Wednesday 17 November 2010

WRITING ON WEDNESDAY: GROWING start somewhere promising then deliver

All about the suit design... apparently ;)
I'm thinking about writing so it must be Wednesday or a day of the week with a "d" in it.
I found this advice on The Guardian site. Then condensed it a little.

Bait the hook.
Main character:
What do they have?
What do they need?
The protagonist needs to start off fairly ordinary, a mirror to ourselves,  but with an ember of something more.

Identify the catalyst (the inciting incident): 
and a measure of how extreme it is.

What has already been tried but failed?

For the character:
What is the cost of action?
What is the reward?

Make sure we know when the character strays past the point of no return.

The choices for the character are universal:
do nothing
run away
take the risk and act

Writer, first do the JK - think about the story as a whole and plot a roller coaster ride:
From scene to scene, raise the stakes:
If you can't put them in peril give them internal angst
Apply external pressure.
Keep up the pace.
Turn up the conflict.
Strengthen those obstacles and build them higher.

Make the protagonist principled so you can test them:
the outcome doesn't really matter, because they are all human.

The character needs a catalyst and enough room to develop and to grow. 
I have five of these statements pinned up - very large - over my PC.
The one I think is the greatest of them all? Raise the stake - and then thrust it through to the heart! 


  1. Looks like you're almost half-way through NaNo. That's fantastic. Nice to see you on Writing on Wednesday. Have a great rest of your day and Happy Writing :-)

  2. Hi Ivy
    Thank you.
    I'm sort-of half-way through my kind-of NaNo ;)

  3. That's fantastic. How did your writing go today?

  4. Wednesday is not really a writing day - it is an ironic title. I can't start until 8pm and I spent two hours researching the names four BIOS (Beings of Indeterminant Origins) the name for the two alien species, and reasonable name for their home planets - now I can write the scene where no one asks for any of this information and they probably won't tell it either - :( - but if they did...! :) Apart from that it is going well.

  5. If they ask, you'll be ready. I'm headed to reheat pizza and then get back to my manuscript.

    It just started raining again. I love that rain sound, when writing.

    Enjoy and have a great evening.

  6. Great post, though that guy's suit looks like it shrunk two sizes too small. ;)

  7. Hi Stina
    Glad you liked the post.
    As for the Suit man - the designer says it is small in all the right places. :) It was taken for piece about designers working to flatter men's figures in suits. Two edges of the broad spectrum of cut? ;)

  8. That is a fabulous group of statements. I may have to print them off and post them over my desk.