The Mechanics of Fiction Writing
Click on thumbnails for video lecture links:
Place & Space
People have evolved the ability to form abstract images of places and objects. How exactly did this ability come about? How can understanding it help writers to grapple with the often-underappreciated fourth critical aspect of fiction—the storyworld (i.e. the setting)?
Schema & Scripts
The reader performs most of the heavy lifting when it comes to building storyworlds. Learn how the mind works to draw up images from schematic memory and scripts. This will help writers to understand what they need to describe and what they can leave in the figurative hands of their faithful readers.
Cognitive science informs us how humans form mental representations of their surroundings. Learning how people map space can inform writers how their readers will form a mental representation of the stage their stories will play out on. Knowing how to generate a vivid stage when it counts may help your stories to come to life as never before.
A Sense of Place
Ever read a book that seems so real you'd swear you've been there? That didn't happen by accident. Great writers have ways to elicit the feel of a place using certain techniques. We'll discuss several of those mood and atmosphere building strategies in this lesson.
Objects in the Storyworld
Some storyworld objects are too important to omit, others add an air of real-ness to the setting, others are best left to the reader's imagination. How should writers decide what objects are worth describing explicitly in their stories? We'll explore a few guidelines here.
Crafting Lasting Images
Some moments from great literature get etched into our memories forever. How do great writers do that? Here, we'll cover 5 common elements that seem to recur in those timeless images from great stories.