In previous articles, I have already presented the first 38 exercises of Laure d’Astragal and her book, “Writing workshop”, published by Editions Larousse.
You have always wanted to write. This author offers you exercises to make your dream come true. She shares with you a method, which, in any case, will force you to do the exercises and to loosen your imagination and your ideas.
Writing, contrary to what many people think, cannot be improvised. It requires technique, therefore work. It is a steady effort in which you will have to persevere.
Be reassured by writing
While writing, you may have felt a sense of power, which gives you sensations that you definitely want to share. Avoid showing everything, because others – including those close to you – might not understand your approach or your desire.
This is how Laure d’Astragal begins this part entitled “the time of writing” in her book “Writing workshop”.
Your writing work is up to you. Don’t let others poke around in it. How to start a Wikipedia page for someone you take the risk that they will sabotage it or outright discourage you.
Your creativity is beautiful, so trust yourself and be reassured inside. Others don’t necessarily appreciate change or success in others. So protect yourself! Instead, choose people who encourage you, who want to read you, who like to share something with you.
Avoid people who blame anything and everything, those who abuse with their toxic words, those who invade your living space. Put them outside!
Instead, trust yourself, accept what is going on within you, be happy with your development, let your mind and imagination open up to writing at their own pace.
If you feel pleasure, joy in writing, then you are on the right track. Your writing, therefore, relies on your confidence and your ability to keep a balanced mind, despite all circumstances.
Writing is a healthy pleasure. Healthy pleasure brings joy without any addiction.
Step 39: 50 words for a story
To succeed in writing, in telling a story, you have to let go of your emotions. If you hold them by the bridle, they will jump to your neck and prevent you from progressing.
To succeed in this exercise, all you need to do is repeat 50 words collected in exercise 30 in a previous blog post.
- 5 words about evil living things (3 humans, 2 animals)
- 5 gentis living beings (3 humans, 2 animals)
- 10 action verbs
- 10 adjectives
- 10 places
- 10 objects
You then write a 300-word story in 20 minutes, knowing your hero is a child.
You must place your hero at a trigger, that is to say at a crucial moment when he is experiencing a disturbing situation in his daily life.
Step 40: a first time
When you write, undoubtedly, you are expressing your emotions, often without your knowledge. So, you will remember the first time: a first kiss, a first romantic meal, first childbirth, etc.
The first times in our life are always rich in emotions. You will write 10 lines on this event.
Step 41: an exceptional presentation
In this exercise, you will write a short piece about yourself with pride, praising your merits, qualities, and achievements in your life. Let go, show that you are the best, the strongest, show yourself off.
If you don’t, who will?
The story and the plot
A story is a real or imaginary story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Or if you prefer, a starting point, complications and a resolution according to the Greek philosopher, Aristotle.
A story must always revolve around a plot and around a character to be validated. The author will tell the story taken by the character to try to get out of the inextricable disturbances he finds on his journey.
The plot is then organized into several parts, or acts or chapters. These moments are necessarily marked by 3 points, to which you add an introduction and a conclusion:
- the triggering event of the plot that makes it tilt and move forward
- the story of the vicissitudes that ensue then
- the outcome of the story.
What is a plot?
The plot corresponds to a succession of actions which arouse and arouse the reader’s curiosity. It is a dynamic structure which organizes the actions according to their increasing intensity vis-à-vis the character, who is in the grip of an increasingly strong crisis.
History can be summed up as a succession of facts. The plot explains the why and the how. She works under the surface of history to create a rhythm of life. The plot is the storyline, its backbone that links the events of the story together to create suspense and emotion for the reader.
Your plot must offer a journey to the reader, and you must take them to that destination. You have to create an illusion, which the reader will realize by imagining the story over the pages, although they are fully aware that it is an illusion.
When the reader manages, through the plot, to go from the virtual to the real, then this indicates that the story is successful. The reader may forget that it was all made up.
Invariably, at the beginning of your story, your character is in a stable situation, in his world, comfortable or not, until the trigger comes to disturb him.
