Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Weekend Writer

I noticed I haven't done a Weekend Writer post in a long time. Since I had this drafted, and it's a weekend, here we go.

 Where To Begin A Story?

This is a big deal in writing novels. Where do you actually begin a story? After lots of backstory? In the midst of action? How long will readers be willing to wait to get an idea of what your story is really about?

It's not unusual for writers to realize that their stories actually begin in Chapter Three, say, and they have to start doing some shifting, if not cutting altogether.

Where To Begin A Chapter?

This same question applies to chapters. You can find yourself writing pages and pages of interaction, dialogue, activity, and realize you’re just getting to the point. Do you need all this stuff you’ve churned out? Will anybody want to sit through this witty repartee or step by step movement through time to get to the meat, what the chapter is about?

What To Do? What To Do?

Take the attitude that every chapter should involve a change or a release of new information. Determine what that change or new information will be. Get to that change or where that change will happen as fast as you can. Get that new information out sooner rather than later. If you want to place it toward the end of the chapter in order to connect with the next one, make sure your chapters aren't too long.

It can be helpful to maintain an 'as-you-go' outline in which you list for each chapter what change has happened or what new information has been provided. Then you can be sure that you don't have any chapters that are just bloat.

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