Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Whose Story Is It? > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Whose Story Is It?

Whenever you sit down to plot a story (or even to think about a story) one of the first things you have to ask yourself is this: "Whose story IS it?"

It seems like a simple question - but your story can succeed or fail depending on how you handle this. Told from the wrong point of view, a story can founder before the first chapter has come to an end.

SOME COMMON PROBLEMS

1. IN CHILDREN'S STORIES: The author can't help but identify with the adult point of view. The story is told from a fond or patronising standpoint - all too obviously that of a mother or teacher. The young reader picks this up instantly. Why? Because we all 'become' the viewpoint character in a story. Children don't feel comfortable looking out through adult eyes - especially if there's a too-obvious moral 'message' being delivered!

2. A SECONDARY CHARACTER TAKES OVER: if your main character seems dull and lifeless, perhaps you are telling the story from the wrong person's viewpoint. Do you find yourself eagerly sitting down to write scenes shown through the eyes of a vibrant or cheeky 'supporting cast' member, but rushing through the scenes that star the lead character? Uh oh. Dangerous... it's time for a rethink. Quite often this is a good sign that it is really someone else's story.

3. THE STORY PLODS ALONG: All your writing seems like hard work. The plot seems fine - when you analyse it, it follows the 'recipe' that should work: the main character has a problem or goal that is important to him; he faces a series of obstacles while trying to reach his goal; he experiences a time when all seems lost - then he triumphs and/or realises that something else is more important to him, and all is resolved. So what's wrong?

"What's wrong" is usually that although the main character has a goal that's important to him, it hasn't convinced you, the author! YOU don't care. Therefore it's going to be hard to persuade your readers to care.

Look at the other people in the story. What goals/problems do they have? What is important to them? Could you get a lot more involved if you were telling someone else's story?

SOME FINAL TIPS:

  • Decide whose story it is. If it isn't working from one character's viewpoint, write the same scene of action from several viewpoints. Do this several times until you find the one that feels right.

  • If you have more than one viewpoint in the story, make sure that we know at the beginning of each scene whose eyes we are looking through. Make sure you don't run off at a tangent, getting too involved in a secondary character's story. All scenes and all subplots should be interwoven with the MAIN character's story, and move it forward.

  • In each scene, the viewpoint character should be the one with the most at stake for that scene. The main viewpoint character for the story should be the one with the most at stake for the story.

  • Every viewpoint character must be actively involved in the plot all the way through. Don't waste a scene by allowing someone who appears only once or twice to be the viewpoint character.
The right viewpoint for your story is essential to first grab your reader, then to carry her along. Take the time to get it right.

Marg McAlister has published magazine articles, short stories, books for children, ezines, promotional material, sales letters and web content. She has written 5 distance education courses on writing, and her online help for writers is popular all over the world. Sign up for her regular writers' tipsheet at http://www.writing4success.com/

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Chicago Tribune

Why we should ask who's writing TV shows
Chicago Tribune
On Tuesday, the hashtag #ShowUsYourRoom was launched by Amanda Idoko (a writer on the animated series “Central Park” for Apple's forthcoming streaming service) encouraging showrunners to post group photos of their writing staff on social media.

and more »

KQED

San Diego Diocese Kept Writing Letters of Recommendation for Priest Accused of Abuse
KQED
Six years ago, the San Diego Diocese recommended a priest — who faced credible accusations of sexual abuse — to continue ministering, including to children. The Rev. J. Patrick Foley told KQED that the sexual abuse accusations against him are “false ...


Retreat to the Springs! — A Roaming Writing Workshop
Circleville Herald
Interested in a quick writing retreat? Peaceful, idyllic Yellow Springs, Ohio, is the perfect place to get away and refresh your writing. Whether you're a beginner, expert, or anywhere in between, Retreat to the Springs! gives you a break from the ...


SW News Media

MEA teen writing camp made possible through grant
SW News Media
HOPKINS — For students looking to work on creative writing, a Novel Writing for Teenagers class will be happening over MEA weekend, said Sigma's Bookshelf owner Rachel Anderson. On Oct. 18 and 19, the class will be held at the Hopkins Center for the ...


