Fiction writing strategies/techniques

A hasty, tentative list:

Characterization

  • Appearance, thought, action, dialogue, direct statements, other characters’ reactions
  • Decisions
  • Stories characters tell characterize them
  • What physical objects do they surround themselves with?
  • Prewriting: Name and backstory

Plot

  • Character’s desires made manifest; objections encountered and wrestled with: Desire + Danger = Drama (3D)
  • Surprises and reversals of expectations
  • Increasing danger/tension/risk for the character until a realization/epiphany/climax
  • Conflicts
  • Connections
  • Power shifts
  • ABDCE

Setting

  • Particular Sensory Details: nothing happens nowhere
  • Too much risks boredom unless setting is also characterizing or plotting or etc.

Theme

  • Repeated words, images

Language

  • Stain window verses plate glass
  • Don’t distract readers from the deep and continuous dream

 

Also:

First sentences

  • Implied question, something at risk

Scenes and summaries

  • Scenes: character’s real time, readers participate/witness, PSD
  • Summaries: compress time, gloss over and use abstractions

Endings

  • Sum up
  • Sum up and imply more
  • Echo the beginning
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