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Archives: Narrative Design

Five Ideas about Narrative Design

My offices (home and SMU) are littered with scraps of paper from with summary ideas about craft, always in list form.  These were almost always created for one-shot presentations before community writing groups.  These classes  always contain a large numbers of beginners and folks for whom writing is a hobby, if a serious one.   My goal when speaking to these sessions is to leave the writers with something that is easy to take away and that I hope will be likely to push the writing forward in some way.   As a way of clearing my office, I will be peeling these post-its from the computer screen and unpacking them from the complimentary tote bags to be posted here on the blog.

  1. Characters must want or need and want or need deeply
  2. Characters must act
  3. Opposition must be present and palpable
  4. Most action should be in scene and not narrative summary
  5. Unexpected outcomes should change the trajectory of the story
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