Who’s Telling the Story?
Rory C Keel
As we look at “Narration” of a story this month, think of Narration as the one telling the story.
Who is the Narrator?
Is the person telling the story the Hero? Is the one telling the story a friend of the Hero or companion? Maybe the narrator is merely an unnamed person who can see, hear and knows everything from a god-like perspective.
Who the narrator is will determine the viewpoint of the story.
Techniques to help develop a plot
Rory C. Keel
1. Write a synopsis of your story
2. Outline your story by Chapters
3. Use index cards
4. SOTP – Seat Of The Pants writing where you draw the map as you travel
Remember, Plot is the map of the story and not the story. It is the overarching outline that you fill with all the story details.
Find the method that helps you write your story.
Story Plot chart
Rory C. Keel
We’ve all heard of the Story arc or Plot Mountain, here is another way to look at the “plot” in your story.
Rory C. Keel
Christopher Booker, in his book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories, outlines seven types of story plots.
Overcoming the Monster
The protagonist sets out to defeat something that threatens him/her or a group they belong to.
Rags to Riches
A protagonist is in some way misfortune, usually financially. Throughout the story, he/she acquires things such as power, wealth or a love interest.
The protagonist sets out to acquire an object or get to a location, facing many obstacles and temptations along the way.
Voyage and Return
The protagonist goes to a strange land and, after overcoming the threats it poses to him or her, returns with experience.
A humorous character faces a conflict that becomes more and more confusing but is at last made plain in a single clarifying event.
The protagonist is a hero who makes a mistake that brings about his/her downfall, evoking sympathy.
An important event forces the main character to change his/her ways, often making him/her a better person.
What is a PLOT?
Rory C Keel
March is PLOT month here at Wordsmithsix.com. We are exploring all the information we can find that will give us understanding as to how a plot will help our stories.
So, what is a plot and why is it so important to a story? Well, James Scott Bell in his book Plot & Structure put it this way, “Plot is the power grid that makes it happen.”
A plot is what ties a story together from beginning to end.
To help you develop a good plot, ask these questions.
- What is this story about?
- Is anything happening?
- Why should I keep reading?
- Why should I care?
When I began my writing journey, I thought these questions had to be answered about the story before I could start writing, bogging me down. These are questions that need to be asked at the end of every page, as you write. This helps to advance your writing through the next page by the answers you find to the questions and keep your story tied together.
Four basic purposes of Dialogue
- To move the storyline forward by providing backstory or new and pertinent information
- To introduce goals an motivation and advance the conflict
- To set the mood or establish a theme
- To reveal character through attitude, speech patterns, and word choices.
Helpful Rules for Dialogue
Rory C. Keel
Dialogue is a way to reveal a character without a narrative description. As in real life, when a person opens their mouth and speaks, they show us what kind of person they really are. An effective dialogue will use words that portray the mind, heart, and personality of the characters that are speaking. In dialogue, the conversation will drive the story forward and reveal to the reader motive, concern, and reasoning of the story characters.
Static or Changing?
By Rory C. Keel
Almost every novel has two kinds of characters, static characters and changing characters.
A static character is one that does not change and remains the same through out the narrative. Minor characters are often considered static characters, such as an evil thug sidekick to a villain. Static characters lack the power to change or develop throughout the story.
Most often they are recognized as characters that have traits such as envy, pride, greed and revenge. While static characters can also be marked by any number of traits, they will portray them to a fault.
Changing characters are truer to life because change is a part of life. A person who goes through a deeply emotional trial or event will usually undergo some kind of change.
A character in a novel will also face these internal and physical changes based upon the pressures of the situation they face in the narrative. Having the power to change makes the character less predictable allowing the reader to be surprised at unexpected changes the author writes.
As you write your characters, can you identify the static and changing characters?