Summer had its high points, one of them the opportunity to attend writing workshops. One seminar stood out for its time travel back to childhood: “Excavating the Home.” The 10 minute writing prompt: Think about a childhood home and map it from the front door to the back, from the cellar to the attic, wandering in each room: … Continue reading How to Time Travel via #Writing Prompt
Writers want to write the best possible stories they can. Often, like me, writers have the best of intentions but fall short on delivery.
There is an art to storytelling, in the written form, and we writers flock to find out just what makes up this art.
One of the best teachers I’ve come across is Shelly Lowenkopf, a USC professor, who has a Lifetime Achievement Award, and is a consultant and author.
I’d like to share a recent post he wrote on his agent’s blog:
(1) Whose story is it?
A dramatic work has only one central character. There may be secondary characters of equal importance to the overall narrative, but in the vast majority of literary accomplishments from Dracula to Candide, Tootsie to RichardIII,Madame Bovary to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, there is only one central character. This character’s motive—what he/she wants in terms of a goal or objective–drives the story. This is the engine, the seminal force of the action. Action is the operant word in story, fluid and unrelenting, not to be confused with activity, which is often casual and directionless. The central character’s determination to follow what is often an obsessive course propels the action. This energy connects us to the central character. This dominant skein in a story commands our attention.
This imperative may also be subtle. Take Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet;
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I have to tell you, I want to be a better writer. I have stories to tell the world, and I'm tired of my seven member critique group being the only ones to read them. They may be tired of them too. For almost six years, I've been writing stories which became an Adult Contemporary and… Continue reading Four Secrets to Poetic Prose-Part 2
Part of my life between the sheets, of paper, is writing novels. Since I don't have a MFA in Creative Writing, I often seek out free or low cost classes for improving my writing skill. Some of the best and inexpensive classes can be found through writers associations like Society of Children's Books Writers… Continue reading Four Secrets to Poetic Prose-Part 1