Writing and Other Afflictions

"If it was easy, everyone would do it." –Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own"

Category Archives: beginning writing

How Do You Start A Novel?

Kelly McCullough has some good thoughts on the matter…

I particularly like the comparison to an essay: get to your thesis statement, prove your thesis statement, recap your thesis statement. In essence, as our screenwriting teacher would say, your story is a thesis about the best way to live. The main character is missing something, or is doing something wrong, and in order to change his life, he needs to learn a lesson, gain an understanding, something like that. So it helps to think about that when you’re structuring your character arc: show the reader what he needs; show the reader how he gets it and why he needs it; show the reader how much better life is when he has it (or how miserable he continues to be without it).

Mistakes You Can Avoid

Over on PubRants, an agent has a couple posts up about mistakes beginning writers make. Not your standard stuff, pretty informative to read. A lot of it boils down to “show, don’t tell,” but in ways you might not initially pick up on. (I particularly like the second one: having characters in the story tell the reader about something that happened… because it feels like showing, but it’s really not.)