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How to Write Good Stories

By Edited Oct 10, 2015 0 0

The art of the fiction book is almost a lost medium. Most people read fiction books for the same reason they view screenplays to see the deleted scenes from their favorite movies. Many writers write fiction books in order to get a movie or television shows produced. I'll be honest, I only read books after I've seen the movie when I'm left wanting more. Ideally, I'd rather read a graphic novel. Here's what writers can to attract me and other people not so enthusiastic about fiction books to the medium:

1) Be Description Lite.
You can't really properly describe a table without mentioning it's measurements. If you just call it a black table, you remind me of the inadequacy of the literary medium. If you try to describe all the scrapes and marks of the table, you get bored readers. Some writers have achieved success with descriptions by describing poetically. However, in that case the emphasis is on the poetry of the description and not on the actual object. Even in erotic books the emphasis should be on the seduction and the descriptions should be poetic. Descriptions of people should be limited to important plot points for example a character who gets made fun of for wearing glasses.

2)Be Plot Heavy.
What is the strength of the literary medium? You have no budget. You can do things on a grand scale and your readers can take their time coming through the book understanding each individual nuance. When someone reads a book they should go that never would've been able to happen in a movie or a graphic novel. If you don't like to think on some level, you're not going to be reading a book. We are used to seeing pictures. We see pictures all the time through are eyes. We're not used to reading and comprehending words so in some sense there's more effort involved. Reward the effort. Carefully craft each and every word of the book to make each and every word of the book be worth reading.

3)Be Dialogue Heavy
Dialogue is easy to read and people can imagine people talking. This may seem to go against what I said about being plot heavy but you can be expositiony while still using dialogue. In a movie, would a character talk endlessly about he history of dwarves and gnomes? Nope, but in a book he can. In a movie, the motto is show don't tell. In a book, the motto should be tell don't show. People want to read exposition in books. They want to hear the Grand Vampire tell the history of the Vampire versus Werewolf war for three chapters. You want characters talking and spouting off lots of exposition. Or alternatively, the narrator can be a character.

4)Characterization is Important
With what I said about exposition, it's still important to have interesting, well defined characters with motives. They just need to incorporate those character traits when they're talking exposition(the dwarf whose resentful about his gnomish mom when's talking about the great orc war). Don't be cartoonish with the character traits like lizard creatures who end sentences with ssssssss. Have real and interesting character traits.

5)Remember the Power of Words
Words have a visual impact. Page structure has a visual impact. If you have a page that just has the word NO! on it in really bold font that's using the literary medium. If the the first letter of every indented part of the sentence spells out a secret code that is using the literary medium. There is ASCII art which can be incorporated somewhat in books. Using words is an art: Tom walks down the street is different than Tom steps down the street even though visually in a movie that would appear the same. By using the power of words you use the power of the literary medium.

To be a good book you have to be a book that would never be able to be successfully turned into a Graphic Novel or Movie. Otherwise, your book is just a backdoor screenplay(not that there's anything wrong with that).

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