Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Second Most Important Word in the Story Sentence

We've covered the first most important, which is the verb. The verb is the work horse of the story sentence.

The second most important part of speech or 'word' is the noun. The noun is nearly as important as the verb and runs a close second to the verb but it is not nearly the work horse that the verb is.

This is because the 'who 'and 'what' and 'where' are just as important as 'what happens' but it's the 'what happens' that carries the story.

With the "Who" the author can use the character's name, a pronoun, or even imply the character without using either because repeating the character's name over and over or even using too many "he"s or "she"s begins to draw the reader out of the story. The reader knows, or should know who the story is about from the beginning. After the "who" is established for the protagonist, the antagonist, and secondary characters, the most important thing is what they are doing or what is happening to them.

With the "What" or "Where" it is the same thing. Why is the "What" so important or the why "Where" even matters should be established more in the action involving them than in the author telling the reader why these things and places are so important. This is the difference between showing and telling.

So, bottom line... Nouns are important whether it covers characters, props, or settings. The reader does have to care about the characters and understand the importance of the things and places. Even so, the author must always remember that the verbs that carry the nouns through the story and not the other way around. This is true in all fiction and even more so in flash fiction.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Installment # 3 "Just Remember" Is Up.

"Just Remember" A Flashback is up on Avenir Eclectia.


For those dropping in from the Unofficial ACFW At-Home Writer's Conference that don't like speculative fiction, go ahead and check it out because this scene is a quiet moment between a mother and son with low levels of "spec" jargon. It could have happened on earth now or sometime in history concerning places we know rather than the made-up places of AE.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Thing About Avenir Eclectia

Grace and I have been emailing a bit back and forth about the direction of Avenir Eclectia and, to me at least, it's exciting. For those new to my blog and to flash fiction, Avenir Eclectia is a "Multi-author, Microfiction Adventure" in the Speculative genre. To find it, go to my blog roll and click on the link. Then for an extra treat, watch the video trailer concerning it there.

The thing about Avenir Eclectia is that it came into my life at the exact right time. My writing was stagnant. I had received average scores from ACFW's Genesis contest and, though I appreciated the honesty of the judges and was glad that I didn't get bad scores, somehow getting only average scores quietly took the wind out of my sails.

I've been working on my craft for years, learning everything that I could and had hoped for a little better scores after so much work. But here lately, I've come to the conclusion that I'm not a contest writer. There will always be someone who can polish better than me. And in fact, for me, contests curtail my creativity rather than stimulate it. There are so many things they ding you for that you are not walking on sunshine, you are walking on eggshells. And I'm a terrible eggshell walker.

Anyway, back to Avenir Eclectia. It came at the right time. I needed something to work on in short bursts since my schedule had become crazy busy. I needed something that inspired my creativity, which the story world of Avenir Eclectia truly does. Volcanoes, bugs, a space station, a nearby planet ripped in two, beautiful aquatic life. What a wonderful place to play and to forget about contest scores. You can just let creativity be king, queen, and court jester rather than letting eggshells rule the day.

Other people of other genres could learn from Avenir Eclectia, like Romance writers or Western writers. Someone could come up with a story world, put it on a blog, and discouraged writers could work on their writing skills and have short term successes and interaction with other authors and readers to encourage them on to bigger and better projects.

So that's the thing about Avenir Eclectia. It's a fun place to play and a good resource for letting your muse out of the eggshell closet.