Romance is not just a genre of fiction and movies.
One of the key ingredients to a dramatic story is romance. Even light fare -- action movies or comedies for example -- almost always have some romantic element to them. It may not be developed greatly, but it's there, adding depth and drama to the overall story.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
There was a time, back when I was in middle and high school, that I would sit down with a blank piece of paper and have fun drawing imaginary coastlines, mountain ranges, forests, and other items. A little later I got some software that could help me to do that; but it still boils down to your imagination and -- if you want a "realistic" and believable world, some knowledge of geography helps.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Even stories that take place in a contemporary setting have some element of world building in them. Of course, fantasy and science fiction are the best examples of complex world-building exercises. But even thrillers like The Hunt for Red October need to have some world building to make the story work.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
When you read some books, you can tell right away that certain characters are favorites of the author. It doesn't necessarily mean that they show an undue favoritism -- like letting them constantly survive situations that they shouldn't -- but it could be something as simple as certain characters getting a lot more "screen time" than their role in the story warrants.
The essence of a good story revolves around the characters and the situations/messes they find themselves in. Some types of stories call for strange situations stacked on top of the bizarre, where others need little more than having the characters be in the same room.
Monday, October 11, 2010
As I mentioned in my post about naming characters, they tend to pop into my thoughts almost fully formed. They tend to have a name already attached to them, and a very general description for them. I don't really have a process that causes that result. The closest I've ever done it "on purpose" is if I go to sleep actively mulling a story over in my head.