WEEK ONE: starting to write fiction

  • keep a journal of observation that can be used as an inspiration for characters or stories.
    • start a notebook/journal (cat notebook from kelly's wrapping paper).
  • use different observations in experiment (e.g. orwell's third person physical description, keller's first person that also develop relationship between the narrator and the character).

WEEK TWO: the habit of writing

  • identify the time when you feel the most inspired, when it's easy to write and start writing during that. also try new approaches on places to write.
    • try writing in a cafe.
    • try writing in bed.
  • details can help to set up a mood, but it's often used to give insight about the characters - their background and personality. greene described the negativity of the setting (brighton) to give you insight about the character, while atkinson described their character's personality through their actions. use these kind of techniques in your story.
    • build a habit of reading to see how other people reveal a bit of their characters.
  • plain language, deeply understood, is ample to convey the most sophisticated and complex meanings. often ‘ordinary’ words are made vivid and memorable by appearing in unexpected places, or by being used in surprising ways. but if you want to use rare words:
    • flip through dictionaries.
    • starts to keep notes of conversations and in everyday life like phrases, speech pattern and words people often use.
    • if you're going to use "big" words, make sure it earns a place in your story. make sure it's necessary.
  • use ordinary words unexpectedly, even if they don't fit. it'll create a vivid, imaginative picture.
  • in writing, there might be a 'preparation time'. it might include:
    • research about the time period and/or event you are using.
    • if your story stems from a single image, focus and turn it over in your mind.
    • have an approximate length you imagine your story will have.
    • consider: will there be a lot of dialogues and/or description? will the story be divided in certain way, like sections or scenes?
  • if you are unsure about the first line in your story, approach your story in a different angle. or surprise your story - make irrelevant details seem distinctive. or start your story randomly, at a point you don't think is important.

WEEK 3: writing is editing

  • the most important thing is to write your first draft down. you can read and edit it afterwards. you don't have to show your work immediately to anyone else.
  • "To start writing fiction also means to develop your faculty of self-criticism. A great part of writing fiction is knowing how, why and when you should edit your own work. This is just one of the points at which honesty enters the equation of writing. The more ruthless you can be about your own work, the better it will be."
  • there are two skills a writer should have: the skill that could observe/infuse details that make the story alive, and the skill to cut unnecessary details that don't add anything to the story.

WEEK 4: building your story

  • 'the king died, then the queen died' is a story. 'the king died, then the queen died of grief' is a plot.
  • the more immersed you are with the subject and in what you want to write about, the more you will encounter these [set of lines and images that start a whole story].

WEEK 5: creating convincing character

  • whether your character change in your story is important - however it's not necessary for every character to change. but a flaw is needed in a character, for example, to generate conflict, to create flaw, or to close a story.
  • character + conflict = plot.
  • "Draw portraits of misers, but not as misers – as people who happen to be miserly. And if while you draw misers as people you feel that you fail to make characters but do make people, all the better."
  • a way to make character more complex is to take a stereotype and portray it against the usual expectations of it.
  • there are four methods of creating characters: first is completely making them up, second is autobiographical (from yourself), third is biographical (from other people you know and/or observe) and the third is a mix of the three.

WEEK 6: developing and potraying character

  • use headings such as these, or Novakovich’s, for your character outline – or, as he suggests, make up your own:
    • physical/biological: age, height, size, state of health, assets, flaws, sexuality, gait, voice.
    • psychological: intelligence, temperament, happiness/unhappiness, attitudes, self-knowledge, unconscious aspects.
    • interpersonal/cultural: family, friends, colleagues, birthplace, education, hobbies, beliefs, values, lifestyle.
    • personal history: major events in their life, including the best and the most traumatic times.
  • methods of creating characters consist on following: summary (telling the reader outright what/who your character is), repeated action/habit, self potrait (having the character introduce themselves), appearance, and scene. and of course you can also combine the techniques.
jun 17 2015 ∞
sep 4 2015 +