CREATING STORIES – On sale April 1, 2017
About the book –
Do you have a story in you? Do you know how to write it or how to tell it? Well, CREATING STORIES has the answers. In addition, Hank is offering a tour-wide giveaway featuring of five (5) eBooks of CREATING STORIES and three (3) print copies of the author’s MOXIE’S PROBLEM (U.S. entries only). See how you can enter to win below. If you don’t want to wait to win a copy of CREATING STORIES, Hank is offering a special ‘half price’ sale that will only be available during his tour (March 20 through April 14).
Hank, the author of more than twenty books, tells you how to write your story. He believes that stories come from the melding of three elements: getting ideas, story design, and story-telling. Ideas have to come from the author. CREATING STORIES covers the last two.
The book concentrates on developing characters including such rarely discussed requirements such as a dominant reader emotion and the character’s biography.
Plots are also covered in depth and a number of graphics are included to illustrate complex points. Another topic discusses subplots and how to utilize them and how to nest them within the main plot.
A separate chapter discusses the relationship between the plot and the emotional arcs.
Other topics covered are character arcs, scene design, point-of-view, writing voice.
From Chapter 6 of Creating Stories
Developing a plot requires a lot of creativity and thinking. You may not be able to complete it right away. I have story ideas from years ago that I haven’t been able to construct a plot for. The sticking point is this: The plot you build must be one that YOU believe in. If you don’t, you’ll never be able to convince the reader to believe in it.
Drives the characters: we just discussed this in the previous section: the plot gives the characters a job and tells them how to go about doing the job. The plot moves the characters forward.
Provides conflict: Besides driving the characters to solve the plot problem, it also provides conflict. The conflict doesn’t have to be limited to the protagonist versus the antagonist. The conflict should be expanded to involve more characters. The more conflicts going on, the better. For example, suppose both the protagonist and the antagonist have sidekicks who are major characters in the story. The guys on the good team can yell and shout and argue about the best way to solve the plot problem. The bad team, meanwhile, can argue the reverse, how to prevent the plot problem from getting solved. All this arguing and disagreement is entertaining to the reader
Builds tension: All this conflict isn’t merely for the reader to enjoy. The conflict builds tension among the characters. For instance, the hero and his friend are getting stressed out by their constant bickering over how to approach the plot problem. This tension can affect the reader and have her biting her nails anticipating the next furious argument. The reader can also worry that the bickering can derail the character’s efforts or distract the characters and make it harder for them to solve the plot problem.
Emotions: The more conflict there is and the more serious the situation becomes, the stronger the characters’ emotions have to be. You can’t have a protagonist fail a few times and have a lackluster emotional response. “Oh well, what the hell. I’ll get it right the next time,” is not a good emotional response to failure. The emotional level has to reflect the characters’ failures (or successes in the case of the antagonist).
As the reader gets deeper into the story, he’ll experience ever-growing emotional trauma in the characters and that’s good. Readers read stories to experience these emotional journeys.
Subplots are a good way to extend the tension and conflict and to stretch out the reader’s emotional journey and her anticipation. More about subplots in the next chapter.
Has to be real: The plot problem is the reason for the story. Consequently, it has to be a real problem the characters deal with. Both the protagonist and the antagonist have to be convinced this problem is real and serious. If the protagonist is serious about the plot problem and the antagonist treats it as a minor concern, the conflict will be unbalanced. That lack of equality in the response will jolt the reader to stop reading.
Has to be important: The reader can think the plot problem is silly or not very serious. That’s all right, provided the author convinces the reader that the characters believe the problem is real (to the characters) and serious (to the characters).
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If you have any questions or comments on this material, leave a note and I’ll respond.
About the author –
Hank Quense writes humorous and satiric sci-fi and fantasy stories.
He also writes and lectures about fiction writing and self-publishing. He has published 19 books and 50 short stories along with dozens of articles. He often lectures on fiction writing and publishing and has a series of guides covering the basics on each subject. He is currently working on a third Moxie novel that takes place in the Camelot era.
He and his wife, Pat, usually vacation in another galaxy or parallel universe. They also time travel occasionally when Hank is searching for new story ideas.
You can connect with Hank on his Amazon Author Page.
You can check out the schedule and follow Hank’s tour by clicking HERE.
Up for grabs are eBook copies of CREATING STORIES and print copies of the author’s MOXIE’S PROBLEM – go and check it out right over here: a Rafflecopter giveaway