Telling a story from Multiple Characters’ view

As I stated in last Mondays blog entry about character development, I would like to take a closer look at the creation of multiple characters for a story. I think it’s important to ask yourself some questions.

How many characters can your storyline support?

Are there one or two complex characters, and then some supporting roles?

Can you write believable dialogue for ANY character without doing some sort of development?

I can give you my viewpoint on this matter and share with you what some other writers have said.

I know I can’t write believable dialogue if I can’t ‘hear’ the character in my head? There are more times than I’d like to admit that without delving into the character’s space, I can’t write either dialogue or action.

Additionally, I like telling a story from multiple characters’ points of view when there is a great deal of action. You can describe a scene four different times and each one be unique.

Even in an introspective story, it is always good to have secondary characters. And remember, they don’t always have to be a person. Your antagonist can be the wind, the sea, or an inanimate object.

Next week, we will look at another Element of the Short Story — Setting,

Until then,

~Mustang Patty~

Mustang Patty recommends: The Writer’s Process

The Writer’s Process by Anne Janzer

The entire book title: The Writer’s Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear

I will be giving away a copy of this book sometime in the next week.

Would YOU like to add it to your library?

Simply send me an email: patty@mustangpatty1029.com and tell me how

you think this book would help You and Your Process.

Everyone who sends me an email will be eligible for the prize:

A paperback of the book sent to you at your home address.


This is one of my favorite books. I refer to it every few months, and it is always a comfort when I think I’m blocked. This well-written non-fiction book assures me that my brain is doing exactly what its supposed to do.

Within the pages of this book, Ms. Janzer goes into great detail to explain how ideas and writing need to go through a process in the writer’s mind to become stories and books.

With meticulous research into the psychology of writing, the author takes us deep into our minds. She describes the Inner Process – through engaging prose.

One of the ideas expressed that I’ve really latched onto is that IF the writer is willing to work with the brain, rather than against it, the idea can grow into a well-written piece organically.

The practicality of the book is a welcome addition to your library. I found that by understanding the process, I’ve practically eliminated Writer’s Block and I understand that a story cannot be forced.

What the reviews for this book look like:

“If you’ve ever struggled with getting your ideas out of your brain and onto something others can access (and who hasn’t?), Anne’s book is for you.” Ann Hadley, Author of WSJ Best-seller, Everybody Writes

“Research-based, hands-on, step-by-step wisdom that can help you wrestle with the lizard brain. Certain to help thousands of would-be writers write.” Seth Godin, Author of The Icarus Deception

About the Author:

          Anne Janzer is an award-winning author on a mission to help people communicate more effectively through writing. She is also author of books The Workplace Writer’s Process, Subscription Marketing, and Writing to be Understood.

www.AnneJanzer.com  to join her Blog mailing list and learn more about the process

Until next time,

(Don’t forget to enter your name in the drawing!!)

~Mustang Patty~

Nouns

While it may seem too basic, or unnecessary to go back and describe the Parts of Speech, it’s essential to regain knowledge about sentence structure when writing prose. While some of us may retain the experience, we picked up in school, many more will discover that their grammar has tarnished over time, and in need of some polish.

When you are editing a piece of your writing, it is essential to autopsy paragraphs and sentences. Understanding the basic principles of what goes into a sentence will be helpful.

If you remember school days, you recall that a noun is defined as a word used to name a person, place, thing, or idea.

Nouns will be the subject or object of your sentence. Therefore, it is crucial to understand what a noun is and what role it plays in your sentences.

The rest of the definition says that nouns can be classified in one of three ways. They can be proper or commonabstract, or concrete, and lastly, concrete.

Proper nouns name a particular person, place, or thing. They are capitalized, and a few examples are Mustang Patty, Salem, and the Statue of Liberty.

comma noun doesn’t name a particular person, place, or thing – common nouns are not capitalized, and a few examples are woman, city, and building.

An abstract noun names a quality, a characteristic, or an idea. A few examples would be beauty, strength, love, and courage.

Conversely, a concrete noun names an object that can be perceived by the senses: hat, desk, book, or box.

