Nancy's Books

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Idea to Finished Manuscript, Part IV

Outline. Are you a panster (writing a story by the seat of your pants) or a plotter (outliner)? Do you outline the story from beginning to end? I’m a plotter because it helps me think the story through before I begin writing and saves me a ton of time in revision. I figure out the plot and the setbacks and other twists and turns before hit the keyboard. Other writers plan as they go. Both ways work. Try each to see which is a better fit for you.

Add dialog to make the characters come alive. Dialog should sound real, not be real. When people talk, our words usually flow freely out of our mouths but the conversation can be boring reading. We often add uh and um and get sidetracked in our thoughts. Dialog should stay focused and either promote the plot or help develop the character.   

Play with your idea and have fun with it. The first draft is supposed to be terrible so don’t be alarmed when you read your story and say Yuck! Garbage material. All writing has preliminary stages in which you discard some ideas and keep others. Create different plots to discover what works and what doesn’t. Give your ideas time to incubate and grow. If you’re not having fun with the story, the reader probably won’t either.  

Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Send us your stories about what it means to be an American, whether you’re talking about apple pie and baseball, country music and our national anthem, barbecues, national holidays, our military heroes, first responders, American ingenuity, buying “made in America”, our huge and varied country, our diversity and our tolerance, our energy and spirit, and all the other things that make us proud Americans. Deadline November 30, 2015. Limit 1,200 words. Pays $200 and ten copies.

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