Write a Story Based on Your Life: Use Your Life as Inspiration to Write a Memoir or a Novel | Julia Gousseva | Skillshare

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Write a Story Based on Your Life: Use Your Life as Inspiration to Write a Memoir or a Novel

teacher avatar Julia Gousseva, Writer, Creative Writing Teacher

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Lecture 1: Introduction


    • 2.

      Lecture 2: Why do you want to write?


    • 3.

      Lecture 3: Section overview


    • 4.

      Lecture 4: What is a story?


    • 5.

      L5 mp4


    • 6.

      Lecture 6: Structure one


    • 7.

      Lecture 7: Structure two


    • 8.

      Lecture 8: Structure three


    • 9.

      Lecture 9: Structure four


    • 10.

      Lecture 10: Section wrap-up


    • 11.

      Lecture 11: Section overview


    • 12.

      Lecture 12: Find an inciting incident


    • 13.

      Lecture 13: Problem, goal, or desire


    • 14.

      Lecture 14: Show your struggles


    • 15.

      Lecture 15: Transition to the end


    • 16.

      Lecture 16: Crisis, climax, and final realization


    • 17.

      Lecture 17: Let's outline your story


    • 18.

      Lecture 18: Section wrap-up


    • 19.

      Lecture 19: Section overview


    • 20.

      Lecture 20: What shapes our memories


    • 21.

      Lecture 21: Truth in life stories


    • 22.

      Lecture 22: How to retrieve memories


    • 23.

      Lecture 23: Start by free-writing


    • 24.

      Lecture 24: Start by describing a place


    • 25.

      Lecture 25: Section wrap-up


    • 26.

      Lecture 26: Section overview


    • 27.

      Lecture 27: What is voice in creative writing?


    • 28.

      Lecture 28: Learn to hear your own voice


    • 29.

      Lecture 29: Speaking voice vs. writing voice


    • 30.

      Lecture 30: Combine your past voice with your present voice


    • 31.

      Lecture 31: Stay true to your world


    • 32.

      Lecture 32: Section wrap-up


    • 33.

      Lecture 33: Section overview


    • 34.

      Lecture 34: The main character


    • 35.

      Lecture 35: To brag or not to brag?


    • 36.

      Lecture 36: A hero or a victim?


    • 37.

      Lecture 37: Find your antagonists


    • 38.

      Lecture 38: Choose your secondary characters


    • 39.

      Lecture 39: Use details, not adjectives


    • 40.

      Lecture 40: Section wrap-up


    • 41.

      Lecture 41: Section overview


    • 42.

      Lecture 42: Face your fears


    • 43.

      Lecture 43: Balance the negative by adding the positive


    • 44.

      Lecture 44: Remember the arc of your story


    • 45.

      Lecture 45: Convey emotions without melodrama


    • 46.

      Lecture 46: Section wrap-up


    • 47.

      Lecture 47: Section overview


    • 48.

      Lecture 48: Decide what to put in and what to leave out


    • 49.

      Lecture 49: Find your thematic conflict


    • 50.

      Lecture 50: Section wrap-up


    • 51.

      Lecture 51: Section overview


    • 52.

      Lecture 52: How to write a compelling scene


    • 53.

      Lecture 53: Find places to develop into scenes


    • 54.

      Lecture 54: Use a cinematic approach


    • 55.

      Lecture 55: Scene structure


    • 56.

      Lecture 56: Write vivid descriptions


    • 57.

      Lecture 57: Write realistic dialogue


    • 58.

      L 58 mp4


    • 59.

      Lecture 59: Section wrap-up


    • 60.

      Lecture 60: Section overview


    • 61.

      Lecture 61: How to use chronological organization


    • 62.

      Lecture 62: How to use flashbacks


    • 63.

      Lecture 63: How to use flashforwards and foreshadowing


    • 64.

      Lecture 64: How to use cliffhangers


    • 65.

      Lecture 65: How to write a good opening scene


    • 66.

      Lecture 66: How to use humor


    • 67.

      Lecture 67: Section wrap-up


    • 68.

      Lecture 68: Section overview


    • 69.

      Lecture 69: The first reading: ask big questions


    • 70.

      Lecture 70: The second reading: ask smaller questions


    • 71.

      L71 mp4


    • 72.

      Lecture 72: Section wrap-up


    • 73.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Do you want to write a novel but feel a little intimidated and don’t know how to start? Do you have some life experiences that you’d like to write about? Perhaps, you want to write a life story? Or, perhaps, you want to start with real events and real characters and turn them into fiction?

