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A few guidelines I learned from Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Describe whatever the character has an opinion about. This guideline helps me figure out what to describe. If it matters to the character in the moment, it goes in. Describing through the character's five senses makes the descriptions rich and vivid. Whatever you describe, ...


3

I have the same problem --plot is my strength and description is my weakness. I think it corresponds with being a "big picture" person rather than detail-oriented. Something that helps me is to remember that description isn't just decoration, it can do a lot of substantive work. It can foreshadow, echo, or recall plot elements. It can develop a subtext, ...


2

I'm a firm believer in working hard on your characters, then your plot will follow. On blank paper/screen write all there is to know about each character. Add as much as you can. You will find your character will grow as you write and possible plot lines will jump up at you.


2

Somebody has said (probably on this site) that a plot goes like this: He wanted [goal]. So he [action]. But then [conflict], which caused [tension]. So he [action], and [resolution]. Repeat this a bunch of times, and you've got a plot. Of course, if you don't disguise it better than that, your story will be awful. Also, along the way you'll want ...


2

Why are people willing to die in a revolution? Why do they sacrifice their lives to charitable work? Why do they protest against injustice even if it's not their own cause? This is the inner desire, our inner will to make a change for the better, to cause a memorable impact. If a book is immersive and the cause presented synergizes with beliefs of the ...


1

At least part of why we read is to learn something --that doesn't mean the characters in the story need to learn something, and it doesn't necessarily mean a moral lesson. You might simply learn what it feels like to be put in an extreme situation, for instance. Having a theme enhances this sense of learning, and without it, one may feel somehow cheated. ...


1

I don't think the power or weight of a message, if well-written, is lost or changed by being camouflaged or not. Some premises are made very obvious early on (think His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman), but that explicit theme doesn't detract from the book; unless you do not like the message. If someone is not aligned with your message, it will be ...


1

In the case of a story I am toying with, the theme (or more accurately, the idea) I am trying to bring across has a bearing on the structure of the story, the plot and the different details I bring out or emphasise in different parts of the story. Since these elements are determined in part by the theme, they should, in theory, cohere well together. Since ...



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