This event that the character undergoes places him in a more or less unstable situation, which disrupts his world. He has the imperative need to get out of it, which will push him to act and to make decisions which will then orient the story.
The character goes on a quest. This is how all fairy tales work. The situation is reversed for the hero, who must find in him or outside the forces which will be able to reestablish another world for him.
This will bring him from situation to situation in a dramatic crescendo, in the middle of problems, until a final moment of crisis, followed by an action that will finally relieve the pressure to end up in a stable situation and more. balanced.
The plot organizes a set of chained adventures on a dramatic rhythm. The main character lives a dynamic spiral that shakes him up. He makes efforts to counter this, or to flee or to conquer.
The author’s goal is to play with his character, to make the moments he experiences intense. The plot ends naturally when the character finally reaches the resolution of his problem, just as his quest comes to an end. The end of a story is not a universal lesson, but the culmination of the physical, psychic, emotional, spiritual evolution of a character thanks to the decisions he has taken.
The more dynamic the story, the more interesting it will be for the reader. The main character traces the story from start to finish, through the actions he decides on and which lead to multiple consequences.
Tell a good plot
You will tell a good story by titillating the reader, arousing their emotions and playing with it. The theme you choose must pose a specific problem. The main objective is anyway to arouse the reader’s curiosity.
To satisfy his reader, the author must adopt a logical writing approach, which can bring new knowledge, intellectual enrichment or make the latter smarter – or give him that impression.
A good story tells a fictitious experience of the life of a character by revealing how he knew how to evolve to get out of a dead end.
For example, in the 1980s, the story of a black man who becomes president of the United States is necessarily more interesting than that of the daughter of the Queen of England who becomes a television presenter.
Please note: Wikipedia writing service a good plot is not just a series of obstacles and actions. It is important to show moral attitudes in the reactions of the characters which also demonstrate the author’s point of view.
The dénouemen t a story
The end of the story can come when the initial problem has disappeared and is resolved. The opposition present at the start can no longer exist at the end.
The details you distill as you go through your story matter. All of your main character’s actions must support or demonstrate the theme being addressed.
Don’t reveal the end from the start! You would spoil your reader’s pleasure. A well-prepared plan leads to a strong climax, and the outcome logically comes on its own.
The interest of a story
To write an interesting story, it’s like a cooking recipe, you need good ingredients:
- characters as real as possible
- a special situation that allows the story to exist
- a place
- a period
- actions and events
- the reasons for these actions and events
The most likely events in a story are often the simplest. The reader wants to believe that it is possible, to understand the psychological or moral lesson, and to feel smarter at the end of the story than at the beginning, and therefore to have learned things.
Step 42: interest
Try to list about ten points, in your various readings, which make you like a certain book, or why you like a certain kind of books, in particular on the following points:
- the color of the characters
Which book did you like the most? What is the bestseller that I have read for the last 3 years that has fascinated me?
Step 43: rewrite the summary of a bestseller
Pick a bestseller you liked and answer the following questions:
- who? – list of characters
- what? – the trigger
- or? – the places where the story takes place
- when? – the time of history
- How? ‘Or’ What? – the kind of story
- Why? – the character’s quest
Write a summary of the story based on these 6 points.
A good story: what is it?
A good story is a story that interests its reader to the end. The interest of this one rests on 3 main points:
- the treated subject
- the articulation of the plot
- the effectiveness of storytelling in bringing fiction to life
Writing a book is a work of several months, if not several years. This writing does not start on the first page. You first have to know what you’re going to talk about, choose a character to lead this story, decide on an ending – all of this before you even start the narration. You have to know your goal in advance.
The beginning is important, because it makes the catch, gives the taste to the story. In less than 5 pages, the reader will decide if he wants to continue. The writer must make him want to continue the adventure until the end of the book.
The assumptions that will underpin your story should be announced from the first page. For example, after the usual introduction into a tale, – “once upon a time there was a country where…” – everything becomes coherent in the rest of the narration.
