Writing tips and tricks #002
Narration is simply the way a story is told. A story is constructed out of one or more plots. A plot describes the events that make up a story. Usually there is one main plot and many subplots in a novel. A short story may or may not have subplots.
Story narration has to essentially reveal the plot and subplots in a manner that is interesting to the reader. Though the story is conceived by the writer, the techniques are, however, passed on by generations of writers who have applied and proven them to be highly effective in arresting the attention of the readers.
As new writers, there is hardly a requirement to reinvent the wheel. It is practical to learn these narrative techniques from the masters and apply to our own writing. And once we discover our true style, it doesn’t hurt to break free and create our own rules.
Meanwhile, going further, the following are the bare bone elements of a story.
- Point of view
- Tone and mood
I will be throwing light on each of these ten elements separately in my forthcoming articles.
A short story is around 7500 words and a regular novel on an average is 60,000 to 90,000 words. It’s going to be fairly easy to plan a short story all in your head and pen it down but planning a novel may require a bit more paperwork.
Before that, let me not forget to mention that not all writers plan out their whole story before they write. They like to surprise themselves as they go on. The characters emerge and dictate the story as writing moves ahead.
To me, it’s kind of scary to venture into a book without planning. In fact many authors write their last line before their first paragraph. Honestly, the last line of ‘Anita: End of a Beginning’ (http://renukaguru.com/book/ ) was ringing in my ears all throughout the years I wrote the book.
Through this series of articles, l will be talking about the authors who plan out their books. However, let me remind you, a good many authors like the mighty Stephen King don’t plot their novels.
That said, planning a book has its own advantages.
- You know where the story is headed.
- You are less likely to have the proverbial writer’s block.
- You can plan out your research more effectively.
- It’s easy to create suspense and pace by bringing your scenes back and forth.
- Writing can get done quickly as the thinking part to a certain extent is already done.
However, too much planning can stifle the creative instincts. Also you tend to become a bit lazy to think a little more once you get the story down on paper.
My next article will be on how to plot your story.
Until then 🤩👋.