Other Cool Blogs: Writers of the Future 5/24/2017

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

David Farland explains why some stories don’t make the cut in the Writers of the Future competition. His ten points match many of my points for rejecting a manuscript.

#5. A Major Element is Left Out.

I love the breakdown of elements needed to create a story: character, setting, conflict, theme, and treatment. Miss any one of these, and the manuscript won’t hold together. The example he gives is the white box treatment to setting, but any element missing destroys the cohesion of the story.

#7. There Simply isn’t a Story.

When I worked on an anthology, many of our submissions were character descriptions. Who the person was, their personality traits, what they have done. Like describing a co-worker to a new person, or a character to a roleplaying dungeon master,

#10. Chronological order flow.

Have I done an Editing Rant on this yet? If not, I should have.

“Carrie dressed in her best silk blouse and skirt for her date, after spending the afternoon shaving her legs and taking a shower, hoping it wouldn’t be too much.” – Did you get whiplash on that? Everything is reverse of the actual chronological order. A better write would be “After spending the afternoon prepping for her date by showering and then shaving her legs, Carrie dressed in her best silk blouse and skirt combo, hoping it wouldn’t be too much.”

Backtracking during a statement halts a narrative dead in the water. Don’t do it. Mr. Farland describes the issue very well in his article.

All of David Farland’s 10 Points to Avoid in Writing Short Fiction (5/24/2017) can be found here: https://www.writersofthefuture.com/dave-farlands-10-points-to-avoid/