What do you do to make scenes come alive in literary fiction?

Literary imagined scenes come alive with CONFLICT and ACTION in language, narration, story, and dialogue. It’s not inherent for most writers striving to write literary fiction. To start, writers and storytellers are dependent on these basics:  1) literature is written works that have merit and lasting potential as an art form, and 2) fiction creates imagined events and characters. For success in inserting conflict and action, writers master vibrant in-scene writing–an important staple of effective story delivery–supporting concrete-imagery, credible dialogue, and action prose in narrative. Here are examples of conflict and action in dialogue, narrative, and a descriptive scene using … Read More…

What would you do if you had a chance to, right now, start your life again?

What have you achieved? Is it what you wanted? Are you satisfied? Here’s the idea. On occasion, life forces new directions that demand a new “you.” How would you make a better “you”?  Take this example of a doctor at the top of his profession who loses all and changes who he is to survive. Literary fiction can show significant change by creating dramatic stories with theme and meaning. Here’s an example of how. (Excerpt from the award-winning novel “McDowell.” mcdowellbycoles.com) Hiram McDowell is an arrogant, proud doctor. He’s ignored and stomped on a lot of innocent people, failed to … Read More…

Lasting literary-story characters mature and blossom like a sturdy oak. How do you do that?

Here’s a two-sentence story to make a point about building characters when creating literary fiction. Harry flew a kite at the beach to entertain his invalid son. But the kite got away and Harry seethed with anger. Didn’t grab you, I would presume. Let me tell it again, this time with emphasis on characterization entwined in IN-SCENE action. A wind gust elevated the dragon kite and the string ran through Harry’s hand fast enough to hurt.         “Let me do it, Daddy,” his son Raymond said as he limped to Harry’s side. The boy held out his hand that trembled without … Read More…

Ferreting out MacGuffins in a literary-fiction Story

This down and out musician has broken up with his girl in New Orleans so he pockets his blues harmonica, drags his guitar behind him, and plods on the road to Yazoo City, Mississippi, to find a gig. He’s miles away on a back road in a poverty-infested rural countryside when a girl about seven appears and offers him a wad of chewing gum she takes from her mouth with thumb and forefinger. He politely declines but to respond to her generosity, he plays a tune, Empty Bed Blues, on his harmonica. She’s unimpressed. During a doze, the girl grabs … Read More…

How do unsuccessful novel writers build houses?

You get a backhoe and dig a BIG hole. You back up a cement truck and pour three BIG mounds of cement. While cement hardens, you cut down two giant oaks, strip the leaves, and throw the trunks with limbs in the big hole on top of the cement. You pour, 100 gallons of glue, a quarter ton of bolts and nails, five porcelain toilets, and three bathtubs. You add 800 light bulbs of various sizes throughout the growing muddle. You mix three hundred gallons of paint in different, preferable incompatible (noncliché) colors, and splash the paint at random over … Read More…