On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Story goal/Characters' Goals

Ok, I just wrote and deleted a long rambling story about an accident leading to a power failure in our neighborhood late last night. Mainly because there was no point to the story.

Even in everyday storytelling you should have a story goal, something that will give your listeners satisfaction. So if I were try to tell the story again, there would be several points: The power went out and there was an instant of panic as to whether it was house electricity or the neighborhood. The neighborhood went black. I was prepared and dealt with it...and the power didn't come back on. As I lay in the dark and quiet and wondered if the electricity would come on before my waterbed cooled and went frigid I thought of past times and I was glad to be here in the now. I knew if I awoke this morning and the electricity problem hadn't been fixed I also knew I could cope with any challenges.

So that's pretty much a story goal, and a lot shorter than all the distracted thoughts, the weather last night and this morning (cloudy couldn't see the just-past-full moon), the fact that this machine is hooked up to an outlet with the emergency battery for my security system...the wrenching of sirens through the neighborhood...all the unimportant stuff that meandered out of me gone.

In critique, one of the first questions we think about is scene goal, story goal and if it's not there, those are the first words out of the first critiquer's mouth. Make sure you know it and it's there. Characters' goals are important, too. What does he/she want right now, in this scene. I wanted the power to come back on so I could continue reading. That didn't happen. I wanted to wake up to a warm house and bed, that did, but I didn't know that when I went to sleep. I did do things differently than normal last night.

Anyway, remember your goals. May you have a lovely day however you choose to spend it.



Blogger Janice said...

I just dropped by to wish you a happy Easter.


4:51 PM  
Blogger FantasyAuthor RobinDOwens said...

Thanks, Janice. I spent it mostly with my friends. The day was very gray. I hope you had a happy Easter too.

2:27 PM  

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