Archives for : Writing Fiction

Writing Tip– Point of View–Something to Think About

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

I’m studying Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft by Janet Burroway, specifically her chapter on point of view and Tom Jenks’ quote hit me as something true, something I should strive to do.

 Here it is–in hopes it speaks to you too.  “The use of point of view is to bring the reader into immediate and continuous contact with the heart of the story and sustain him there. Point of view is the proscenium, the transparent window through which the reader views the story” (163).

Burroway, Janet, et al. Writing Fiction: a Guide to Narrative Craft. The University of Chicago Press, 2019.

Want to Write Compelling Fiction? The Key is in the Details

Photo by Artsy Vibes on Unsplash

Hey, I’m busy with classes and homework, but I want to share another writing tip. Somebody once said that the key to selling a lie is in the details. The same is true in story. It’s the details that will capture your reader will convince her to empathize with the characters and buy into the scene you’ve described.  Okay, so you include details, but what kind of details?

William Strunk Jr., author of The Elements of Style, gives us this advice, “the surest way to arouse and hold the reader’s attention is by being specific, definite and concrete. The greatest writers… are effective largely because they deal in particulars and report details that matter” (30-31).

But how do you know if a detail is specific and concrete? In Writing Fiction, Janet Burroway tells us details that are specific are things we can touch, feel, smell, see or hear. In other words, make sure that the details included in your scenes appeal to the senses (23).

Words Cited

Burroway, Janet, and Elizabeth Stuckey-French. Writing Fiction. Pearson/Longman, 2007.

Strunk, William. The Elements of Style. With Revisions, an Introduction., and a New Chapter on Writing by E.B. White. Macmillan, 1969.

Dialogue That Delights

Janet Burroway’s Writing Fiction lists many great tips on writing dialogue. I’m sharing some of them on the Wisconsin Romance Writer’s blog at this link.