Creating Stories by Award Winning Author Hank Quense
Do you have a story in you?
Do you know how to write it or how to tell it?
Creating Stories has the answers. Hank Quense, the author of more than twenty books, tells you how to do it. He believes that stories come from the melding of three elements: getting ideas, story design, and story-telling. Ideas have to come from the author. Creating Stories covers the last two.
Plots are also covered in depth and a number of graphics are included to illustrate complex points. Another topic discusses subplots and how to utilize them and how to nest them within the main plot.
A separate chapter discusses the relationship between the plot and the emotional arcs.
Other topics covered are: character arcs, scene design, point-of-view, writing voice.
Here is the Table of Contents:
Part 1: Setting & Characters
Chapter 1: Getting Started
Chapter 2: Setting
Chapter 3: Characters-1
Chapter 4: Characters-2
Chapter 5: More Character Stuff
Part 2: Plotting
Chapter 6: Plotting
Chapter 7: Subplots
Chapter 8: Scene Design
Chapter 9: Plot and Emotional Arcs
Part 3: Story-telling
Chapter 10: Basic Stuff
Chapter 11: Point-of-View
Chapter 12: Writing Voice
Part 4: More Stuff
Chapter 13: Parody, Humor, and Satire
Chapter 14: Odds & Ends
Chapter 15: Other Stuff
Chapter 16: Appendices
Chapter 17: About the Author
Welcome Hank Quense
Today I welcome author Hank Quense to Writer’s Gambit to tell us about his new book Creating Stories. I love reading writing craft books. I enjoy learning new techniques and how to improve old techniques in story craft or just to refresh what I already know.
What is dominant emotion?
The Dominant Reader’s Emotion (DRE) is the emotion you want (or hope!) the reader will experience whenever that character is in a scene. There are a number of reader emotions you can use. Typical DRE’s are: admiration, sympathy, pity, dislike, annoyance and many more.
Whatever reader emotion you choose dictates the way you write about the character and limits what you can have the character do. For example, if you wish the reader to “like” a character, you can’t have that character kicking puppies or pushing little old ladies in front of buses. You can have a character do these things if the reader emotion you’re striving for is anger or disgust.
In creating a new character, I assign a DRE early on because it affects the development process for that character. If I want a character to be sympathetic to a reader, I can’t create a willful, powerful, egotistical character because it will be difficult for a reader to be sympathetic to such an unrealistic character. The reader probably has never met such a person and if she has met such a person, it probably wasn’t a comfortable experience.
What is an emotional arc?
Readers want to experience and share the characters’ emotional journey. In order to create this emotional journey, each scene must have an emotional change in it. What this means is that the character’s emotion at the end of the scene must be different from the character’s emotion at the start of the scene. Whether the change is positive or negative is irrelevant. A scene without an emotional change is not a good scene.
An additional requirement is that a scene’s beginning emotion must be the ending emotion from the previous scene for that character. In other words, the character’s emotions must be linked to form an emotional arc.
As an example of an emotional arc, let’s consider a short story with seven scenes. At the start of the story, the main character’s emotional state is given. It may be positive (happy), negative (sad, depressed, concerned) or neutral. Let’s assume the character is happy at the start. And the end of the scene, his happy state must change. It can move to more happy or less happy but it must change. At the start of scene 2, the emotional state picks up from the ending emotional state in scene 1 and changes by the end of scene 2. The scene 3 emotional state starts with the scene 2 ending emotional state.
These linked emotional changes continue until the end of the story. Usually, the emotional state changes depict a continuous downward spiral until the story’s climax is reached. With a short story, the emotional arc is relatively simple. With a novel, the situation is much more complex. This is because a novel will have many more characters, more scenes, more storylines, and subplots. Another complication is that each main character can have a separate emotional arc.
While constructing emotional arcs can be a daunting activity, their impact on the reader’s enjoyment is worth the effort.
Does writing short stories help you write longer works or vice versa?
I don’t think writing one type of story helps with another type. However, for beginning fiction writers, I would suggest they start with short stories rather than a novel. This is because these writers can produce a number of short stories in the time it takes to write a novel. Once a short story is finished, the writer must have it critiqued by other writers.
This critiquing process is virtually the only way a writer can learn how to improve his story design and his story-telling skills. In other words, the beginning writer can use short stories as a way to learn the craft of fiction writing. This learning is possible with a novel, but because of the time element, the learning will take much longer. To be successful as a fiction writer, it is imperative that the writer learn the craft of writing a story.
It’s a pleasure to be participating in the Blog Tour for CREATING STORIES by Hank Quense through MC Book Tours.
STORIES has the answers.
Hank, the author of more than twenty books, tells you how to write your story. He
believes that stories come from the melding of three elements: getting ideas, story design, and story-telling. Ideas have to come from the author. CREATING STORIES covers the last two.
- Published by Strange World
- AVAILABLE April 1, 2017
- $8.99, 9947 KB, 105 Pages
- Genre: Fiction Writing
The book concentrates on developing characters including such rarely discussed
requirements such as a dominant reader emotion and the character’s biography.
Plots are also covered in depth and a number of graphics are included to
illustrate complex points. Another topic discusses subplots and how to utilize
them and how to nest them within the main plot.
A separate chapter discusses the relationship between the plot and the
scene design, point-of-view, writing voice.
takes place in the Camelot era.