Laure d’Astragal’s advice is very simple: get your reader immersed in history as quickly as possible. If this proves difficult, write the story first and you will come back to the beginning later.
How to start a story?
Think of the first pages of a book as the curtain rising over a play. Your first words should set the mood. The first impression sets the tone. The main character should be introduced from the first page, trying to make it endearing. The reader should feel close to him.
The beginning of your story should “splash” from the first sentence of the first paragraph on the first page, the reader should be immersed in the mood.
As in real life, the first impression is the one that stays. So, take care of the presentation of your character from the start. Consider your introduction as the first meeting between two people, who have taken care of their presentation in order to meet the lover.
Avoid overly perfect personalities when choosing your main character. He must have weaknesses, like any human being, perhaps twitches in language, particular gestures. It is ideal to equip your hero with a weakness that he does not assume and which ruins his life.
The dialogues, well employed, always allow the revelation of information. To attract the reader is also to awaken abandoned hopes in the life of his hero, like in real life. the elctor must also be able to recognize himself in him.
Present your character’s needs and weaknesses from the start, because this makes them human, vulnerable. But any weakness can prove to be an advantage in other circumstances!
The reader must buy into the story from the start, at the risk of repeating myself. Here are 3 tips:
- choose the literary genre before writing
- set up the story: who does what? Or? When?
- make the character endearing or plant him in a situation by placing him in the heart of a difficult situation.
The reader is bound to want to know what happens to your character, suffering a big glitch or a disaster, how he is going to get out of it. It will make him sympathetic to him and the reader will then be able to identify with him. Also use flashbacks (an event prior to the time of storytelling) that reveal the source of a problem. Childhood is a reservoir of possibilities to bring your character to life!
How to seduce the reader?
Your main character should hook the reader like a scotch tape. A good fiction produces in the latter an emotional rise. For this, the writer must recount experiences which will echo the reader’s experience and awaken emotions in him.
This is the principle of identification. To do this, the hero is not necessarily sympathetic or lovable, far from it. It is also always necessary to justify each act or decision of the character. The reader’s visual, auditory, taste or physiotherapy imagination must be stimulated.
The reader should understand the character from the inside. For this, the writer must first give enough external information about the perception (the 5 senses), so that the reader feels the story.
Step 44: dynamic reading
Do a dynamic reading of your draft story and ask yourself plenty of questions: what if this … and if that … Cumulate the dramatic questions, create suspense, do not reveal all the information, distill as you go.
The trigger is the event that changes and disrupts the situation of the main character and pushes him to take action. This is what will propel your story by giving your hero a goal. By making this decision, he will begin his quest.
At this point, the reader wants to know the rest of the story, to know more about the causes, about the consequences of an intriguing situation. To do this, your main character must be in an unlikely situation that captivates the reader.
American authors are used to catapulting their protagonist into a galley from the first sentence. A traumatic fact always creates the desire to know more, especially why a character suffers misfortunes, in particular, if there is a corpse on the first page.
So the character has a big problem that seems difficult to solve. The intensity will be all the stronger as this problem opposes its needs. Looking for disasters is not necessarily necessary. Any self-respecting reader will always seek to know how such and such a character managed to overcome a difficult situation.
Step 45: look for atypical characters
Find 5 characters, then characterize them with an opposing name and adjective, for example: Elie, bald hairdresser or Elsa, obese dancer. Find an obstacle to each character that will spawn their quest.
Then choose only one of the characters and find 10 obstacles for him. Have fun, anything is possible!
As a conclusion
Making up a story doesn’t just happen in a snap. If this was the case, it would be known! There is no quick fix. Any intrigue can come from a trivial situation, from an anecdote, a real-life situation, a news item, an observation… Anything is possible. Imagination and reality have no limits!
The writer must also feel in adequacy with the story that he is writing. It is not enough to simply attract the reader to sell books and make money! What interest! What a pleasure?
The writer must know how to put into words the ideas he has in mind. Not as easy as it sounds!