Mental Floss

Writing a Term Paper? This Font Is a Sneaky Way to Meet Your Page Count
Mental Floss
Stretching the margins, widening line spaces, making your periods slightly larger than the rest of the text—these tricks should sound familiar to any past or current students who've ever struggled to meet the page requirements of a writing assignment ...

and more »

Shenandoah Valley Book Festival celebrates reading and writing
The Winchester Star
Nearly 20 authors from Virginia and West Virginia are scheduled to sign books, hold discussions, and offer writing and publishing advice. Keelor, who is also a local writer and editor, has partnered with several published authors in the region to plan ...


'Writing Naturally' program on Sept. 22
nwestiowa.com
HAWARDEN—Sioux County naturalists and novelist James Schaap are hosting a “Writing Naturally” program 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Sept. 22, at Oak Grove Park near Hawarden. Meet at the open shelter by the river or Big Sioux Shelter if it rains. Naturalists ...


Inc.com

KIND Snacks Founder: Never Stop Grinding, No Matter How Successful You Become
Inc.com
Writing too much. "It's easy to overlook the importance of clarity and brevity in emails," Weiner explains. "The longer and more complex an email, the more questions get raised and people are looking for follow-up answers and you have to send more ...


Rolling Stone

Normani on 'Love Lies' Going Number One, Her Relationship Style, Writing for Women
Rolling Stone
When 22-year-old pop singer and dancer Normani flew the Fifth Harmony coop to embark on a solo career, timing could not have been more perfect for a big, brazen pop anthem. With all the choreo queens — Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Beyoncé — occupied by ...


Mashable

Take a course on writing for TV from Shonda Rhimes herself
Mashable
Shonda Rhimes is the writer, creator, and executive producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder and was also named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World." Oh, and basically everything ...

and more »
Google News

5 Easy Steps To Writing Your Appealing Letter

You must write a hypnotic persuasion letter to help you... Read More

Freelance Writing: How Many Regular Clients Should You Have?

This is a tough question for every freelance writer. For... Read More

Under The Leaded Sky in Serbia by dr Mirjana Radovic

When one population in one century survived five wars, two... Read More

Ways to Make Extra Income Using the Internet

To capitalize on ways to make extra income you can... Read More

Should I Keep Writing?

Writers are an insecure lot.It's easy to understand why. You... Read More

The ENTP Inventor Writes A Novel

People familiar with the Myers-Briggs Personality test know that the... Read More

On Writing and Poetry: Harry Calhoun in Conversation

"This is just brilliant. The whole interview is incredible? I'm?... Read More

Where to Look for Your Next Project when You?re Writing for Profit

When my first book "Starting Your Own Business" was published... Read More

Turbo Charge Your Career! Write And Produce Your Own Stage Play!

Have you ever wondered how you can adapt your screenplay... Read More

Check Your English Grammar With This Easy Technique

As an International language, English has been used widely in... Read More

How To Cut the Clutter and Win Readers

Most of us hate housework.Nevertheless, even the most hopeless slobs... Read More

10 Tips To Help You Pack More Power Into Your Business Writing

1. Before you write anything down define not what you... Read More

Unusual Points of View

Most writers are familiar with first and third points of... Read More

Making Freelance Writing Niche Types Fit: A Few Niche Types by Definition and Description

Our Freelance Writing Needs DefinedWe must make freelance niche types... Read More

Know Your Editing Choices

Each author has special editing needs. To save yourself time... Read More

The Psychology Of Effortless Writing

I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of... Read More

14 Tips On Writing The Short-Short Story

The short-short story has been likened by some as being... Read More

Whats Missing in your Nearly Finished Book?

Bookcoaching clients come to me at different stages of writing... Read More

Ghostwriting - Making Money by Being Invisible

My bookcase take up one whole wall in the family... Read More

Uncommon Advice for Beginning Novelists

1) Convince yourself you want to do something else. If... Read More

A Quick Guide to ISBNs for Self-Publishers

ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number. It is a... Read More

How To Write A Newsletter

In order to be successful with a newsletter, specialize in... Read More

9 More Writing Tips for Successful Email Marketing

A few months ago, I wrote a guide entitled: 101... Read More

Strategies For Finding Topics To Write About

What possibly could I have to write about? I never... Read More

What You May Not Learn In College... (Part Two)

If you become a writer for any publication, private business,... Read More