Anyone who has finished a novel knows there’s a lot more to creative writing than snappy dialogue, evocative scenes, and rip-roaring action. Even if your characters could walk right off the pages into real life, your novel goes nowhere without a compelling story. I believe the number one job of any author is to tell a good story.
Death by Participial Phrases
Hoping for the best, Jeremy cinched the rope around his waist. Spreading the bedsheet behind, he was suddenly doubtful this crazy plan would work. A thousand-foot drop awaited, taunting him. The river glistened, calling him. Stepping to the edge, he tightened his boot laces. He summoned his courage, leaping. Cold wind roared in his ears, freezing his cheeks. The makeshift parachute fluttered, collapsing. Cartwheeling down, splintering tree limbs, and slamming rocks, it was death by participial phrases.
The Fourth Wall
I’ve always enjoyed storytelling hiccups that involve the “fourth wall” – you know, that imaginary barrier between fictional characters and the audience. The name, fourth wall, comes from theater where performances have three physical walls, to the left, right and behind the stage. Characters in a stage play aren’t supposed to know that somewhere off in that fourth direction, there are people watching them. Once in a while, those characters figure it out, and that’s when the comedic fun begins.