ookami_kasumi: (Default)


Stories should make a POINT.

“The true critic will but demand that the (story’s) design intended be accomplished, to the fullest extent, by the means most advantageously applicable…"
-- Edgar Allen Poe

In other words, not only should every character, object, and event in your tale have a reason to be there, the story itself should have a Purpose -- and a Motive.




Art by Ayame Kojima

Stories should make a POINT.

“The true critic will but demand that the (story’s) design intended be accomplished, to the fullest extent, by the means most advantageously applicable…"
-- Edgar Allen Poe

In other words, not only should every character, object, and event in your tale have a reason to be there, the story itself should have a Purpose -- and a Motive.

Think: What are you trying to SAY with your story?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Love Conquers All
Greed makes one Greedier
Love = Insanity
Love doesn't always mean Happiness
Love isn't always Nice
You Reap what you Sow
Destiny is a Bitch
You can't escape Yourself
A Snake will always be a Snake
Sometimes, Love means Letting Go
Sometimes, Love means Giving In
Appetites will find a way to be Filled
Revenge only brings Misery

Most of all...

Only put in what you intend to USE.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Names, places, actions, and events--every single thing in your story should have a reason to be there, whether it's for emotional impact, symbolism, or to take the characters one step closer to the intended climax. Every element you include should have a Purpose.

To test the importance of an element, ask:
~~~~~~~~~~~~
* Why this place and not another?
* Why this name and not another?
* Why this action, this speech, and not others--or none at all?

The answers should be:
~~~~~~~~~~~~
* To make each scene Memorable in your Readers' minds.
* To illustrate the hidden side of your characters' drives and motives.
* To prepare the characters for their climactic scene.
Also:
* To frame and/or offset the point you're trying to make.
* To make your characters come to life on the page.
* To make the End logical.

No matter how short or long, a story should illustrate an idea, a theory, an emotion, or even an argument to the reader. This means everything in your story should be there to do just that -- make your point, even if it's only to deliver the punch-line to a joke.

Enjoy!

Date: 2009-10-03 01:30 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] randrews25.livejournal.com
Very good advice. This was my problem when I first started and looking back and re-editing I have to be adding and taking away stuff. Thanks for the advice, I always look forward to them^^

Date: 2009-10-03 03:47 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] ookami-kasumi.livejournal.com
When a writer is deep among their characters and plots, they sometimes forget that they originally gathered those characters and created those plot twists because they had a Point in mind.

I'm glad you like my writing tips!

Date: 2009-10-03 04:07 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] randrews25.livejournal.com
Yes, I have a viewfinder story up that I'm thinking to take down for exactly that reason! It's so bad I'm afraid to look at it *sigh*

Date: 2009-10-03 07:50 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] ookami-kasumi.livejournal.com
If a story makes you cringe, posting it in a public place probably Isn't the best idea. People WILL judge your other stories by it.

I really like your tips posts.

Date: 2009-10-03 10:11 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] leana106.livejournal.com
ext_6487: (Happy)
This is a good point and really helpful with the editing process. It would probably help the rambling tone in some of my other writing projects.
It works even better if you Plan it from the beginning--before you even start writing.
ext_6487: (Default)
Heh, my problem isn't necessarily planning, it's sticking with the plan. I tend to change things as I write, when I get a better fitting idea and that's where things go haywire. But I've found that once I finish writing the story, going back to revise the outline to match what I've written (just the highlights) helps immensely with the editing process.
I tend to change things as I write, when I get a better fitting idea and that's where things go haywire.

Oh, I do that too!
-- However, I do keep the main plot points the same--no major sweeping changes that could effect the Climactic scene or the Ending. If I do come up with a major change, I work it through my plot outline first, before committing to it, in case it doesn't actually work with my climax or ending.


...I've found that once I finish writing the story, going back to revise the outline to match what I've written (just the highlights) helps immensely with the editing process.

Ah... I'm one of those that doesn't do major edits, not when I'm done anyway. I have test-readers go through my work WHILE I'm writing it to catch any plot-holes before they become major problems. Then I have editors to to the grammar & typo-check.

But that's just me.

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