Friday, April 18, 2014

#atozchallenge : P is for #Plot #fiction #writing #quotes

 Theme: Quotes from Authors and Bookish People about Writing

 Third week into the AZ challenge and I'm cruising along on auto-pilot-- so many blogs, such little time! I really need to make time to visit back and comment on everyone who has stopped by both my blogs. *No pressure, whew!*

Today on Amlokiblogs we're talking Plot (I may have lost my plot, life-wise, but that's no reason to stop plotting fiction now, is it?)

Plot is a literary term defined as the events that make up a story, particularly as they relate to one another in a pattern, in a sequence, through cause and effect, how the reader views the story, or simply by coincidence.~Wikipedia

I let my characters dictate my plot in my short stories and that has landed me in hot water with my novel WIP. I can't help it-- I get stuck if I start thinking of plot and character separately-- let's hope I can bring myself out of the corner I've painted myself into.

Here are some stalwarts of fiction talking about Plot:

"Introduce your main characters and themes in the first third of your novel. If you are writing a plot-driven genre novel make sure all your major themes/plot elements are introduced in the first third, which you can call the introduction. Develop your themes and characters in your second third, the development. Resolve your themes, mysteries and so on in the final third, the resolution." — Michael Moorcock

"All fiction is about people, unless it's about rabbits pretending to be people. It's all essentially characters in action, which means characters moving through time and changes taking place, and that's what we call 'the plot'." --Margaret Atwood

"Once a novel gets going and I know it is viable, I don't then worry about plot or themes. These things will come in almost automatically because the characters are now pulling the story." -- Chinua Achebe

"Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages."-- Kurt Vonnegut


Do you worry about the plot of your novel? While reading a novel, do you ever wonder about its plot?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

#atozchallenge : O is for #Outlining #fiction #writing #quotes

Theme: Quotes from Authors and Bookish People about Writing

I'm going a little dizzy with blog-visiting rounds. How are you guys holding up?

Today, on Amlokiblogs, we discuss Outlining-- a controversial topic at best, because while some fiction writers swear by it, others go into writer's block when faced with the prospect of an outline.

So here's what successful writers have to say about outlining:

"Everything is planned. I spent a long time outlining. It's the only way I know to get all the ducks in a row. . . . The research is the easiest. The outline is the most fun because you can do anything. The first draft is the hardest, because every word of the outline has to be fleshed out. The rewrite is very satisfying, because I feel that everything I do is making the book a little better."-- Ken Follett.

The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes.”-- Agatha Christie

"In the planning stage of a book, don't plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it." Rose Tremain

"I am having a hard time with the book. Have enough paper written to make it complete, but must do all over again. I just didn’t know where I was going and when I got there I saw that I had come to the wrong place. That’s the hell of being the kind of writer who cannot plan anything, but has to make it up as he goes along and then try to make sense out of it. If you gave me the best plot in the world all worked out I could not write it. It would be dead for me." -- Raymond Chandler

"I always have a basic plot outline, but I like to leave some things to be decided while I write." -- J. K. Rowling

"I plan everything." -- Orhan Pamuk
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you believe in outlines? If you're a reader, not a writer, have you ever wondered whether writers write with outlines or without?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

#atozchallenge : N is for Narrative #fiction #writing #quotes

Theme: Quotes from Authors and Bookish People about Writing

On my other blog, I'm writing a fiction a day for the A to Z Challenge based on the prompts given by blog friends, and ace photographer J W Richardson. If you're in the mood for some fiction, go pay a visit to Daily (w)rite.

Today at Amlokiblogs, we're talking about the very basics of fiction, Narrative.

A narrative (or play) is any account of connected events, presented to a reader or listener in a sequence of written or spoken words, or in a sequence of (moving) pictures. The word "story" may be used as a synonym of "narrative". It can also be used to refer to the sequence of events described in a narrative. 

These are some of the quotes from those who know what a story or narrative is all about: 

“Story should be a descent -- the feeling that there is an intense gravity to the narrative that draws you down, down, down.”
― Chuck Wendig

“To read fiction means to play a game by which we give sense to the immensity of things that happened, are happening, or will happen in the actual world. By reading narrative, we escape the anxiety that attacks us when we try to say something true about the world. This is the consoling function of narrative — the reason people tell stories, and have told stories from the beginning of time.”
― Umberto Eco

“All stories have a curious and even dangerous power. They are manifestations of truth -- yours and mine. And truth is all at once the most wonderful yet terrifying thing in the world, which makes it nearly impossible to handle. It is such a great responsibility that it's best not to tell a story at all unless you know you can do it right. You must be very careful, or without knowing it you can change the world.”
― Vera Nazarian

"A narrative is like a room on whose walls a number of false doors have been painted; while within the narrative, we have many apparent choices of exit, but when the author leads us to one particular door, we know it is the right one because it opens."--John Updike

“Narrative is one of the best intoxicants or tranquilisers.”

