Back to basics

I had to give a little talk to our writing group today, just a little twenty-minute chat about writing prose – last time we met someone else gave a little talk on writing poetry. The group are all excellent writers themselves, very varied so I wondered what angle to take. In the end I went back to basics, and I pulled out some information from my little book So You Want To Write. I made a sheet for them to take away and then we had a discussion round the different points I was making – which was interesting for me as well!

Here are the notes which I took from my book:

Telling Tales

Who is telling the story?

Is it you? The unknown all seeing narrator, who knows what is going on in every character’s mind and who can see it from everyone’s point of view?
Is it from a single character’s perspective and if so is the character a main player or an observer? is the story told in the first person? Is the story told as if looking over a single character’s shoulder and seeing inside their head?
Do several characters tell the story in the first person?
Is the story told from several different points of view? If an incident occurs the different characters would understand different things, feel different things, maybe even see different things.
Stories can even be told in the second person – this often happens in songs
Even in a short story, and more especially perhaps in a short story, all these aspects are really  important so the reader can properly understand and see what the writer wants them to see.

Remember the Six P’s

  • Plot
  • People
  • POV
  • Purpose
  • Place
  • Pace

…and the most important P

  • Polish

Here is a link to my little book, So You Want To Write:


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