December 30, 2011

back to basics outline

If you remember, I plan on doing a new blog series after the New Year. I’ve been brainstorming for ideas for the past several days. What’s funny is that the most difficult and complex ideas—plot, character, structure, etc.—they’re the easiest for me to explain. The basics, the simple ideas—grammar, punctuations, writing coherently—they’ll be the most difficult for me to explain. I’m no English teacher. I didn’t go to school to teach people the basics of writing. I went to school to write. By the time I got to college, I already had a pretty good understanding of the English language. So most of it comes naturally. I don’t have to think about it. This blog series is going to force me to think about it, the same way I have to think about characterization and structure.

This is what I have so far:

Grade School Basics:
  • Parts of a sentence
  • Syntax, sentence variation
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Capitalization
  • Grammar
  • Research
Creative Writing Basics:
  • Point of View
  • Scenes
  • Plotting
  • Structure
    • Three act
    • Hero’s Journey
    • Propp’s Fairy Tale
    • Snyder’s 15 key beats
  • Literary description – metaphor, simile, symbolism
  • Show vs. tell
  • Voice and style
 Storytelling Basics
  • Characters
    • Protagonist
    • Antagonist
    • Supporting characters
    • Archetypes
  • Setting and description
  • World-building
  • Exposition
  • Dialogue
  • Pacing
  • Conflict
  • Theme

Revision Basics and Writing Tools
  • Outlining
  • Revision methods
  • Critique groups and beta readers
  • First read-through
  • Analyzing your story
  • How to revise…
    • Character
    • Plot
    • Beginning
    • Middle
    • End
    • Scenes
    • Exposition
    • Setting and description
    • Theme
  • Final polish
    • Chapter openings
    • Chapter endings
    • Dialogue
    • Word usage

It’s likely I’ll go more in depth than this, depending on what I come across while working on this series. I may add a few more things I haven't thought of yet. Since I’ll be working on the sequel to The Clockwork Giant at the same time, you can be certain that problems I come across will somehow find their way into this series. Some of these things I’ve talked about before, in which case, I’ll add links to relevant posts.

Now, while this is a lot to cover over the next several weeks, I’m sure I missed something. Is there anything I didn’t mention that you’d like me to cover? And if you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to email me, or comment here.

This series will probably start January 9th. Monday, I’m doing a post about December sales for The Clockwork Giant. Wednesday, I’m announcing the giveaway winners (enter here). And Friday… well, I don’t have anything planned for Friday yet, but it seems counterproductive to start the blog series on a Friday.

So there you have it. I hope you all have a good New Year’s celebration!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you'll be implementing a very educational series. I'll be sure to tune in. I'm sure you'll drop plenty of nuggets of knowledge that I'll need.

    Have a brilliantly wonderful start to your New Year.