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