So my ears perked up when I heard this how-to information on the radio:
- Give the reader at least one character she can root for.
- Every character should want something—even if it’s only a glass of water
- Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
- Start as close to the end as possible.
- Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your main characters, make awful things happen to them in order that the reader will know what they’re made of.
- Write to please just one person.
- Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible.
Elements of the short story:
- Rising Action
Write no more than 10,000 words.
Notes from Octavia E. Butler:
- Take classes and go to workshops.
- Write every day.
- Submit for publication.
- Forget about inspiration and talent; persistence and stubbornness are the keys.
- Don’t worry about imagination – your journal writing will take care of that.
Features of Best Sellers:
- Address hot-button social issue (unresolved conflict of national consciousness)
- Show fractured families
- Feature protagonists who are outsiders
- Describe American Dream (dream deferred, dream perverted) is a motif
- Reveal secret societies (Think Twilight)
- Connect with readers (heart, gut)