A Vital Point To Consider If You're Trying To Get Published: Part 12

So you want to boost the ‘quality of form’ in your story?

You want to progress towards a three-dimensional, more widely appealing and resonant piece of work, and further away from ‘Then this happened…’ linear storytelling?

Conventional writing advice suggests things like 'working on character', or 'adding things in to plot like images or motifs', or 'working on making your settings reflect your emotional content', things like that.

What follows isn’t conventional writing advice.

This is advice based on almost 50 years of studying literature and life, tested with class after class of students, and extrapolated from the core of a best selling book on how fiction works. Its principles will immediately become self-evident to you on picking up any work of fiction, watching and play or movie and even on reading any poem.

First of all, when you write a piece of fiction, what are you trying to say?

What exactly are your themes? There is likely to be more than one.

The difficulty you probably run into here is triply complex:

1. You don’t really know exactly what you’re trying to say — you can only tell what you have to say from the stories that you write. The process that occurs ‘behind’ the act of telling the tale isn’t easily accessible to you.

2. You are so familiar with just writing, rather than thinking about what you’re writing, that the core of your work is most likely opaque to you.