Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Nick Mamatas: "Beware The Wineglass-Shaped Story"

Some good advice about story structure.

Choice quote:
First there is generally a long sentence about the setting. A character can be introduced right away, that's for sure. But the character is primarily there to think about the setting. So to better explain it to the audience, you see. All the senses are engaged, as is the writing-class rule. Then finally, dialogue.
Short elliptical sentences of dialogue.
A tiny bit of action.
Some more.
Then it picks up a bit again.
The setting becomes important, something is discovered.
Then, there is a finger-wagging moral, or a piquant little turn of phrase. Thus, you know that the author has decided to stop writing. The story stops rather than ends.