A Grab Bag of Writing Craft Ideas

Today is a bit of a grab bag of writing craft ideas. I came across this post by Nathan Bransford on First Person VP Vs Third Person VP.

He says this: ‘One of the great tensions in a first person narrative, then, is between what the narrator is saying and what the reader senses is really happening beyond the narrator’s perspective. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean that the narrator is unreliable, it just means that we’re seeing the world through a very unique character’s eyes — and only through that character’s eyes.’

I think this can be achieved with what I call Deep Third Person VP as well. If I use First Person I do it for a specific reason. It shapes the narrative and it shapes our understanding of the world.

He says he prefers a more distant Third Person VP. ‘the most interesting third person narratives jump into character’s heads to show their thought processes but leave some distance between what is happening on the outside and what the characters are thinking.’  As a reader, I hate it when I feel like there is a pane of glass between me and the character.

Then there’s this post By Chuck Wendig. 25 things Every Writer Should Know.  He’s right, there is an awful lot of Luck involved.

I like number 20. Writing is about Words, Story Telling about Life. Or to put it another way, sure you can craft a pretty sentence, but you need to have experienced life and observed people to be able to create believeable characters and put them through events where they react in a plausible manner.

And then there’s his post 25 Things you Should Know about Character. I like number 13. The Code. It’s true. Every character has an internal compass. The character must stay true to their own sense of right and wrong.

And I like number 17. Nobody sees themselves as a supporting character. This is so true. This means the protagonist’s friends should have things they care about just as passionately as the protagonist does.

I find reading other people’s posts about writing craft interesting. I’m still having those Ah Ha moments, when I realise something. I’m still getting those moments with my own writing. I find the act of writing intrinsically satisfying and interesting.

Have you had an Ah Ha moment recently? Have you come across a writing craft post that resonated with you?



7 thoughts on “A Grab Bag of Writing Craft Ideas

  1. I find because I watch a lot of TV series and movies that I get a lot of my Oh My moments like this. The Ahh of characterisation insight, or the Ohh of narrative weaving. I tell myself since I teach film, none of this is wasted time.

  2. My writing life is a series of ah ah moments, though I usually only perceive progress at a long distance. It’s sort of like trying to steer by looking in the rear view mirror.

  3. The terribleminds blog looks good. I’ve Favouritized it. Thanks. In relation to point 17, I agree – but things used to be different. We’re all too selfish now to be content to play a support role for someone else.

    It goes back to Dave’s post about weak characters and people we don’t want to read about. Doesn’t mean those kind of people don’t exist. And doesn’t mean they aren’t good role models.

    Not everyone can be the hero, despite what books and movies tell you.

    1. Chris, I took it to mean that they don’t have to be a hero, but they have to be well rounded. They have their passions. eg. They might be an accountant who breeds prize cats. But they are really passionate about this.

  4. For me it’s “oh shit” moments, but yeah. Usually when I realize something my subconscious has been trying to tell me for months.

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