Creating the Setting For Your Story (Question)

mountain-magic

 

From one writer to another, do you usually base your story’s setting on real places?

 

fantasy-world

Or, do you prefer to create them from your imagination?

Advertisements

Book Review: DIY MFA Book by Gabriela Pereira

diy mfa book

Click on the image to order

 

There are many, many books out there on writing; but, you won’t find one quite like this one. Gabriela Pereira knows the rigors and costs of a typical MFA program, and she knows that in the real world, it is not always feasible for any writer who desire to attain this coveted degree because of reasons such as time restraint, finances, family/work responsibilities, etc.. Hence, she crafted DIY MFA for these writers in mind.

The book breaks down critical skills that writers would need in their careers such as how to think like a writer (how to get into the right mindset) as well as how to keep moving forward inspite of setbacks (goal-setting techniques, learn from one’s failures, and ways of keeping motivated).

DIY MFA looks at vital areas of story crafting such as outlining (both traditional and non-traditional kinds), creating compelling and believable characters, POV, creating dialogues, and world building just to name a few.

The book also covers the dreaded revision process in detail (this is my favorite part of the book on a personal level-thank you Gabriela!). She took the Maslow’s Pyramid that highlighted the hierarchy of needs and converted it into the Revision Pyramid which takes one through several “layers” of revising (narration, characters, story, scenes, and other details such as grammar and punctuation). Absolutely crucial for any writer who’s struggling with revising a manuscript.

It goes on to show writers how they should not only read for pleasure, but also with purpose. And last but not least, the book stresses the importance of building a community (with not only readers but with other writers).

If you are a writer, it doesn’t matter which stage you’re in, this book is a treasure cove of engaging information on how to become the kind of writer you were meant to be.

Character Versus Plot

Book reading

 

This past week, I put out a poll on various social media sites asking writers what they considered was the most important element of any given story.   Not surprisingly, there seems to be a split between the Character element and the Plot element as evident below:

 

“I voted for Character, but beyond that, the narrative voice. There are some voices, like those from Flannery O’Connor, Sue Monk Kid, and even Anne Lamott, that I’ll listen to even if I’m not interested, per se, in the topic. It’s like wearing a warm flannel shirt that feels like home.”tomadaonline

“Compelling characters move the plot, make settings more than a travelogue, give themes meaning w/which readers can identify.”We PAW Bloggers

“Has to be plot. You can have compelling characters, intricate settings… but if they’re doing bugger all it’s a bad story!”The Written Ward

 

What about you?  Would you like to add your input to this debate?  Do you think Character is more important to a story than the Plot?  Or, perhaps the genre a story is in has a hand in determining which element would be the driving force?  If you’re interested on continuing or even expanding on this debate, how about writing a guest post?   Let me know via the Contact page!