The Mechanics of Fiction Writing
Click on thumbnails for video lecture links:
Changes of State
Stories can change in an infinite number of possible ways. Here, we discuss the ways the story imposes on the characters. Things like wars, floods, pandemics, and maybe even alien invasions—events like these force your characters to react in different ways depending on the nature of each situation.
What Changes Are Interesting?
Some events are exciting, and some are totally mundane. Figuring out why certain events catch interest and others bore readers is vital for any fiction writer who aspires to be read. Here, we'll cover the sixteen Magnetic Plot Elements that reliably generate suspense and why they do. The short answer is that we're wired to pay attention to the things that matter.
(Or Cognitive Magnetism)
What emotion lies at the heart of every fictional story? Suspense, of course. But is suspense even an emotion, and surely it isn't at the heart of a love story, is it? Yes, and yes. It's also at the root of every mystery, thriller, quest, coming-of-age story, rags-to-riches or downfall narrative, and every other story you can imagine. Here, we'll discuss what suspense really is, and why we need to have at least a little of it on every page.
A Plot or Not:
Introducing suspense is what gets your reader interested in your story. How does a writer keep them, though? The answer lies in crafting plots that manage suspense in a specific, grammatical manner. Here, you'll learn the underlying structure of every plot and that Rowe knows a lot more about plot than banyans, bananas, and chimps.
The Plot Thickens
(Because of Course It Does)
One plot structure is responsible for every story you know. But how does this one plot structure morph into all the complex and diverse stories you know? With a few simple underlying rules—just as with language, biology, and mathematics—infinite complexity is produced.
"Showing" versus "telling" and scene versus summary is often discussed by writers, but rarely do writers talk exactly about what makes a scene a scene and a summary a summary. Here, we'll get precise about the most important distinction in portraying time on the page—Duration.