Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 12, 2013

4 ways to Keep Your Story Interesting

david-giving-brief-remarksLast week David Harrison had a really nice post pointing out how you can build a scene. I love seeing how the scene evolves and how much more you a writer can pull out by using the four element he talks about. Great piece to keep in mind during the revision process.

Here’s David:

FOUR WAYS TO KEEP YOUR STORY INTERESTING David L. Harrison

ONE: NARRATION. You do most of the talking. Fox was about to get the surprise of his life. Every hen in the hen house had learned kickboxing. Cackling softly among themselves, they peeked out through a crack and watched the unsuspecting thief slinking up the path toward his doom.

TWO: MONOLOGUE. Your character talks to him/herself. “I smell chickens!” Fox told himself. “Straight ahead! A hen house is full of juicy, plump chickens! Here I come, my delicious, darling, juicy, plump chickens!”

THREE: NARRATION AND MONOLOGUE. Your character talks but you help.

“I smell chickens!” Fox told himself. “Straight ahead!” He had not eaten in three days. Not a fat mouse. Or a skinny lizard. Or even a sorry little grasshopper. He licked his lips and almost purred.

“A hen house is full of juicy, plump chickens!”

Fox’s tattered tail twitched. His hairy ears cocked forward.

“Here I come, my delicious, darling, juicy, plump chickens!”

FOUR: DIALOGUE. More than one character talks.

“I smell chickens!” Fox told himself. “Straight ahead!” He had not eaten in three days. Not a fat mouse. Or a skinny lizard. Or even a sorry little grasshopper. He licked his lips and almost purred. “A hen house is full of juicy, plump chickens!”

The hen house leader pressed one eye against a crack in the wall.

“He’s coming!” Lily whispered.

Unaware that he was being watched, Fox crept up the path. “Ready girls?” Lily whispered.

“Let him come!” came two dozen fierce voices.

“Where is he now?” someone asked.

“Shhh,” Lily whispered. “Just outside the door.”

Fox crouched, ready to spring. “Here I come, my delicious, darling, juicy, plump chickens”.

On the other side stood a determined flock of warrior hens.

Someone was in for the surprise of his life!

If you live in Missouri, David is going to be a speaker at:

The 2013 Writers Workshop
Library Center auditorium
4653 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, Missouri.
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 12.
Cost is $50 – includes a morning snack, refreshments and a box lunch. For age 16 and older.

http://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/writers-workshop-in-october/

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. This is a terrific post — short and to the point with great examples. Thanks for posting this one. Very helpful.

    Like

  2. I enjoyed this a lot, but have one small problem, as I do with just about every teaching I see on making writing more interesting. In every case, adding interest has also added word count. As a picture book writer, we are constantly being told that shorter is better, less than 500 words is best! So, the question is, how do you make the writing sing while keeping it to such a short word count?

    Like

    • Diane,

      You are right, picture books are trending towards fewer words. When you talk to an editor, most will tell you to not pay attention to that to “Just tell your story that you want to tell.” Seems like a contradiction, but who would want to cut the scene that David wrote, just to use less words. I guess I am saying, it depends on what is written. Some words/lines make it easy to cut and others you just have to keep, because they are so interesting.

      Kathy

      Like

  3. Great Post and wonderful dialogue, thanks for posting!

    Like


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