Posts Tagged ‘Robert Ray’

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…

Mentors I Have Known

Sometimes it’s just dumb luck. You stumble into an obscure writing class and the instructor shows you God. You meet an author who for some inexplicable reason gives you his time and attention. You stumble out of a fiction seminar half-blinded by sudden understanding. Your third, tenth, eighteenth try at finding an agent yields a friend for life.

You have just found a mentor. Read More…