Monday, 5 October 2015

Here be Sarah Mussi - How to End a Story

Candy Gourlay interviews Sarah Mussi on the final stop of the Here Be Dragons Blog Tour

Candy Gourlay: I keep banging on about how the book industry is putting too much emphasis on pitch and opening hooks to the detriment of the rest of the work. What about the middle? I find myself complaining. What about the ending?  As it happens, my lovely pal Sarah Mussi has been stomping through a blog tour to promote her new book Here Be Dragons. In the course of the tour, Sarah's blogged about the way she structured her novel along the lines of the three-act structure. Viz:

So far, she's talked about The Hook, The Inciting Incident, The First Turning Point, The Point of No Return, The Darkest Hour, and Act 3 and The Climax. Notes from the Slushpile is her seventh and final stop. Lucky us, she's offered to discuss:

Monday, 28 September 2015

Frankenwriter: How to Bring Your Character's Voice To Life

By Kathryn Evans
Kathryn Evans - New Girl On The Blog

Learning the mechanics of story is pretty straightforward.  Basically you need a Beginning, a Middle and an End. OK, it’s slightly more complicated than that but there are many excellent resources that’ll break it down for you – our own Maureen Lynas tells you how in Five Bricks of Story and Life and Seven Steps for Plotting and Pacing 

You can even buy software programmes to help: the Snowflake method has been recommended to me on a couple of occasions.

You can learn all this, you can follow it to the letter, and then you can read your story and find it is a dead thing. You may have the mechanics but where is the heart? Where is the spark? Where do you get the bolt of lightening that allows your Frankenbook to rise from the table and live, LIVE, LIVE!

Monday, 21 September 2015

Notes from the Critique Group - Awesome First Lines

By Maureen Lynas

The second post highlighting literary issues raised in critique groups. This came up recently at our SCBWI BI critique group in York.

Awesome first lines

What are we aiming for?

I've written an awesome first line that will wow the agents and engage the reader.
I've written an appropriate first line that will wow the agents and engage the reader.

We've seen some amazing first lines in our critique group. Lines that have that wow factor. Lines that we've loved, admired and wished we'd written.

Unfortunately, they weren't always appropriate for the story that followed. They set a tone, an expectation, a hint of a totally different story, a totally different world, and genre. It's so easy to fall into the trap of creating a darling but a first line has a job to do so you may have to assassinate yours.

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