Story Craft 102

Story Craft 102

A Story by David J Rogers
"

This was written for the benefit of the Story Craft Group. It is more of my ramblings about writing. Please indulge me.

"

What are the elements that make good story craft?

 

Concept

Character

Flow

Review

Analysis

 

The concept of the story is usually what comes first, so your story concept must be thought out. What do you want to have happen? What is happening? Where is it going? What are you trying to say?

 

The second most common start to story crafting is with the character. Character development can be difficult. The most difficult part of character development is rounding out your initial concept of your character(s). Who is this character? What is this character like? What drives the character? What is the character’s back story?

 

The flow of a story must make sense. It must be a logical direction for the theme, plot, concept, and characters. It does not matter the genre. It can be fantastical in its fantasy but still contain a logical flow that will keep readers involved in the story. You want the reader to turn the page. You do that with flow.

 

Review is that dirty bit of writing that creative thinkers rarely want to do. It is for this reason there are so many editors out there and they are paid well. Editors think through your project for you. If the concept is good, the characters are developing nicely through the project, and flow is happening, the editor’s work is limited to language correction. If they are not there, the editor’s commentary will make the writer feel like they are losing control of their project. At this point, you the writer, have two choices: disregard the input, doing it yourself, or listen to your editor and improve as a writer. In school we never enjoyed the critique of our work by our teachers or professors. It felt personal. And, to some extent, it is. But, self review and analysis of your work will minimize their work. Take a step back from your project and re-read it. Does it flow? Does it make sense? Does it draw you into the story? Does it put you there? If it does not, do a “file save as” and edit the story. You may even restart from scratch. This is easier to do with computers than typewriters or paper and pen.

 

Now for the truly hard part that will greatly improve your story craft… analysis. I hated this part while in school. Analysis is taking a further step back and looking at the project as a whole and then dissecting it into its various pieces: concept, character, flow, theme, thesis, statement, plot and plot points, twists and turns, language usage, spelling, correct wording, sentence structure, grammar, vernacular (are you using the right words in the right way for your story, character, et cetera), read-ability, interest, et cetera. You may have a lot of things going for your story but if it does not capture the interest and keep it, you are wasting precious time and creativity on a project that needs reworking or scrapping.

 

Many writers start with an initial concept or character and start writing. No further real thought is put into the project other than what happens while writing. Then, the inevitable writer’s block happens or the story stops incompletely and is put out there as a finished work. When this occurs and the first reviews or suggested edits come along, the writer takes it personally and disregards the feedback or acts out in several ways: stop writing, vent /  rant, digs in heels and continues putting out incomplete projects, or gets angry and goes somewhere else where they will be better appreciated. These are traits of the immature writer. To improve at anything, one must recognize strengths and weaknesses. Once identified, one must then work to improve in both areas. Talent will only get you so far. Hard work at perfecting what it is you like doing, are talented at doing, or wanting to do will greatly assist you in getting better. Such is the same with story craft.

 

After basking in the glow of a creative effort, you be your first critic. Review the work for the obvious… spelling and grammar. Review the work for story craft. Did you do a good job on this project or is it just a really good place to start to “hone” the story to a sharper edge? Hint: go with the latter.

 

We will develop these skills by doing an analysis on the “featured” project. One of the brave writers in the group will submit a project and we will analyze it per above. Then, in a positive, objective, without personal attacks, manner the writers in this group will review their own commentary prior to posting in the thread analyzing the project. The group will aid the writer so that the individual, brave soul putting up their work for analysis can improve in story craft. The hopeful side effect is that they analyzing group members will also grow in their knowledge and ability in story craft.

 

So submit your works to the moderator; knowing your project will be picked over like a Thanksgiving turkey by a family full of hungry boys.

 

Your submitted analysis should comment on the areas listed herein. If you have an additional idea or suggestion as to what else should be reviewed, please post it in this thread. The moderator will review you suggestion. If it is viable, the moderator will edit this post, adding your input as part of the process this group will use.

 

I desire and want your participation and input in this thread as well as in the review of the various projects featured for the group

 

Doc...

 


© 2008 David J Rogers



Author's Note

David J Rogers
Indulgence.

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Reviews

Wow, this sounds so helpful. I'm a new writer and this kind of feedback and discussion is exactly what I need and want. How do I go about getting my writing critiqued?

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow. What a way to get started. I appreciate your information and its definitely what all new writers joining this group should read.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

hah, sounds like analysis is and will be a fear of mine. haha. Thanks for writing this article. It was informative and is helping me mull over some things :)

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

May I borrow this for my class writing workshop? I will be sure to leave the copyright, and in no way will I take credit for your work. I will not borrow any of your work without your permission.

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 23, 2008
Last Updated on October 12, 2008

Author

David J Rogers
David J Rogers

Montgomery, AL



About
Artist • Author • Poet • Preacher I am a thinker, ponderer, assayer of thoughts. I have had a penchant for writing since childhood. I prefer "Doc" as an hommage to my grandfather Rob.. more..

Writing