Download The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well by Paula LaRocque PDF

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By Paula LaRocque

Teaches the weather of excellent writing by using crucial directions, literary options, and correct writing mechanics.

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Lay out the scene cards in order. Make your best guess. Nothing's p e r m a n e n t here. This is the easiest stage of the process in which to shift things around. So feel free. Once you have them laid down in what you think might be the correct chronological order, read them through and see what you think. Remember, we're not done yet. This arrangement does not mean you have to write your story in chronological order. This is just a way of sorting the plot points. It's possible that at this point you'll feel confused.

How did the author break up the story? The most important thing is that at the end of each chapter the reader should be craving the next chapter. Make the reader want to turn the next page. An old-fashioned cliffhanger is not required (though they still work), but tension of some kind is essential. End not where the action lulls but where it is the most dynamic. Give the reader new information right before you cut him off. The following are examples of strategic chapter breaks. BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY, BY HELEN FIELDING 14 CHAPTERS, 271 PAGES At the end of chapter "April" Bridget hints that she might be pregnant and then tides the next chapter "Mother-to-Be"—again, we have no self-control.

Doctorow's Ragtime uses omniscient third. Notice how these versions of greeting a m o r n i n g , the first f r o m Mother's point of view, the second f r o m Father's, have very different tones. Mother: Ah, what a summer it was! Each morning Mother opened the white curtained glass doors of her room and stood looking at the sun as it rose above the sea. Father: Now every morning Father rose and tasted his mortal being. He wondered if his dislike of Coalhouse Walker, which had been instantaneous, was based not on the man's color but on his being engaged in an act of courtship, a suspenseful enterprise that suggested the best of life was yet to come.

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