Lesson Twenty-Nine of Writing Do’s and Don’ts

 Just as in a game, it helps to know the basic rules, the basic skills, and the basic strategies in the craft of writing. Here they are:

  1. Plot and Story:  What happens and how it unfolds. What is the CONFLICT?
  2. Characters:  Who is involved?  (Basic conflict formula: Human against Human, Human against Nature, Human against Him or Herself.)
  3. Dialogue:  What characters say that tells you about them, gives information about the story and moves it along.
  4. Description, Narrative:  Setting—Where and When the story takes place.
  5. Theme: Why, Motivation.

DO make sure your story, fiction or non-fiction, includes the 5 items delineated above. Remember that every story has a beginning, middle and an end!

DON’T get too cute. You have to be really good to pull off a story where an animal is the main character. “The Art of Racing in the Rain” is a great example of it being done well.

Assignment: Write a short story, which incorporates the elements above, that tells about a pivotal point in your life. Make your story about 3 pages.

Writing Aerobic: Until the bell…

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