Writing Serial Fiction
Writing Serial & Series Fiction
Not just another Novel idea
Please note, this is how the Professionals do it. Those of you who are Not professional are free to write (and post) as you please.
To view the Main Plot vs Subplot graphic at Full Size, GO HERE --> http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp347/OokamiKasumi/MainplotSubplot.jpg
A Serial Story is Not a chopped-up Novel!
I hear it time and time again: "If the story is too big, why don't you just cut it up into a Series or Serial?"
You can't just cut a novel-type Story in half to make a series, or use the chapters to serialize it. A true serial "episode" is its own Complete Story within a larger story. A Serial tale is NOT a chapter with book cover and neither are Series books.
The first thing any writer learns is: "A story must have a Beginning, a Middle and an End". EACH Serial and Series chapters, or episodes, must have a Beginnin
RESEARCH is your Best Friend
RESEARCH is your Best Friend.
"...for bigger fictions (maybe 10-20 chapters, or more) for a big fan fiction or OC fiction, how much do you plan out?" -- Wanna Rite Reel Gud
How much do I plan out for one of my novels...?
-- I detail everything. Seriously. I believe in a Total Immersion style of writing. In other words, I want to know the world so well, I can simply step into the mind and skin of my main character and LIVE the story.
How do I do that...?
I start with a basic plot formula and extrapolate on certain points as needed.
Romance needs extra doses of lover's angst, Gothics need psychological breakdowns, Horrors need room for monster attacks, Sci-Fi's and Fantasies need moments of wonder... This gives me a rough plot outline to work from.
Next, I break down each of the Three Main Characters: Hero/Ally/Villain.
This is to make sure that they a
Propaganda - Enemy of Fiction
The Enemy of Good Fiction
~ PROPAGANDA! ~
Many people have asked me, "Why don't you watch TV anymore?"
I do, sort of. I play movies that I buy and rent on my TV regularly. However, I Don't watch cable TV or local TV, and I NEVER watch sitcoms or Reality TV of any kind. If I want the news, I go to the internet.
Why Not? Because there's too much Programming going on in those programs, and not one drop of Reality in Reality TV -- especially the Law & Order ones.
TV = The Tool of Propaganda
By Phil Cunningham
Posted WITH Permission.)
Propaganda and Advertising, affects us all. The two operate using the exact same techniques, so it can be very difficult to recognize one from the other. The only major difference between the two is that advertising sells Products, while propaganda sells IDEALS.
Increasingly, the corporate advertising of goods and services is being coupled with political, "moral", and religious value messages - Propaganda.
The LAYERS of Fiction
"If you have Action and Dialogue, do you really NEED Description too?
What is the difference?"
The Layers of Fiction
"Himawari-chan, I have your lunch!"
"Here you go Himawari-chan!"
"Thank you, Watanuki-kun!"
"You are very welcome, Himawari-chan."
"I see. Of course. Thank you, Yuuko-san. Do I need to tell you what she said?"
"No! No, you don't, and I don't want to hear it! I don't need a freaking baby-sitter!"
"Yuuko thinks you do."
"That's her! Not me!"
"Are you a fortune-teller?"
"No! Of course not!"
"I'll come get you after class. I'll get the instructor to let you wait while I practice."
"What? No! I said I don't want to wait !"
"You gonna eat that?"
"Yes I am!"
"I do not, not, NOT take orders from you!"
This is "Talking Head Syndrome." There are no dialogue tags, because I don't use them.
Advanced Plotting-The PREMISE
Advanced Plotting ~ the PREMISE
Could you tell me more on plotting story points? I can get the big story idea well enough, but I run into a snag deciding the whole causality thing -- A leads to B, leads to C, etc."
-- Mad about Plotting
Ah, so you wanna know how to put all the theories together to make a story, do you? (Gee, you couldn't pick the easy stuff could you?) Okay...
A story's Causes & Effects, the triggers that lead from one event to the next, comes from your Premise.
Just for the record...
A Premise is NOT a Concept!
The Premise is the theoretical / emotional problem that your story is trying to illustrate and answer. It's the glue that holds the whole thing together. It's the Purpose of your story.
A Concept is HOW you intend to illustrate that Premise, it's the story you wrap around it.
Example: The 'Matrix':
Premise: Knowledge vs. Ig
A plot is the pattern a story follows, the most common being:
All successful (read: popular) stories have patterns. Sometimes it's simple, sometimes it's complex, but all of the stories read or told often enough to remain in the popular mind of any culture have a pattern, a plot.
Here are some examples of simple plot patterns
American Dream Version:
He became very rich.
The Heroic version:
He became the leader of his people.
He died in the middle of a glorious battle to defend his land, and became a legendary figure that would never be forgotten.
Aristotle's Elements of a Greek Tragedy - simplified:
Act One: He rose to glory.
Character Development Question
Individual Character Sheet
Name: (Full name, and nicknames).
Age/Birth Date: (x-) / (mm/dd/yyyy)
Race/Origin:Race (Country ; (father/mother) + Race ( Country; father/mother)
Birth Place: City, Country.
Zodiac Sign: (Depending on the culture they identify with, or what you're familiar with)
Class In Society Now/ Growing Up: (Lower/Middle/Upper; City/Country)
Gender: (What do they identify as? Ex. Female, Male, Trans, Gender queer, etc.)
