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WriteCraft: Beating Writer's Block - Over 50 Ways To End Writer's Block. by Rick Frazier

Mar 29, Jess Schira rated it it was amazing. While I wish the book would have had more suggestions about how to effectively package and market short stories, overall I found it interesting and full of solid information.

Great for a novice writer who is trying to understand the basics of short and flash fiction writing. May 23, Sharyn rated it really liked it. The book focuses more on short stories and, while it contains some helpful information for a beginner, I felt it didn't really cover flash fiction well. Rather, the writer suggested we simply scale down our short story to meet the word count required for flash fiction.

I would have liked to see more examples of flash fiction along with some dissection and analysis so, from my point of view, the book somewhat missed its mark.

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Mar 09, Charles Chettiar rated it it was ok. Mar 17, Glenn B Miller rated it liked it. I'm seeing a trend and I don't like it It seems like there are a lot of books right now that have some decent information sprinkled into a bunch of filler. This is one of those. There are good tidbits but they come mixed in a base of advise that applies to creative writing in general. The author then concludes that it's the same for short fiction but must be scaled down.

Apr 16, Tim Urista rated it really liked it. Some good advice for starting off in flash fiction. However, there could have been some more information or tools for developing characters and setting.

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The middle part of the booklet was lacking some substance. Nov 17, Kate rated it it was amazing. Recommend Good information for anyone wanting to break into the short story market. If you are trying to get your name out there as an author, this is a great way to do it. Apr 21, Tiffany rated it liked it Shelves: A great place to begin as we craft our flash fiction unit for our students.

Dec 30, Maurice Lacerda rated it liked it Shelves: It has good advice for writers, and a useful list of resources for short story and flash fiction publication in the end, but overall the book lacks illustration and examples. Apr 28, Margaret rated it liked it Shelves: I picked up a couple of useful ideas from this very short book - more what we used to call a pamphlet. There are interesting insights on the marketing of short stories, but the part of the craft is too sketchy.

I wish the author would have been more specific in actually writing short stories. Lana Voynich rated it liked it Aug 02, Erich rated it it was amazing Sep 02, Sarah Olesky rated it did not like it May 11, Weiner rated it really liked it Oct 14, Christopher L McNabb rated it really liked it Feb 22, Leeza Wilson rated it it was amazing Jul 23, Gyula Somogyi rated it it was amazing May 02, Adella DragonStar rated it it was amazing Jun 18, Shameka Bonner rated it it was amazing Sep 16, When an author writes a text, especially a novel, their goal is to create interest and drama for the reader.

The way for a writer to best accomplish this is to create a strong plot with a solid arc or rising action that must be answered or faced head on by the characters to conclude the story with a powerful, emotional and meaningful ending. Have you ever read a book that ended with the main character falling asleep or doing something mundane like grocery shopping?

I sure hope not! This is no longer needed to fulfill the modern readers expectation, especially when the popularity of a series of books come into play.

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  • There needs to be an opening, a way in for the next story if your character will live on to another adventure. Although, if you can manage to wrap up the dangling pieces of the secondary characters without dragging down the conclusion, you have accomplished something really amazing. If you lose a reader with too much telling and not enough action, they most likely will not continue and feel dissatisfied. Readers need to feel connected to the story and desire to see it through.

    A well-written plot is integral to keeping this interest high. Define plot in literature: An emotional attachment needs to be present to cement the relationship between reader and narrator and only then, should the author move the plot forward. Exposition is the most traditional introduction to a new story and one, which has many merits. Characters, setting, and the world we are entering is introduced. These tiny morsels of color, taste and sound attach us to the plot and keep us inside this new fictional place we are experiencing. For example, I will offer you a simple scenario so you can visualize the differences: Finally at her destination, she pushed open the door and was excited to spot her best friend sitting on the sofa.

    This is fine and will get the job done, but a little bland, because we are missing a few things. Lila was exhausted from another horrible Monday working as an IT specialist, and needed a break from her evening routine of watching reality TV in her yoga pants. Storm clouds began pushing together; lightly sprinkling the sidewalk with cool, wet droplets. The second she pushed inside, the aroma of freshly baked bread; French pastries and strong coffee tickled her nose.

    The anxiety of the past twenty-four hours departed when she spotted her best friend and confidante, Marie. Remember that all writing is subjective, but we owe ourselves as writers and the trust of reader to keep them interested. Now if you threw in an armed robbery and Marie was the one who wrestled the criminal to the ground while Rob just sat there and did nothing, or Lila secretly shared with us that she disliked the barista because, he was secretly married with three kids or used illegal drugs, or something that might change his characterization for us- the possibilities for this plot to move in different directions are endless.

    We would also have the rising action that a reader like me longs to see in a story. I enjoy nice, cozy stories, but I adore stories that take it one notch higher. This is of course my personal preference. A few months ago, a very wise poet advised me that the first fifty words in a story defines or encapsulates its entirety. This is a tough statement to hear, but a very astute one. If either paragraph were the very first fifty words, would you keep reading and why?

    Below are a few more points to consider that will directly relate to the plot and the introduction above. Why is she exhausted and where is all this anxiety coming from? What does she look like? Is she in a small town, on a spaceship or in a city? Is she just walking around in the dark? What does this place look like?

    Rick Frazier

    There is also a sensory connection to the second example, which is quite important to use and in more contemporary writing tends to be forgotten or overlooked. Fuzzy, wet, aroma of fresh baked bread, these images push us to imagine, smell and feel what its like to be there. Now we are closer to Lila and Marie inside the setting, hopefully we are also wondering what Rob has to do with their relationship and if drama will arise from this trio. With a well-written plot and a simple description of where we are, the reader will stay focused and hopefully continue to the final conclusion.

    Think of a plot as the empty road. We begin here X and end here X. What do we see on the way, when do we see it and how we get there is the plot. Another point to keep in mind that I learned from writing screenplays, start fast. Do not drown your readers in description. Give them just enough, and then move the plot forward. If you watch any blockbuster film you most likely will see the rising action is addressed within the first five minutes.

    It presents a central conflict within a character or between one and more of the characters. The conflict, which is what good fiction absolutely needs, builds during the rising action.