Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tuesday's Inspiration - A Story Is... #MFRWauthor

Continuing with the quotes from Dwight V. Swain's Techniques of the Selling Writer. "A story is people given life on paper."

Without characters the story wouldn't be more than words on paper. I once wrote a story with a park bench as the main character. This was for a class I was taking. The reaction was an interesting one from others. For the park bench could tell the story but what interested the teacher and others was the people who visited the bench and what was happening in their lives. Needless to say, this story never went further for it was more a series of sketches since the park bench couldn't observe the people in the story for more than a few moments.

To have a story, the reader needs to see these characters as real at least momentarily. The characters need to have lives with goals and problems. They need interactions with other characters. If you have a strong hero, you need a strong heroine and a strong villain. To have unequal characters competing with the reader for attention, the strong one will always be remembered, The weak ones will make the reader yawn.

Give your characters a past but don't get so involved in showing the past to the readers that you forget the character is living in their present. Little hints about the past will give the reader bits to think about. Show the reader what is happening to the character that will lead to an ending that can be happy or sad but must be one to satisfy the reader. So work to bring your character to life. Without life the story will fall flat.

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