Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tim Travaglini - Improve Your Writing

If I didn't mention yesterday, Tim is a senior editor from Putnam. Where have I seen this guy before? He looks very familiar.

The Basics of Good Writing

Most important
Narrative tension
Conflict and resolution

Almost as important
Sympathy for protagonist
Fresh and original take on the story
Compelling secondary characters
A beginning, a middle, and end
A narrative arc
Opening that hooks readers immediately
Internal logic
Point of view
Extraneous threads

Voice is the most difficult to fix. This is where 'natural talent' comes into play.

You need to know your character, intimately.

You character shouldn't be 'perfect', but at the same time, if the voice is right you can pull it off.

Conversely, the anit-hero can also be good. Think Clint Eastwood's cowboy's characters. Not somebody who you would bring home to mother, but you still root for the guy.

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