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Friday, May 1, 2015


10 Literary Intentions 
In Striving for Literary Excellence I Will:
  • Begin every story with a conflict. I will do this no matter how great the temptation to begin with back story, or some other form of introduction.
  • Create three-dimensional characters. In doing so, I know I must construct a detailed outline of my character's physical characteristics, as well as their behavioral psychology. I will use this outline as a guide whenever my characters appear in the story.
  • Create a detailed description of the setting of each scene. I must remember the reader can't look inside my head to garner the details of a room, which I. in my mind's eye, can clearly see. I mustn’t forget the reader does not know what side of the bed my protagonist sleeps on; the type of glass he/she likes to drink from; the color of their  shoes; the way she looks at him through the strands of hair that drape over her eyes when she’s angry.
  • Maintain a single point of view in each scene. I will remember that if and when I want to change point of view I will either use a space break, begin a new paragraph, begin a new chapter, or simply tell the reader I’m about to change point of view, the way F. Scott Fitzgerald did in his novel Tender is the Night, when he said, “To resume Rosemary’s point of view it should be said that …”
  • Incorporate theme into my story or novel, either before I begin writing, halfway through, or after I’ve completed the first or second draft. Otherwise why write? Otherwise why would I think anyone would want to read my writing? My theme doesn’t have to be explosive, just something someone can latch onto. That’s all.
  • Read compelling literary works every day, focusing on the way famous authors incorporated important literary elements in their works to create the classics that appear in one anthology after another.
  • Promise not to copy another writer’s literary style. Style grows out from within a writer. Not the other way around.
  • Scrutinize every paragraph of my story to make certain it forwards the plot toward my conclusion, has relevance, makes sense, rings true, and is exciting to read.
  • Stop using granny, or Uncle John, or my best friend, or my girlfriend/boyfriend to edit my work. I will use a professional editor before submitting my work to contests, agents, and publishers.
  • Acknowledge that writing is a craft, and like any craft, it can be taught, learned, and improved upon. I understand that in order for me to improve my writing skills, I must practice writing every day.