Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Found in Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain

First let me say this is one of the best books I've read on writing and I've used it since I began writing. The first copy of this book was loaned to someone who never returned it so I bought a new one. I learned so much about writing from the book and also from the editors who, years ago, made comments on my stories and sent me back to re-write.

There is a little thing I've used when writing gleaned from this book. For me it usually comes after the rough draft is completed or when I try several first chapters that go no-where.

It is a statement followed by a question and sums up the entire book to keep me on track. So I'll show you how it works for me since it's being used in a story I'm currently writing.

When Rafe Marshall returns to take the position as Director of Nursing at Fern Lake General, he encounters Manon Lockley MD, the girl he deserted  on the night of their senior prom because of threats voiced by her father. Will he be able to convince Manon that he loves her when she believes the lies she has been told?

Here we have the focus character Rafe and the situation. At first, I thought Manon was the focus character, but this wasn't working. Then the reason hit me. Rafe has the most to lose and to gain in the story. The situation is addressed by his return and the why of his return is given.  The goal or objective is stated and the opponent is named.  Also the potential for disaster is named. Once I had this down the story has moved ahead rapidly.

I've been using things gleaned from this book for my weekly tips and have sort of jumped ahead but wanted to share what put me on track.

1 comment:

Melissa Keir said...

Don't you love when you loan a book and it never comes back? I am so glad you found the book and were able to share the ideas!