Orientation: (Preference in partner(s). )
Main/Major/Minor/Side (Circle or Highlight)
? relationship to main character:
Character Transition: (How do they change from the start of the story to the end.)
Quick Look Characteristics
Zodiac Sign Stereotype: (Include only relevant information.)
Best: (Simple 1 to 3 word, words only.)
Worst: (Simple 1 to 3 word, words only.)
This character is capable of: lying, cheating, stealing, killing, fighting, hating. (Circle or highlight)
ACTION Sequences - Plug+Play
Writing ACTION Sequences
The Plug & Play Method
Lets begin with a Review...
The flash of pain exploded in my cheek from the slap her hand lashed out at me.
Why is this wrong?
If you were watching this scene as a movie, that sentence is NOT how you would have seen it happen.
Actual Sequence of events:
1) Her hand lashed out at me in a slap.
2) A flash of pain exploded in my cheek
ACTION Sequences = Chronological Order
REALITY = something happens to you and then you react.
Action > Reaction > Action > Reaction = Chronological order
FICTION = the Plot happens to the characters and then they react.
Action > Reaction > Action > Reaction = Chronological order
If you want the reader to SEE the actions that you are trying to portray, Chronological Order is the ONLY way to write that scene. In other words, if you visualize the characters doing something in a specific
The Secret to Paragraphing
The SECRET to Proper Paragraphing
(NOT a punctuation article.)
Once you know what your characters and doing and saying, how do you get all that down on Paper without ending up with a huge confusing mess?
Putting the Story on Paper.
Everybody knows that when a new speaker speaks they get a new paragraph, right? In other words, you DON'T put two different people talking in the same paragraph. Okay, yeah, so anyone who has written any kind of fiction learns this pretty darned quick, (usually from their readers.)
What nobody seems to get is that the same goes for a new character's ACTIONS. Seriously, when a new character ACTS they're supposed to get their own paragraph -- even if they don't speak!
In short, you paragraph by change in CHARACTER -- not because they speak, but because they ACT. Ahem... Dialogue is an ACTION. In other words, the reason you don't put two different characters' Dialogue
HOW do you make THE END?
"When will you make an end?"
- The Pope on the painting of the Sistine Chapel
"When I'm finished."
Okay, so you got this GREAT Idea for a story!
- This Great Idea...that births chapter after chaper...
- This Great Idea... that you can't seem to finish. (WTF?)
So what do you do now?
HOW do you make an End?
Fairytales and Myths were my foundational reading, so they became my base model for how a story should finish -- by ending where you began with a solution.
This doesn't mean ending a story in the location it started, or that full irrevocable transformations don't happen, but that the story ties the knot to the Emotional or Karmic place they began. -- The lost find their way, the wicked are punished, the weak become strong, monsters are faced, emotional hang-ups are dealt with, and problems are solved. What is begun - finishes.
-- Stories aren't just about characters Doing stuff, it's about cha
Pesky Point of View
DISCLAIMER: Before anyone starts screaming about this article not emphasizing the Creative aspect of writing, please understand that this information was hammered into my head by my editors. This is what I had to learn to see my work published.
That doesn't mean you have to follow it! As with all advice, feel free to take what you can use and throw out the rest.
Pesky Point of View
What is Point of View (POV)?
-- It's the view of the person telling the story.
First Person: I am telling the story.
Second Person. I am telling the story to YOU. (Diaries and letters are commonly written this way.)
Third Person: He is telling the story.
Close Third Person: He had no clue how he got roped into telling this story, but he was telling it, and by god, they better listen up!
Omniscient Distant POV: The camera's eye view. (No internal narration what so ever. You only know what the camera sees. This is the POV u
When the Hero is NOT a Hero
Protagonist & Antagonist ~ A Different Definition
There are Three Essential Characters in Every Story. There may be any number of side characters, but in traditional Adventures, and Romances of every stripe the main conflict is usually, if not always, a triangle of complimentary opposites.
Translation: You could tell the WHOLE story with ONLY these Three Characters; perhaps not with any real detail, but you could still do the entire basic plotline. (Yes I know, I've said some of this before. Bear with me.)
Yep. I'm sure you're familiar with: Hero Villain Heroine (or Sidekick) already. Those are pretty darn standard. So, let's define them in a more Literary, (and complicated,) fashion shall we?
Antagonist - Protagonist - Ally
ALLY? Who the heck is That?
Always there, though seldom named
Quick Tips to Child DialogueThese are more like observations in no particular order or consequence (and again, don't apply to every character), but should come in handy with bringing your character to life. Best of luck!
The younger the child, the more intimate the dialogue.
Consider the difference between a five-year-old child calling his mother "Mommy" and a teenager using "Ma" or "Mother".
Nicknames are important.
They also indicate a closeness between characters or an affinity for another character.
Important things are given important names.
There is a good reason that the child's favorite stuffed dinosaur is named Mr.Dino.
Young children tend to use their own terms to describe something if they don't know the proper term.
Until the child learns the proper term for a magazine, it's a "floppy picture book."
Save the bigger words and the more intelligent speech for the older child.
Younger children have a limited vocabulary because their experience is limited. Ther