DEVELOPING THE STORY

PANTSER, PLOTTER OR UNCOMMITTED

I belong to several fiction writing groups, both live and online. One question that always seems to come up is whether one is a pantser or a plotter. Often the answer leads to a heated debate over the merits of each position, with those who see themselves in both camps being as ostracized as someone who claims to be a fan of both the Yankees and Red Sox. For anyone who doesn’t know what I am talking about, let me explain: A pantser is someone who sits down either at their computer or in front of a blank piece...
Continue reading
DEVELOPING THE STORY

WRITING A SERIES – THE DECISION TO WRITE A SERIES

As a fiction writer the decision to write a series should not be made lightly. Writing a series is different from writing the standalone novel. It is a commitment to a set of characters and a pledge to portray them and their story through the series with the same diligence and enthusiasum as the first novel. Writing a series is a marathon not a sprint. With a single novel there is the beginning, the middle and the end, then you are done (wow if it were really that simple).  On the other hand, a series contains novels tied together by...
Continue reading
DEVELOPING THE STORY

WRITING THE SERIES – THE NEED FOR BACKSTORY

For those of you who may not know, backstory is an integral part of most novels. Backstory is the history of either the character or the story itself. Each previous book in a series is backstory for the next. The question is how much backstory does the reader need to know to fully embrace the book they are reading. Where and how to include the backstory is a balancing act for many writers. I struggle with it constantly.  For the purpose of discussing backstory I would like to use an imaginary series, RUNNING WITH MARY SUE. The flames could...
Continue reading
DEVELOPING THE STORY

WRITING THE SERIES – THE TIMELINE

As a fiction writer I have spent a lot of time learning the art of writing, including how to write a series.  It was not as easy as I thought it would be. There is more to it than simply having a good story: there is developing a character across several books, finding a setting that offers enough variety and deciding on the proper timeline. Today I would like to discuss timelines. What is the timeline for your story?  Will it extend over generations, last for just one lifetime or only a few weeks?  Will each book start where...
Continue reading

Enjoy the New Grace News, please spread the word :)