― A.S. Byatt

What sort of narratives do you find fascinating? What kind of stories do you like to read or write?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#atozchallenge : M is for #Metaphor #fiction #writing #quotes

Theme: Quotes from Authors and Bookish People about Writing

A to Z Challenge is moving full steam ahead and today on Amlokiblogs we discuss Metaphor: 

A metaphor is a figure of speech that describes a subject by asserting that it is, on some point of comparison, the same as another otherwise unrelated object. Metaphor is a type of analogy and is closely related to other rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via association, comparison or resemblance including allegory, hyperbole, and simile.

Here's what writers and editors have to say about Metaphor:

The greatest thing by far is to have a command of metaphor. This alone cannot be imparted by another; it is the mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblance.-- Aristotle 

If there is anything in writing that comes easy for me it's making up metaphors. They just appear. I can't move two lines without all kinds of images. Then the problem is how to make the best of them. In its geological character, language is almost invariably metaphorical. That's how meanings tend to change. Words become metaphors for other things, then slowly disappear into the new image. I have a hunch, too, that the core of creativity is located in metaphor, in model making, really. A novel is a large metaphor for the world.---William Gass

If you remember only one thing I've said, remember that an idea is a feat of association, and the height of it is a good metaphor. If you have never made a good metaphor, then you don't know what it's all about.-- Robert Frost

I love metaphor. It provides two loaves where there seems to be one. Sometimes it throws in a load of fish. . . . I'm not talented as a conceptual thinker but I am in the uses of metaphor.--Bernard Malamud
Do you find metaphors easy as a writer? If you're a reader, not a writer, have you ever fallen in love with a metaphor on the written page?

Monday, April 14, 2014

#atozchallenge : L is for Look through your character's eyes #fiction #writing #quotes

Theme:  Quotes from Authors and Bookish People about Writing

We've just reached the midway point of the A to Z challenge, and it's been an exhilarating journey so far, trying to keep up with all the new things I've learned, the friends I've met and the new goals I've set myself. I'm enjoying co-hosting this challenge-- how are you doing? Is AZ overwhelming, exciting, fun?

The fiction aspect we're discussing today is Point of view. It is perhaps the most important decision a writer makes when telling a story-- whose eyes should the reader see through? The same plot can result in two completely different stories if told through the perspectives of two different characters.

Narrative point of view in the creative writing of fiction describes the narrator's position in relation to the story being told.~ Wikipedia

"If Carlos curses Juan think what both their sides of it are. Don’t just think who is right. As a man things are as they should or shouldn’t be. As a man you know who is right and who is wrong. You have to make decisions and enforce them. As a writer you should not judge. You should understand."  --Ernest Hemingway

 “It can be said that one slip of point of view by a writer can hurt a story badly, and several slips can be fatal."-- Sol Stein

"Description must work for its place. It can’t be simply ornamental. It ­usually works best if it has a human element; it is more effective if it comes from an implied viewpoint, rather than from the eye of God. If description is coloured by the viewpoint of the character who is doing the noticing, it becomes, in effect, part of character definition and part of the action." Hilary Mantel

“The choice of the point(s) of view from which the story is told is arguably the most important single decision that the novelist has to make, for it fundamentally affects the way readers will respond, emotionally and morally, to the fictional characters and their actions. The story of an adultery, for instance - any adultery - will affect us differently according to whether it is presented primarily from the point of view of the unfaithful person, or the injured spouse, or the lover - or as observed by some fourth party. Madame Bovary narrated mainly from the point of view of Charles Bovary would be a very different book from the one we know.” 
― David Lodge

"Write in the third person unless a ­really distinctive first-person voice ­offers itself irresistibly." –Jonathan Franzen
How do you choose whose point of view to tell a particular story from? As a reader do you take any notice of Points of View?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

#atozchallenge: K is for Kill Your Darlings #fiction #writing #quotes

Theme: Quotes from Authors and Bookish People about Writing

The A to Z challenge is roaring ahead, and with the help of my amazing team, Guilie, Anna, Samantha, Csenge, Vidya, Jemima and Mary I'm trying my best, along with all my co-hosts, Lee, Alex, Tina, Jeremy, Nicole, Stephen, Heather, AJ, MJ and Pam to make this a smooth event. A lot of hard work is involved behind the scenes, so I would like to send up a huge cheer for each one of them!

On Amlokiblogs today, we're talking about a painful topic for most writers: "Kill your darlings."

This literary advice refers to the dangers of an author using personal favorite elements. While these may hold special meaning for the author, they can cause readers to roll their eyes. -- Urban dictionary

“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.”-- William Faulkner

“Lie naked on the table, and let them cut. Criticism is surgery, and humility is the anesthetic that allows you to tolerate it. In the end, the process will make you a stronger, more flexible, and truly creative writer. It will replace attitude with genuine confidence, and empty arrogance with artistry.”-- Molly Cochran

"Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing."-- John Steinbeck 

"When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would." -- Zadie Smith

When writing, have you ever killed your darlings? Was your work the better for it? While reading, have you found passages in a novel better left on the editing floor?