Thursday, August 8, 2013

formulas in fiction

Some thoughts on writing using formulas from Nathan B. with some links to more thoughts on using formulas and a blog I wrote about formula.

forget the formula
Bad Writing Advice #9: Write using a formula.

There are a lot of people out there who have story formulas they're trying to sell. And maybe they do work for some though I don't personally know any writer they work for. In most cases, I don't believe they work because writing is an organic act. You make a story come to life. Having to do X by page 49 and Y by page 61 and so on strangles the life out of your writing. This is not to say a writer shouldn't outline. Some do very well with an outline. It's not to say a writer can't plot and plan, but adherence to any formula throughout a manuscript robs it of the kind of spontaneity it needs to come to life.

You need, as a writer, to come upon surprises while you write and engage in those surprises in a way that they lead you to interesting shifts in story and character. You have to get down deep in yourself when you're writing and make connections between all the elements in your story. This requires intuitive leaps. Forget the formula.

Or so I think today.

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