there are competing views on what the scaffolding of a novel should be, I’m going to give you the leading one, and the one I use.

There are six crucial scenes that bring your story into focus. Each should be an emotionally charged packet of drama that turns the protagonist’s fortunes (a reversal.) Read More…

Favorite Books on the Craft

No one can teach you to write a really fine novel. I take that back. They can teach it, but your novel may still flounder. It’s all in the gestalt of your finished story. It’s up to you to make the artistic choices.

However,  the tools of the novelist are fairly basic. You should master them, and one way is to read (and take classes on) different approaches. Each teacher will come at things like plot and character and subplots a little differently. But they all talk about the same set of tools. That being the case, it’s time to start building your library!

Here are a few of my faves, sort of in order of complexity:

  • How to Tell a Story, Peter Rubie & Gary Provost
  • How to Write a Damn Good Novel, James N. Frey
  • The Writer’s Journey, Christopher Vogler Read More…

Story Structure Demystified

Like most of you, I’ve read a dozen books on writing the novel. Most of them try to tell you how to write something dramatic, memorable, believable, engaging . . . all important qualities. (And ones I’d like my books to have! Thus Kay reads lots of these things.)

Now comes along something a little different: Larry Brooks has written a book on novel structure. Story Structure Demystified. And oh boy, are you in for a ride. Read More…

Can Writing Be Taught?

Along with 90 other people, I sat in on a marvelous writing workshop this weekend. Even after 10 published novels, I was able glean a few key things that caused me to re-align the last quarter of my current novel in progress. Did the workshop leader teach me how to write better?

I don’t think so. Writing can’t be taught. That’s my position this afternoon, and I’m sticking to it for at least a couple days. Read More…