Sunday, September 20, 2015
Let’s look at other elements needed in scenes.
As you write subsequent scenes, consider if the character will fail or succeed. Most novels and chapter books revolve around a character’s failure and the response to the failure. Make life difficult for the protagonist; then make it more difficult. Keep throwing setbacks until the character is in a situation that seems impossible to overcome. As failure increases, the character’s emotional state changes as well. The change doesn’t have to be great, but bring his/her emotional state to the stage so the reader can identify with the character.
Strong stories are created by characters that have inner conflicts. The conflict drives the story by the way the character reacts to the problem and makes decisions. This is the plot. To know how the character will act and react, a writer must have a complete understanding of the character. You can do this by writing a history of the character or interviewing the character. If you understand the character’s backstory before you write, the character will be easier to develop and will make consistent and appropriate decisions based on the conflict. Strong characters create strong plots.
As you write a scene—a place, a time, a change of action—allow the protagonist to come to life through action and reaction. This advice recently came to me from an editor: Invite the reader into the mind of the protagonist and see the story through his/her eyes. The effect is an engaging read.
Call for Submissions for Young Writers:
Skipping Stones. Writings (essays, stories, letters to the editor, riddles and proverbs, etc.) should be typed or neatly handwritten and limited to 1,000 words and poems to 30 lines. We encourage writings in all languages with an English translation, if possible. And, we love illustrations! Please send originals of your drawings, paintings, or photos to our post office box address below. Include your name, age, and address along with your submission. We welcome electronic submissions as well. We prefer Word.doc. or .docx.files or text.edit files. Art and photos can be sent as .jpeg or .tiff files. Please DO NOT send us zip.files.
Submission guidelines at http://www.skippingstones.org/
Skipping Stones. Our readers, ages 7 to 17, hail from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. We want to make their reading of Skipping Stones an active experience, relevant to issues confronting them locally and globally. Writing and artwork by adults should challenge readers to think, learn, cooperate and create.
We encourage adults to submit creative informational stories rather than pure fiction. We prefer submissions focusing on your own culture or experiences. No adult poetry, please.
Posted by Nancy Allen at 9:12 AM