Collective nouns name a group: crowd, team, and class.

Grammar is important. Going through the parts of speech will give you the foundation of English. Understanding how sentences are built will allow you to develop your unique style of writing.

Until next time,

~Mustang Patty~

Elements of the Short Story

Characters

As a novice writer, I searched for some information regarding character development. I’d heard rumors that the best stories were character-driven, and the better you knew your main characters, the better you’ll be able to write believable dialogue and action.

Wow!

If you’ve ever googled, ‘character development,’ or main characters, I’m positive you found a wealth of ‘Character Questionnaires,’ in your search.

I think I have a total of twenty-two of these questionnaires saved to my computer, but I do not use any one of them – instead, I created a list of questions for myself, by taking certain questions I found to be key from the myriad of online offerings.

So, here are the questions I use when I’m creating a new character. Please note that I have different processes for the short story versus a novel. While the characters in your short story should be three-dimensional, it isn’t essential to study them, create a backstory, or know their entire life history.

(But remember – tailor your questions to what works for YOU!!

  1. What is your character’s full name?
    1. Where did the name come from?
      1. Was it the Mom’s idea?
      1. Or the Father’s?
      1. Are they names for anyone who is deceased?
      1. For a family member
  2. Is your character pretty? Ugly? Beautiful? Will the reader be able to see this person perform the actions you write?
  3. Was your character’s childhood a good one?
  4. Male role characteristics or Female role characteristics OR neither?
  5. Unique gesture
  6. Physical attributes and words
  7. Create a Pinterest board for visualization
  8. Specific genre of music or books or movies?
  9. Is this character your protagonist or antagonist?
  10. The most important goal this character wishes to achieve.

In my opinion, for a short story, you aren’t interested in writing a lot of background. You are usually limited to a certain word count, so unless a piece of information is essential to the plot, it DOESN’T GO IN THE DRAFT.

Depending on the length of your short story, there could be several complex characters. In this case, and that of a novel, you would study characters and their interactions more fully.

We’ll explore that further in next Monday’s blog entry.

Until then,

~Mustang Patty~

Mustang Patty Presents

The Idea by Erik Bork

The entire book title: The Idea, the seven elements of a viable story for screen, stage, or fiction.

I will be giving away a copy of this book sometime in the next week.

Would YOU like to add it to your library?

Simply send me an email: patty@mustangpatty1029.com and tell me how

you think this book would help You and Your Process.

Everyone who sends me an email will be eligible for the prize:

A paperback of the book sent to you at your home address.


I added this book to my reference library a few years ago because I wanted to understand how other people came up with their ideas. As always, I doubted myself. I find it strange that my ideas come to me in the shower, or as I’m just starting to come out of a deep sleep. (I’ve since learned that I’m very lucky to have this happen.)

In Bork’s book, he stresses how finding an idea is the most important part of the writing process – in fact, it’s the FIRST part of any writing project.

Developing the idea fully is key to understanding where you want to take your storyline, but all too often, writers rush right through development and simply start writing.

Bork sites how lack of understanding the idea and sufficiently developing it can kill a project. So, he outlines the seven key ingredients in stories that have a chance of selling and appealing to a wide audience.

They are as follows:

  • Relatable
  • Original
  • Believable
  • Life-Altering
  • Entertaining
  • Meaningful
  • and Solving the Problem

          Bork analyzes each of these key ingredients and how they are important to the premise of the central idea of your writing project.

          I found the book to be well-written and easy to follow. I know that after reading it, I found myself analyzing my idea before I began to write. It simply no longer makes sense to pursue a project that won’t go anywhere.

5 Stars *****

Until next time,

~Mustang Patty~

Introduction to the Parts of Speech

A few years back, I came across an excellent find in a Used Bookstore. It was in an almost-new condition, and it’s a high school Grammar and Composition textbook.

So, I will be using this book as one of my references as we work our way through the Parts of Speech.

To start, I want to list the Parts of Speech – many of you may remember them from high school English, or early college classes.

