How to Write a Damn Good Novel: Advanced Techniques For by James N. Frey

By James N. Frey

Nice ebook with complicated writing techniques-great followup to "How to put in writing A rattling strong Novel"

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Extra info for How to Write a Damn Good Novel: Advanced Techniques For Dramatic Storytelling

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Getting to know people like the ones you're writing about just might work for you, too. " In other words, they are good at what they do. Detectives who are extraordinarily good at detecting are of far more interest than those who aren't (except when the detective's bungling is played for humor). Cowboy heroes are always good at drawing a gun, or twirling a lariat, or tracking, or some other skill. Homer knew this when he wrote the Odyssey: Ulysses was not only reckless and daring, but also a great sailor and a deadeye bowman.

You can still find menace. Jim Bob wants to marry Billy Jo. He proposes, she accepts. Your idea here is you want to show how people often get married because it's the thing to do, even when their partner isn't quite right for them. You create this small town in the Ozarks where girls get married at sixteen. You might have a great point to make, and there might be dire consequences down the road for Billy Jo, but they are too far off, too remote in time to create much suspense. The menace here is not immediate.

There is no more powerful concept in fiction writing than that of premise. If you structure your stories with a strong premise in mind, your novel will be well focused and dramatically powerful, and it will hold your readers from beginning to end. As I explained in How to Write a Damn Good Novel, premise is a statement of what happens to the characters as a result of the core conflict of the story. The "core conflict" is simply another way of saying the actions of the story. That's what a premise is.

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