Thursday, January 29, 2015

HOW TO WRITE A BOOK (SHOW DON'T TELL EDITION)

True confessions time: I like plot. No, strike that. I LOVE plot.

Yes, yes, I know, character is king, and poetic language is queen. But I prefer stories where stuff… happens.

Call it pulp, call it melodrama, call it whatever the opposite of literary fiction is, but when you ask someone what a book is about, that usually means you want to know, what’s the story? And a story means something happens. Preferably something interesting and surprising.

I love plot twists, too.  The more the better. Preferably ones that I didn’t see coming, but, upon reflection, make perfect sense.

Common wisdom holds that character drives plot. But, conversely, doesn’t plot define character? After all, isn’t the best way to find out what a person – imaginary or real – is made of, by seeing their reaction to stressful situations? Do they rise to the occasion, or shirk? Do they handle setbacks with grace or present their worst selves? I don’t want to learn about a character by being told – no matter how poetic the language may be.  I don’t want to leaf through pages of internal monologue about their thoughts and dreams and hopes and plans. I want to see them DO something. And then I’ll make up my own mind about what kind of person they are.

For those wondering, why, no, I didn’t do particularly well in high-school English class. And I dropped out of my college Creative Writing program when I realized that the kinds of stories I wanted to write – and read – were not the kind considered acceptable by serious literary types.

Which is why I’ve started a program of my own. Kind of. And it fits in perfectly with my writing and life motto of DO SOMETHING.

Instead of telling aspiring authors how to write a book, I am going to show them.

How?

By writing my next novel live online at www.AlinaAdams.com/live, with readers being able to watch every key-stroke, every typo, every dead end and every deletion of entire paragraphs at a time.  They’ll be able to comment on the action, too. (After all, what’s the point of criticizing a book after it’s published? It’s too late for me to do anything about it, then.)

Learn more at: http://marilynmeredith.blogspot.com/2015/01/do-something-live-by-alina-adams.html

3 comments:

Unknown said...


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Unknown said...


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Unknown said...


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