By Paula LaRocque
Teaches the weather of fine writing by using crucial instructions, literary concepts, and correct writing mechanics.
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Extra info for The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well
If your novel is going to be a romantic comedy about love among the staff at a ritzy hotel, will your main character be a young woman newly hired on the housekeeping staff? A happy-go-lucky greensman on the landscaping crew? The ambitious assistant manager climbing the corporate ladder? If you’re writing a novel about the revolution in 2013 Syria, will your hero be a soldier fighting to preserve the regime? A rebel trying to overthrow it and establish Sharia law? The parent of a child hung by the neck by one side or the other?
Now you need to know the backstory for the man, his problems at home, or maybe the things that make him realize he needs to stay. Maybe he’s in love, or wants to help a revolution, or is just a curious scientist. You will know some things right away, but you will need to know more. ) So take a look at your lodestar sentence and ask yourself: If this is the story I’m going to write, what do I already know about the task ahead? Start writing your lists. List the things you automatically know, things to research or invent, characters who will probably populate the story, main movements of the story, the era and setting and genre (if you know them), and anything else you can derive just by thinking about your core story idea.
Isolating the core idea Look over your list of brainstormed ideas. Rank them in order of how much joy you get from just thinking about them. Now look at the top one on the list. Is that the novel you most want to write? It’s great, but would it be absolutely perfect if it had elements of the other top ideas on your list? Why not combine them all? Now is the time to cherry-pick the most exciting elements of all of your top ideas and drop them into one basket. You’ll figure out later how they can all work together.