Thursday, April 3, 2008

Home Truths About Writing Fiction

There is no right way or wrong way to put a story together--there is only your way. However, to become a producing writer, one that can turn out a novel a year or a short story monthly, requires discovering and understanding how your mind works to create a story. It also helps to develop your own personal "project bible" to ensure you have a story to tell or to keep a story from dead-ending. What is a project bible? It's the "paper work" (either hard copy or computerized files) that organizes the storytelling components to be sure what's necessary is included in a story. Project bibles can be done before or after a story is completed. When done before, it eliminates going off on tangents or getting sidetracked and keeps a writer focused. When done after the writing, it reveals holes in the story (or the plot) or it reveals the need to foreshadow crucial items that didn't seem important until the end of the story. It can also help catch errors--like a blue eyed heroine in chapter 1 ends up with brown eyes in chapter 10 and green eyes in chapter 20.