- Who is your protagonist, and what does he or she want?
(The athlete who wants her team to win the big game and the car crash victim who wants to survive are not unique or interesting enough.)
- When the story begins, what morally significant actions has he or she already taken towards that goal?
(“Morally significant” doesn’t mean your protagonist has to be conventionally “good”; rather, he or she should already have made a conscious choice, with repercussions that drive the rest of the story.)
- What unexpected consequences — directly related to the protagonist’s efforts to achieve the goal — ramp up the emotional energy of the story?
(Will the unexpected consequences force your protagonist to make yet another choice, leading to still more consequences?)
- What details from the setting, dialog, and tone help you tell the story?
(Things to cut: travel scenes, character A telling character B about something we just saw happening to character A, and phrases like “said happily” — it’s much better to say “bubbled” or “smirked” or “chortled.”)
- What morally significant choice does your protagonist make at the climax of the story?
(Your reader should care about the protagonist’s decision. Ideally, the reader shouldn’t see it coming.)
Monday, September 5, 2011
Creative Writing Tips
Posted by Anonymous at 10:00 AM