Posts Tagged ‘elements of good fiction’



Smiley.Face.SmilingWhen’s the last time you read a really good work of fiction that had you turning every page to see what would happen next?

When’s the last time you read a really poorly written book that you put away after about three pages, never to return?Sad.Smiley.Face

What made the difference in the two works that either got your attention or bored you stiff? Have you analyzed the writing styles of both authors?

Have you analyzed your writing style lately?

For the next few blogs, let’s look at three of the most important components of good fiction that can help anyone shape up a work that will draw the reader right into the story:

  1. Flowing dialogue
  2. Snappy narration
  3. Creative characters

Flowing Dialogue

What in the world does that mean?

Flowing dialogue is “natural” dialogue or conversation in your book that sounds “normal,” that’s easy to read, and that which fits the personality and background of each character, who has an important speaking part in your story.

Let’s begin this discussion with one of my pet peeves, what I call the “Leave it to Beaver Syndrome.”

Anyone who is as old as I am remembers that when TV was in its early stages and just becoming a member of every household, programs like “Leave it to Beaver” were in their infancy with some of the scriptwriting quite poorly done. Such is the case in many of these early sitcoms, in particular, the dialogue between the characters.

If you are a fan of the “Leave it to Beaver Syndrome,” here’s a sample of how your dialogue looks between the only two characters in your scene:

“Pete,” Mary said. “I’m going to the movies. Do you want to go with me?”

“Not tonight, Mary,” Pete said. “I have too much homework.”

“Well, Pete, how about just a game of Boggle?” Mary asked.

“Mary, I can’t even do that,” Pete said. “I’ve got too much to do.”

“Oh, for Pete’s sake!” Mary said. “You can certainly take a half hour or so to relax a little.”

“Mary, I said no! I just can’t tonight, so get lost!” Pete said. “By the way, bad joke.”


Now, there you have a prime example of the “Leave it to Beaver Syndrome.” Can you identify the one obvious weak element in this beginner’s writing?

Blue.Sad.Smiley.FaceWhat I’d like you to do until next time is rewrite this mini-scene and rid it of this ho-hum style that will put your reader to sleep. Then check some of your own writing for the same reoccurring problem, which will inspire your reader to use your book as kindling wood.

In my next blog, the scene will be rewritten, shaping it into something that isn’t as stagnant, redundant, and just downright boring. Learn the trick of this methodology, and you’ll be one step closer to getting that contract for your book.Kissy.Smiley.Face


Marsha (Web) www.marshahubler.com

(Writers Tips) www.marshahubler.wordpress.com

(Montrose Christian Writers Conference) http://www.montrosebible.org/OurEvents/tabid/113/page_550/1/eventid_550/58/Default.aspx

(Horse Facts Blog) www.horsefactsbymarshahubler.wordpress.com


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