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Apr 27 2016

#atozchallenge W is for Writers #WriteTip Wired for Story by @LisaCron

The craft of fiction writing is the Theme for the #atozchallenge 2016 on the blog of @JLenniDorner
Click for my theme details

26 writing reference books containing 26 lessons leads to a month of #WriteTips and writing samples




Numbers #FunFact image on the blog of @JLenniDorner

W is for “Wired” and “Writer’s”
Book: Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence by Lisa Cron
@LisaCron
My dice roll: 221 (ebook location out of 4030)
Lesson: What a story is.

“A story is how what happens affects someone who is trying to achieve what turns out to be a difficult goal, and how he or she changes as a result.”

The breakdown:

Plot is what happens; it’s the issue that keeps the protagonist from the goal.
The protagonist is the someone.
A goal is a story question.
The change is what it’s all about.

Readers want to experience how it feels to be in the situation, all from the safety of their reading spot.

Here’s an example of this lesson using my Fractions of Existence book.

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The plot is that Xavier needs to reunite his kind, but he doesn’t know where to look or why they’re separated.
The protagonist is Xavier.
The story question is “will Xavier reunite his kind in time to prevent the apocalypse?”
The change is when Xavier decides he’d rather the world ends than risk Gwendolyn’s happiness.

Fractions of Existence is a story where Xavier needs to reunite his kind, but doesn’t know where to look or why they’re separated, and this affects Xavier, who is trying to achieve what turns out to be the difficult goal of reuniting his kind in time to prevent the apocalypse, and then he changes his mind, deciding he’d rather the world ends than risk Gwendolyn’s happiness.

The plot is then that Gwendolyn leaves her life to be with Xavier, but it’s a struggle to get there.
The protagonist is Gwendolyn.
The story question is “will she make it, and, if so, will he keep her?” (One could argue the bigger question is “what are they”…)
The change is when Gwendolyn climbs out of her shell and bravely crosses the country to get to Xavier, not knowing if he’s even still interested.

The second half of Fractions of Existence is a story about Gwendolyn leaving her life to be with Xavier, and the struggle to get there, which affects Gwendolyn, who is trying to achieve what turns out to be a difficult goal of making it across the country to man she’s not even still sure wants her there, and how the journey changes her as she climbs out of her shell to take the road-trip.

In Fractions of Existence, Xavier needs to reunite his kind, but he doesn’t know where to look or why they’re separated. He needs them to reunite in time to prevent the apocalypse. He changes his mind when he gets to know Gwendolyn, the missing one he sought, who has no idea what she is. He decides he’d rather let the world end than risk Gwendolyn’s happiness by ripping her life apart. The second half is about Gwendolyn leaving her life to be with Xavier and her struggle to get there. She crosses the country alone, still unaware of what she is, to reach a man she’s not even sure still wants her there— a journey that requires her to climb out of her shell.

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Does that story sound interesting? Have you ever broken down one of your stories this way?

Is my final paragraph here better than the descriptions from my LETTER S post? Would you recommend using that paragraph instead of the ones from my LETTER G post about query letters?



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3 comments

  1. Juneta

    I have the book Wired. Good book. I have not broken my story down like that yet. Enjoyed the post.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit
    Juneta has this post to share The Brain & Writer’s: Stories Change The BrainMy Profile
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  2. C.Lee McKenzie

    I do this, but usually after I think I’ve finished the book. In other words, this is when I fine tune to see if I’ve missed the mark on any of the plot points or the character’s goals etc. Sometimes I see something that I missed during all that writing and go back and fix it.

    You’ve done a super job on this theme.
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  3. Mary Hill

    Sounds like a great book with exercises that encourage writing. Thanks for sharing.
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