Sunday, January 17, 2016

1 Best of AYAP: Choices

Writing is all about choices - a story is made or broken by what the author chooses, how they choose to convey it, and even the ways holes they leave behind. Whether conscious or not, the very act of writing involves making millions of tiny choices, and they all matter.

Which is why it's often super interesting to step back and pin down some of those choices, and take a minute to understand why we made them, and what other options might be. So read through the articles below (indeed, any of those in our archives), and take a moment to think about those choices, and how they might be questioned to make something bigger.

On The Trend of First Person

"Most [articles] advocate first person for YA, because of the intimacy it builds between the reader and the character telling the story. This is a good reason to use first person, but by no means are you limited to that point of view. I think the only thing YA readers insist upon is a story they can connect with." - Lisa Colozza Cocca

On Numerous Focalising Characters

"Ask yourself if the story truly needs every one of these povs. And just know that, with so many characters vying for the reader’s attention/connection, you’ll have to work extra hard to make every word that a character gets from his/her pov worth that much more" - Stefanie Gaither

On Choosing Your Focalising Viewpoint

"I suggest writing a paragraph from the story using all three viewpoints, and reading each one aloud. This helps to see which viewpoint comes most naturally when writing, and also helps to establish which works best for the story you are trying to tell." - Nikki Kelly

On Nailing Theme and Voice

"I started thinking about what goes into fiction—the pieces that make up a novel—and came up with the following things that might help..." - Katherine Longshore

On Picking Your Details

"Details bring life to a scene, but maybe it is the generalities in a scene that connect it to the reader's life." - Martina Boone

On Picking Your Emotional Heart

"By its nature, theme can't be obvious. At its best, it's open for interpretation, thought, and discussion, an echo left to resonate long after the book itself is read." - Martina Boone

On the Choices that Make Everything Come Together

"A character's journey, is the distance between two points ... that distance is a series of hurdles and gates and jumps, but it is nevertheless a straight line without digressions. That means theme must integrate tightly into plot and character, because otherwise there isn't room for it." - Martina Boone

On Finding Your Character's Pair

"In our stories, we need this contrast – this conflict – to build tension and provide a three-dimensional environment for our characters to play in." - Cam

On the Significance of POV Decisions

"In storytelling, Point of View is EVERYTHING.Think about it. Where else in life can you get into somebody else's head?" - Susan Sipal

On "Deciding" on Your Theme

"Hands down, this is the best question I’ve ever gotten from a student during a school visit:How do you decide what your theme is going to be? Short answer: You don’t." - Claire M. Caterer

On Writing in First Person

"First person forces us to delve inside the mind of our MC. If we don’t know that character inside and out, we will never be able to pull it off and sound authentic." - Lisa Gail Green

On Writing in Second Person

"You are reading a blog post. You have clicked on a link to get here, effortlessly navigating a dream dimension of ideas, a worldwide project of humanity, a great collective consciousness." - Penni Russon

What do you think? Was there any advice that particularly resonated with you? Any posts you think we've missed that should be on this list?

Want to read the rest of the series? Click here!

1 comment:

  1. In a way choices are the point of writing but in another way, for me at least, none of these things are things I can choose. The story already exists in my head and there is only one way it can be told. I don't use my mental energy trying to make these choices. I spent it meditating on and visualizing the story and these details fall into place as they are meant to be.


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