Definition• Fiction writing is based on fictitious events; however, the story is written in such a way that it takes on a realistic quality to become believable.• It includes literary prose such as short stories, novellas, and novels.
Where to Start When Writing Fiction• One of the first places you may want to start is with what you know.• Look at events in your own experiences or with stories you were told by someone else.
Continued• Writing fiction allows you to discover character types, humor, personal themes, the nature of your imagination, and many other critical details needed for story development.• You can find ideas from poems, dreams, and conflicts.
Elements of Story• Classical story structure is: – set-up or exposition – increasing of the complications by moving forward in actions – Climax or highest point of action – Reversal where action may go back to the beginning – Resolution that ends or brings the story to some type of closing
Continued• Stories usually come in three-part structure – Beginning where the characters and exposition (establishment of events or actions that happen before another did) are given. This is also where the reader’s attention can be won or lost. – May need to be being right away by introducing the conflict of the story.
Continued– Middle where plot development occurs through different actions and possible conflicts the protagonist will have to go through while he/she is trying to solve an issue.– Resolution that brings the story to a conclusion of some type or the resolving of the current conflict the protagonist is going through.
Ways to Begin• Routine-disruption• The Chance Encounter• Entering of a Mysterious Stranger• The Shattering Statement• Expectation Vs. Actuality• The Road Story
Other Elements of Literature• Tone• Language• Ideas• Atmosphere• Character• Theme
All Stories Need• All stories need – exposition to let the reader know that something does not occur in isolation, but there were previous events to occurred before the action of the story. – development where the reader sees the disruption of the routine or the inciting of the incident. – drama that depicts the struggle the protagonist will go through.
Moving to the Second Act• One of the most challenging parts is making the middle as vital and focused as the opening to keep the action moving forward.• The problems for the protagonist become so urgent that a climax is forced through the choices the character makes and the actions taken.
Continued• The middle is where the writer follows through on the complications established in the beginning of the story.• It is also where the end is being set up.• There is a beginning to the middle as well.
Act Three or the Ending• The third act of the story or the ending is where the character will reach his/her goal, or where the events after the climax happen.• A protagonist may not fully resolve a conflict, but the story will come to some type of ending.
Basic Plot Line• Exposition: The start of the story. The way things are before the action starts.• Rising Action: the series of conflicts and crisis in the story that lead to the climax.• Climax: The turning point. The most intense moment (either mentally or in action.
Continued• Falling Action: all of the action which follows the Climax.• Resolution: The conclusion, the tying together of all of the threads.
Theme• The theme of a piece of fiction is its central idea. It usually contains some insight into the human condition.• In most short stories, the theme can be expressed in a single sentence.• In longer works of fiction, the central theme is often accompanied by a number of lesser, related themes, or there may be two or more central themes.• Themes should be stated as a generalization.
Other Elements• Allusion: a reference to a person, place or literary, historical, artistic, mythological source or event.• A symbol represents an idea, quality, or concept larger than itself.• Irony: a difference between what is expected and reality. (Verbal, situational, and dramatic)• Style: a writer’s individual and distinct way of writing. The total of the qualities that distinguish one author’s writing from another’s.
Continued• Structure: the way time moves through a novel. • Chronological: starts at the beginning and moves through time. • Flashback: starts in the present and then goes back to the past. • Circular or Anticipatory: starts in the present, flashes back to the past, and returns to the present at the conclusion. • Panel: same story told from different viewpoints.
Ways to Jump Time• Writers cannot give all the event because a story would be too long and involved, so there are places where time bridges will have to be created.• Types of time jumping include: – Flash forward – Flashback
Characters• Characters are the people the events happen to.• Characters mainly need to take on rounded qualities to give them depth and dimension.• Also want to avoid cliché or stereotyped characters.
How to Develop Characters• Research characters.• Play around with original conceptions.• Write sympathetically about all characters.• Give Heroes or Heroines a flaw.• Avoid sentimentality.
Characters Continued• Characters must be believable.• Don’t give everything there is to know about a character, but leave some things for the reader to imagine.• Reveal personality traits and characteristics through what the character does and says.
ContinuedTypes of Characters:•Round Character: convincing, true to life.•Dynamic Character: undergoes some type of changein story.•Flat Character: stereotyped, shallow, oftensymbolic.•Static Character: does not change in the course ofthe story.
Methods of Characterization1.Direct: ―he was an old man..‖ (The Old Manand the Sea)2.Own Words and Actions3.Reaction of other Characters4.Physical appearance5.Own thoughts
Dialogue• Dialogue is the talking that takes place between characters and by the characters.• There are several types of dialogue that can take place within a story.• Dialogue should be infused with exposition and description as well as characterization.
Types of Dialogue• Direct (dramatic/real-time) dialogue: this is the dialogue that happens at the scene in present time.• Indirect dialogue: where the narrator reports what someone says.
Continued• Stylized dialogue: it’s an illusion; flows through time without giving a full cinematic picture.• Asynchronous dialogue: tension and drama in the dialogue increase as the characters’ disagreement increases and they respond in an unscripted manner.
How is Dialogue Killed?• Letting characters say what is already known.• Characters responding as if they knew what each other was going to say—predictable.• Telling scenes explicitly instead of revealing through the tone and word choice characters could use to reveal feelings.
Half-scene and Scene Snippets• Half-scene is the use of scenic devices and present-action moments in the midst of summary or narration.• These make summary more alive, less static or informal, and more dramatic.
Continued• They can accelerate or facilitate movement through time.• Snippets give details that make narration moments more vivid.
Types of Action• Routine action is basically a summary type action of something characters do all the time.• Present action is the action that happens at a particular time.
Creating Tension• One of the best ways to create tension is to follow the actions of one character while another is off-scene taking part in different actions that could have an adverse effect on the main character.
Description• Setting deals with time and interior & exterior placement of where the story is happening.• May need to give at least three sentences describing the setting before introducing the character.• Helps to include metaphor, symbolism, and point of view through the details given.
Types of Information• Primary information: the main information given that advances the narrative.• Secondary information: provides context, metaphor, idea, etc.• Cannot stray too far or for too long from the real world or the story is not believable.
Continued• Leave out what is already known and keep what you don’t know.• Try something new.• Make sure the reader always knows where the character is and use the setting to help tell the story.
Point of View• First-person narrator: limited to one individual and told by the character him/herself.• Third-person narrator: can have total omniscience or limited omniscience (knows conscious of one character). Knows the outcome of the story, while the protagonist doesn’t.
Continued• Second-person narrator: telling to someone else. Usually is used in ―how- to‖ type stories. Not highly used.• When choosing POV, decide what would work best with the material to be presented.
Types of Conflict• Man vs Man• Man vs Nature• Man vs Society• Man vs Technology• Man vs Himself
Revision• Need hard revision—revising several times.• Parts of revision: – Motivation – Significant details – Repetition of detail – Recounting of story events