There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ― W. Somerset Maugham
Given this short insight from W. Somerset, it’s no wonder so many aspiring writers and novelist struggle.
Sure, there is a basic formula to writing any story. Regardless what genre you are writing in, a story can be knocked down and methodically outlined. My outline would look like this. I always start with characters.
- Characters—The individuals that the story is about
- Setting—Where the story takes place
- Plot—The story around which the book is based
- Conflict—What the plot is centered around
- Resolution—How the conflict is resolved
While understanding these five elements is necessary when writing a story, in many cases, they are simply not enough to get us there. If they were, writing a novel would be so simple that doing so, would hold very little merit.
I know first hand that it is not necessarily the elements of a story that keep an aspiring writer in check—it’s writing itself. Finding the time to do so, and making it count. Continue reading
“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
Some are gifted, natural born writers. However, there are many more who desire to write, but have no natural understanding or talent to do so. This post is aimed at helping those people.
I had a desire to write at a very young age, and it seems from the beginning that I held a certain knowledge and understanding of how to form from nothing, a story start to finish. I still feel somewhat gifted in my ability to do so, but I know that much of my talent was forged and developed over time, as opposed to something that had been bestowed upon me. Even so, talent must be sharpened, whether it is gifted or gained.
“At times, talent is gifted! But mostly, it comes with good practice.”
― Somya Kedia
Posted in Educational, Inspirational
Tagged beginning, books, characters, craft, developing, ending, how-to, novel, plot, practice, sharpen, story, writing
The evolution of the horror novel
From the beginning of time man has conjured up stories meant to produce fear in the minds of others. From the ancient civilization of Sumer arose the tale of the Ekimmu. While the Sumerians did not refer to this creature as a vampire, it very much so resembled one.
The first known mention of a werewolf in literature can be found in Ovid’s Metamorphoses and the story of King Lycaon. Written around 1 A.D. it would still be over a dozen centuries before horror fiction would begin to take on a face of its own.
In 1307 the Italian poet Dante Alighieri published The Inferno, a literary masterpiece depicting a journey through Hell. While this was clearly a horrific work of fiction, it would be centuries to come before authors of such work began to surface.
In 1487, Henry Kramer and Jakob Sprenger published Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of Witches). Though it is known to be one of the most important treatises on witchcraft, it is far from being a novel.
Then, in 1714 Anglo-Irish poet Thomas Parnell published A Night-Piece on Death. His work, along with the other Graveyard Poets, Thomas Gray, Robert Blair, William Cowper and Edward Young, greatly contributed to the evolution of the Gothic novel. Which was now only decades away. Continue reading
Posted in Educational, History
Tagged ancient, books, elements, genre, Gothic, history, Horror, monsters, novel, vampires, werewolves, writing, zombies