Read The 7 Points of Write: An Essential Guide to Mastering the Art of Storytelling, Developing Strong Characters, and Setting Memorable Scenes Online

Authors: Daniel Middleton

Tags: #Language Arts & Disciplines, #Composition & Creative Writing, #Bisac Code 1: LAN005590, #Bisac Code 1: LAN005540, #Bisac Code 1: PER019000

The 7 Points of Write: An Essential Guide to Mastering the Art of Storytelling, Developing Strong Characters, and Setting Memorable Scenes

Copyright © 2012 by Daniel Middleton. All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanically, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system without the prior written permission of the publisher, unless such copying is expressly permitted by federal copyright law. Address inquiries to Permissions, 711 Press, P.O. Box 33, New York, New York 10034.

For information about this and other 711 Press titles and products, visit us on the World Wide Web at:

www.711press.com

Cover and Interior Design by
Scribe Freelance

www.scribefreelance.com

ISBN: 978-1-935702-10-8

Published in the United States of America

For my wife, Karen,

without whom I would not have made it this far;

and my daughter, Naomi,

who gives me reason to go even farther.

C
ONTENT

Introduction

P
OINT
O
NE
: U
NDERSTANDING THE
P
URPOSE OF A
N
OVEL

The Big Question

Your Foundational Purpose

How a Novel Fulfills its Purpose

Worksheet 1

P
OINT
T
WO
: D
RAWING
I
NSPIRATION

Build on What Came Before

TV or Not TV

Music to Write By

Worksheet 2

P
OINT
T
HREE
: F
INDING
Y
OUR
V
OICE

Literary Voices

Be Yourself

Stream of Consciousness

Worksheet 3

P
OINT
F
OUR
: E
STABLISHING
Y
OUR
M
AIN
C
HARACTER

Creating Your Main Character

Consistency and Character Arcs

The Protagonist’s Three Essentials

Worksheet 4

P
OINT
F
IVE
: R
OUNDING
O
UT THE
C
AST

Minor Characters With Major Story Functions

Make Your Minors Stand Out

Look Outside Yourself for Character Types

Worksheet 5

P
OINT
S
IX
: M
ASTERING
D
IALOGUE

Action and Reaction

Get to the Point

Rises and Falls

Worksheet 6

P
OINT
S
EVEN
: C
RAFTING
Y
OUR
S
TORY

The Importance of Plot

The Seven Basic Plots

Set Design

Worksheet 7

Conclusion

About the Author

I
NTRODUCTION

W
HILE THERE ARE
droves of “how-to” books currently on the market that focus on writing well and liberally dispense varied instructions—among them the use of proper word choices, avoiding wordiness, employing active verbs and active voice, and other writerly rules and elements of writing style—this book will focus on something those books do not offer: how to tap into the writer in all of us and unearth the interesting stories and characters that are buried deep within. How you can approach this from a technical standpoint—an area that concerns the mechanics of written language, which necessitates a knowledge of proper grammar, usage, sentence structure, and the principles of composition, phrasing, punctuation, etc.—involves lessons that can be learned elsewhere. What this book will attempt to do is teach you how to draw from the deep well of experience that is at the core of every human being and couple it with imagination to effectively tell a memorable tale, regardless of the genre you choose to write in.

If you are a member of the human race who draws breath on a daily basis and can confirm that you have lived a life on any level and have associated with any number of fellow human beings in whatever manner during the course of that life, then you are capable of telling a story, and a compelling one at that, based on, fueled by, or inspired by those experiences.

Throughout my career as a professional book editor, I have come to understand and recognize the nuances of quality fiction and have pinpointed the necessary ingredients a writer needs in order to attain a lofty level of storytelling. You see, one of the main problems many fiction writers face today is a lack of skill when it comes to conveying their thoughts with power and conviction. Many times I have read scenes that fall flat for a variety of reasons, be it weak character sketching, the inability to effectively describe scenery or action, and, not least, poor delivery of dialogue, among many other classic examples. In order to allow your readers to come away satisfied after reading your book, or compel them to reread passages for the sheer power and beauty contained within them, you have to tap into your hidden depths of experience. You must draw power from within, by envisioning a scene so clearly that you begin to act very much like a reporter who is trying to jot down as much of what he or she is witnessing as possible, and as accurately as he or she can.

That is exactly what I will teach you to do!

The seven
Points
contained in this book were designed specifically for that very purpose, and you will find that, taken together, they form a solid foundation upon which you can begin to hone your craft and greatly improve your storytelling abilities. You can think of the seven
Points
as a fine-grained whetstone that, if adhered to, will give your writing a keen edge.

After you have completed the seven
Points
and have absorbed the various lessons within them, you can begin implementing the new methods in your writing, which, for one thing, will enable you to place yourself directly at the center of each scene in your story, where you essentially belong if you intend to successfully translate your vision to the page with forceful expression and to the delight of your readers.

At the end of each
Point
you will find a worksheet that ties in directly to the particular
Point
that precedes it. By filling out these worksheets, you will be given in-depth information about your characters and enough fodder for as many interesting situations as you wish to place them in. Your characters will begin to have real purpose as they navigate the winding route of your plot, and the story itself will be rich with details that readers can readily absorb.

—D
ANIEL
M
IDDLETON

Other books

Revved by Samantha Towle
The Reverberator by Henry James
Beauty in Breeches by Helen Dickson
Pray for a Brave Heart by Helen Macinnes
Cowboy Command by Olivia Jaymes