advice for the beginning writer
by Vivian Beck

1.  Read, read, and read.  Decide what kind of story you want to write and then read similar stories.  Don't read them once, but five, six, seven time.

2.  Take a story apart.  Find out what made them tick.  How did the writer build suspense?   Write the plot in 1,000 words.  Outline each chapter.  Study emotional scenes.  What made them that way?  How did the writer feed in background information and character description?

3.  Plan your story, then decide your theme (what you're trying to prove in your story).  This should be two sentences, or a paragraph at most.

4.  Decide your point-of-view.

5.  Plot or Cast your story.  You can begin with either a main character, or a situation.  Either way is fine, the important thing is having someone facing a problem they can not handle.

6.  Get your main character (hero or heroine) into trouble right off the bat and keep him/her there until the end.  The reader wants things to happen immediately.  Try to have something happen each page.

7.  Plot must be tightly structured to maintain a fast pace in some of the category books.  You can not expand as in longer novels.

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