They are:

  • The Noun
  • The Pronoun
  • The Adjective
  • The Verb
  • The Preposition
  • The Conjunction
  • and
  • The Interjection

I think it is essential to review these terms because, as a writer who wants to use language to convey your meaning, you will need to understand these terms when you’re building meaningful sentences and paragraphs.

Next Wednesday, we will kick off the series with a discussion about NOUNS.

Until next time, (FRIDAY)

~Mustang Patty~

Monday Blogs Moving Forward

As some of you may know, I’m reformatting my blog entries. So, starting today, my Monday blogs will be devoted to Short Story Elements. On Fridays, I will be highlighting resource material on various aspects of the short story. Mondays will follow up with information I’ve gleaned from different places.

While the basic idea for your story is vital, it is also essential for you to understand the elements of story building. The information I give you in these blogs will help you to maximize the impact of your stories.

I will post blogs featuring:

  • Characters
  • Viewpoints
  • Story structure
  • Finding your Voice
  • And much, much more…

This coming Wednesday, I will begin my new Grammar series.

So, until next time,

~Mustang Patty~

Your Resource Guide

As some of you may know, I’m reformatting my blog entries. So, starting today, my Friday blogs will be devoted to Writing Resources. If you’ve ever googled ‘books on writing,’ or scrolled through Amazon’s offerings, you know there are hundreds of books written on various aspects of the craft. I’ve decided to give my readers a short synopsis of my favorite resource books, and more than likely comments about the books I didn’t find to be particularly helpful.

While the basic idea for your story is vital, it is also essential for you to understand the industry standard for your presentation. Utilizing resource books such as Style Guides and other references will help you find your voice.

I have a page for Resources on my website, and I will add the books I blog about to my site with a reference where you can find out what I thought and whether I recommend it.

(Hopefully, this will help you build your resource library.)

I will look at writing books featuring:

  • The Short Story
  • Creating Believable Characters
  • Plot Development
  • Building tension within your story

And much, much more…

Check back on Monday when I introduce the new format for that day of the week,

Until next time,

~Mustang Patty~

Wednesdays Moving Forward

As some of you may know, I’m reformatting my blog entries. First of all, I will be concentrating on the Short Story, and how mastering those elements can help you get ready to write a novel. It will also give you a smaller canvas to experiment with different styles, points of view, settings, etc.

So, starting today, my Wednesday blogs will be devoted to Grammar. I feel it’s important that you realize that whether you are writing a short story or a novel, or an essay or memoir, understanding Grammar will allow you to present your idea in a way that your readers understand.

While the basic idea for your story is vital, so is your ability to structure your prose with basic Grammar and style.

In the past, I’ve written several blog entries on the comma, the period, and the ellipsis. Now, on Wednesdays, we will look at the other facets of Grammar.

You can look forward to information about:

  • The Parts of Speech
  • The structure of a sentence
  • Punctuation
  • And much more

Check back on Friday when I introduce that category,

Until next time,

 

~Mustang Patty~

 

Finding Focus

Recently, I was chastised for taking too big of a bite for my blog. My writing coach let me in on a little secret. It is hard (or even impossible) for one writer to cover ALL facets of writing. He urged me to find a niche and concentrate on that.

 

Effective today, August 24, 2020, I’m changing the tagline of my blog from ‘Let’s talk about writing’ to ‘Writing the Short Story.’

 

For my future posts, I’ll concentrate on the facets of the short story. After all, it only makes sense. I curate at least one Anthology of short stories every year. I believe the short story is an essential step in becoming the best writer you can be.

 

We will talk about:

    • grammar and editing as it applies to the short story
    • elements of the short story
    • strengthening your MC within the parameters of the short story
    • Anything I come across to share with you about how you can write and publish your short stories.

On that note, I would like to invite short story writers, of all levels, to submit their stories for inclusion in:

the 2020 Indie Author Short Story Anthology

 

Please see www.mustangpatty1029.com for additional details.

Join the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/886405368439388/

 

The deadline for submission is

October 1, 2020,

and the entrance fee per story is $25 to help with the printing and shipping costs.

 

I’m looking forward to seeing your short story~

 

Until next time,

 ~Mustang Patty~

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