Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Eight Tips for Bigger Stories (and Upcoming Online Courses)

I prepared this handout for a Bigger Stories presentation at Fiction Fest. Now I'm sharing it with you.

Tips for Bigger Stories
By Peter Andrews
1)   Hook yourself first - Make sure you react viscerally to the concept. If you don’t need to write it, I don’t need to read it.           
2)   Push your premise – Don’t be satisfied with the first idea that catches your attention. Poke at it. Raise the stakes. Test different settings. Find the character who will change the most.
3)   Listen to your characters – They may be willing to go further than you are. And they probably offer a distinct point of view at no charge.
4)   Escalate – Raise the stakes. Increase jeopardy. Torture your protagonist.
5)   Read your work aloud – Readers want fresh, authentic voices. Reading out loud makes it easier to see if it sounds like you or someone you think you should be.
6)   Answer the story question – An ending is disappointing if you can’t tell if the protagonist succeeded. Oh, and make sure it is clear, one way or the other. Make it pay off.
7)   Make it emotional throughout – Otherwise, write nonfiction.
8)   Be courageous – Find what scares you and do it anyway.  Don’t worry about being nice or reasonable. Don’t worry what your mom will think when she reads it.
"Go big or go home." – Max Adams
"A writer is someone who has taught their mind to misbehave." -Oscar Wilde
How to Write Fast workshops
Lowcountry RWA 3/3/14-3/27/14
Black Diamond 11/4/13-11/17/13
Yosemite 1/6/14-1/31/14

Applications and Tools for Writers
Savvy Authors 11/18/13-11/24/13
Write Flash Fiction!
Savvy Authors 12/2/13-12/22/13
Bigger Stories
Lowcountry RWA 5/5/14-5/30/14

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