Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I Hope You've Done Your Homework

Thank you for listening to my rant yesterday.  It’s a subject that’s very near and dear to my heart, and I’m sure I’ll be talking about it again.

But, for now, let’s talk about your weekend writing assignment.

You didn’t forget it, did you?

Non-fiction would-be writers among you were assigned to write a step-by-step instruction list for making coffee in a coffeemaker, and your first sentence should have been, “Start with a clean coffee pot.”

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on that subject, because you shouldn’t have been able to mess that up very much.  I do hope you remembered to say, “Make certain that the coffeemaker is plugged in to a 110-volt outlet.”

Congratulate yourself.  You just wrote a how-to.

Now, the fiction part of your assignment…you were supposed to write 2,000 words, beginning with the sentence, “She watched as he came closer.”

The beauty of fiction is that no two ideas are the same.  I would possibly have continued with, “Her eyes flickered between his blank face and the butcher knife in his right hand.”

You might have continued with, “She smiled, and moved to embrace him.”

Different authors approach fiction with completely different attitudes.  I lean toward thrillers, suspense, mystery, and a touch of horror and sci-fi.  Occasionally, I throw more romance into the mix than I usually do – case in point will be the upcoming Junior’s Farm – A Tale Of Sardis County.  However, an author with a lean toward the romantic, like Nicholas Sparks, would approach things with a completely different take on a given situation.

There are no “wrong” fiction ideas.  There are no “wrong” ways to direct your story.  Some authors write in the first person, as in “I did this” or “I walked to the store”.  Others are storytellers that use the third person, as in “She did this” or “He walked to the store”.

Fiction doesn’t even have to be linear.  It can tell several different stories that just happen to link together, or touch each other in some way.

But, it is a good idea to write coherently.  Use complete sentences.  Use adjectives to describe things or people or places or situations.  Don’t be afraid to use however many words it takes to build a picture of your story in someone’s mind.  Your reader should be able to see and hear everything in your story.

It makes the reading of your story pleasant, and engrossing.

Keeping those things in mind as you create your story makes people want to…

Keep reading!

Michael (T. M. Bilderback)


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