Thursday, August 21, 2014

Elements of Story: Character, Agenda & Plot

Dear Fellow Writer,

ONE DOLLAR book deal now on - ONLY FOR the next three hours!

You read that right. My latest mammoth writing resource is available right now for 99 cents!

Elements of Story

PLEASE NOTE: The price of 99 cents is based on the US retail price. Anywhere else in the world is quoted at the equivilent price in your own currency. If by chance the price is higher, Amazon tells me that is the because that they have no control over your country's pricing. Whatever the price in your country, it is the lowest it will ever be for just the next three hours! CLICK HERE

ALSO: My apologies if you miss the ONE DOLLAR offer. The cut off point is timed and is out of my control. 

Keep writing!

Elements of Story: Character, Agenda & Plot

How To Create Perfect Stories for the Modern Marketplace That Will Sell

This brand new book from Rob Parnell, "the world's foremost writing guru", represents a thorough examination of commercial story writing that investigates the fundamentals necessary for a modern author to progress in this most competitive of fields, whether your choice is to write short stories, novels or screenplays.

Rob Parnell, the bestselling Kindle author of the acclaimed Easy Way to Write series, presents "Elements of Story: Character, Agenda & Plot", a new book that will help expand and deepen your understanding of inspiration, idea-development, characterization and its relation to agenda, plotting and story creation.

Character, they say, is where all fiction starts. That's the accepted view. But Rob questions whether this is truly the case. Is there some other, more intuitive starting point?

And is there a knack - a simpler way - of coming up with compelling and memorable characters, plots and effective templates for your short stories, novels and screenplays?

There is indeed and Rob reveals all within the pages of this fascinating treatise on author purpose and the nature of fiction.

In "Elements of Story: Character, Agenda and Plot", Rob Parnell lays bare the arguments for and against the conventional theories on story creation and then goes further, exposing their positives and some of their limitations, before moving on explain a more effective way of maintaining authorial integrity in order to create truly compelling and commercial stories that may guarantee success whether you choose to self-publish or submit your stories, books and screenplays to editors, publishers and/or producers.

In a sense, fiction has to be more believable than real life, at least to a reader. And willing suspension of disbelief is only achieved through the exercise of disciplined craft. Rob Parnell shows how, by mining your own world-view, you may use fiction as a vehicle for self-expression and entertainment without compromising your values or your duty to seek the truth.

Story is not just about making things up, in other words, it's about being master of your own destiny.

Within the pages of this book, the age old question 'where do ideas come from' is answered. Rob details how to have an endless supply of ideas and how to turn each into a helpful resource for your regular storytelling practice. He examines the various types of characters, their eight key agendas, his classic plot templates and how a fiction writer uses action, agenda and 'show don't tell' to inform and entertain reader with stories they can't put down.

When it comes to writing stories, once you have a good grasp of your characters and their agendas, you can then move on to creating a great plot for your novel, short story, screenplay, play, or even a piece of flash/fan fiction.

Plotting is fundamental to any story. It can make or break the impact of your writing - and your career. But a plot is not merely a sequence of events and emotional story-beats. In order to be truly effective and commercial, a plot must be a profound synthesis of theme, premise, the author's value system and literary skill that complements and enhances the reader's world-view. Rob Parnell explains, in simple language, how this miracle is achieved, and how you can create stories that will resonate with depth and meaning.

In this book you'll find hundreds of ways to explore and develop ideas and plots, invent effective characters with purpose and create stories that will genuinely affect your readers - and thereby go a long way to ensure your success as a full time author or screenwriter. 
Rob Parnell


Thursday, August 14, 2014

An Easy Template for Nonfiction - Short & Long

Dear Fellow Writer,

This week I've been busy finishing off a new book about inventing characters and plotting fiction. It's a fairly large work for me - I wanted to cover all the bases.

Elements of Story: Character, Agenda & Plot, should be ready for release next Friday.

Look out for it in an inbox near you!

Click HERE to discover my other Amazon books
Keep writing!

An Easy Template for Nonfiction

Easy Template for Nonfiction

The following easy technique is recommended for the writing of blogs, magazine articles, columns, reviews, and many other short works.

Take a sheet of paper or open a new WORD/Scrivener file. 

State the intention of the project at the top of the page. For example:

"Detail five ways to clean a car in less than 1000 words."

Next, write the numbers 1 to 5 down the left hand side. Next to the numbers write:

               1. Intro

               2. Development

               3. Proof

               4. Implications

               5. Conclusion

Next write notes based on your 'statement of intent' underneath the five headings. I generally make one or two word notes that I later use as prompts for the writing. For instance: 

               1. Intro
                              Washing car is a pain etc.,
                              Easy ways would be good

               2. Development
                              Pay a friend
                              Barter the job
                              Make a game of it with your kids
                              Leave it in the rain
                              Get a car wash, dummy

               3. Proof
                              Advantages of each

               4. Implications
                              More time
                              Cleaner car
                              Pride in appearance

               5. Conclusion
                              Re-state the premise
                              Evidence you have proved premise
                              Witty aside to end
This is your template. 

Use its headings as a series of prompts for the writing itself. Delete the notes as you write the actual words that the prompts suggest - or leave them in as headings. 

You'll note that in the article you're currently reading there are headings to each section. These are what's left of the template notes I made for this article before I started.

Generally I find that template construction takes around five minutes or less. 

Often I'll construct a quick template in between other projects - or on the hop - perhaps during an ad break on TV I'll scribble bullet points on a scrap of paper, or maybe I'll dash off a draft template on a pad while making tea. 

I find that when I'm on the move I invariably get inspired, even though I'm in no position to actually sit down and do any writing. 

So I take advantage of the inspiration to drop the template or notes or bullet points into my tablet or on a scrap of paper to place in my in-tray, ready for inclusion into my writing schedule for the following day.

Longer Writing Projects

You know me: I like to keep things simple.

The template for longer works is based on the short one.

We all know that the best way to tackle any big project is to break everything down into small chunks, each chunk representing something entirely doable within an imaginable time-frame. 

Even Tolstoy wrote War and Peace one page at a time.

Nonfiction Template

It's a good idea to know something about your subject - or at least know where to find information - before you embark on a nonfiction template.

However the following rough guide should suffice for most projects.

Copy out the following rough template and make notes beneath each heading.

               Acknowledgements: thanks to those who helped

               Foreword - a prĂ©cis of the motivation for the book's existence

               Introduction - snappy overview of the contents / book's purpose

               Chapter One - identification of subject matter, terms defined

               Chapter Two - subject examined

               Chapter Three - subject examined

               Chapter Four - subject examined

                              And so on - as many chapters as you need - till the end

               Conclusion - overall synthesis of lessons learned, premise justified etc.,
               References - chronological list of supporting evidence used:
                                             (book, author, publisher, year of publication etc.)
               Recommended Further Reading

               Index (if required)

Clearly the way you examine your chosen subject will be entirely up to you. 

Often you will already have ideas about how each chapter will focus on the issues. 

I tend to write out suggested chapter headings as prompts - with notes beneath, structured in much the same way as I construct the short template described above.

Basically, when it comes to nonfiction books, e-books, pamphlets, brochures and other things like business reports, plans and projections, a long template is a series of short templates strung together.

What did I say? Easy!

Keep Writing!

Rob Parnell


The Easy Way to Write

Welcome to the official blog of the Easy Way to Write from Rob Parnell, updated weekly - sometimes more often!