If you answered “yes,” to any of these questions, this course is right for you.

In this course, we’ll discuss story structure, story arc, and the three main parts of any story: the beginning, the middle, and the end.

We’ll look at interesting ways to outline and plan your novel.

Then, we’ll turn to techniques for retrieving your important memories and developing them into scenes for your novel.

We’ll discuss the concept of a scene as a building block of any story and practice techniques for writing effective scenes.

Any novel needs characters, and we’ll dedicate a whole section of this class to developing memorable and realistic characters.

We’ll look at the concept of voice, discuss techniques for dealing with darker memories and darker life moments, and we’ll also practice identifying a theme in your work.

We’ll work on different ways to keep the readers’ attention and build suspense, such as foreshadowing, flashbacks, and flashforwards.

And – last but not least – we’ll use the process of revision through multiple readings.

Throughout the lessons, you’ll have plenty of writing exercises and activities, so you should have a lot of material for your story written by the end of the course.

I hope you find this course enjoyable and helpful! Happy writing!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Julia Gousseva

Writer, Creative Writing Teacher


Julia Gousseva

Writer, Creative Writing Teacher

How to Write an Original Short Story

Have you always wanted to write fiction but don’t know where to start? Have you started writing but got stuck and don’t know how to finish? Do you have ideas but find it hard to develop them into a complete story that makes sense? Or do you experience writer's block, get stuck, and lose motivation?

If you have experienced any of these problems or if you simply want a clear and specific way to develop your idea into a story, you’re in the right place.
This course will present an approach to writing stories that I have developed over a number of years and refined with my students in face-to-face classes.

This approach is a step... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Lecture 1: Introduction: Hi there. Thank you for taking a look at my class. I decided for anyone who is interested in writing a story or a novel based on their own life, and we can define based on quite loosely, maybe you want to write a story or life story or a memoir about a certain time or a certain event in your life, and maybe you want to keep the story as close to reality as possible. This glass can help you with that goal, but maybe you just want to start with certainty, life events or your life characters, and then you want to use your imagination and you want to create a fictional novel. You can do that in this class as well. Both of these goals can be fulfilled. Good life stories and good memoirs have a lot in common. They both should have engaging characters. They both should have, foreshadowing an interesting techniques that keep the readers reading right. So while their differences especially legal and ethical differences between memoirs and novels, are there a lot of the same writing techniques that you can use for both of the shoulders? Any good story needs engaging characters well developed settings, a story arc, athe realistic dialogue. And all of this should be structured in a way that keeps the reader's attention right with foreshadowing and suspense. Building in this class will discuss a lot of these gentle story telling techniques, but we'll also look at the few things that they're specific to. Memoir Writing will also work on the process off purposeful divisions through multiple readings, and each reading will have a specific goal as to what you're going to look for to make your story the best possible. You'll have plenty of hands on exercises throughout the lessons, so you should have a lot of material for your story done by the end of the course. Are you ready for to get started? 2. Lecture 2: Why do you want to write?: lecture to Why do you want to write? That's an important question, and you should think about it before you start writing, because depending on how you respond to that question, your story will change its shape. And maybe you'll even decide what kind of story to tell. So let's take a look at it in more detail. Let's define a story as a meaningful pattern of events. A stargazer looks at the sky and sees constellations, and the storyteller looks at life events and see stories. So when you start writing your story, what you're going to have to do is think about all the different events in your life, like all those different stars in the sky, and pick the ones that create a certain story that goes together and creates a pattern like a certain number of stars created. Creates a constellation, and we'll talk about how to do it soon. Who do you want to write? Four. Think about it before you start. Your writing style will be defined in part by your audience. If you're writing for yourself, for example, you don't have to worry about what people are going to think right, because nobody else is going to read this. You don't have to worry about writing detailed descriptions. Necessarily. If you know what that setting looked like, then that's good enough so you can focus on your needs and what you need to put in that story. If you're writing for publication, for example, that's a whole different story. Literally. It's a whole different story because you will have to think about your audience and how to make your personal story interesting to a wide audience. If you're writing for your kids or grandkids, then ask yourself, Why do you want them to read that story? What kind of experience they want to share? How old are these kids or grandkids? They want them to read the story. Now if if they're still young, they want them to read it later when they get older. And that will define I'm your style as well, right? And another question related to that is, Why do you want to write? And depending on how you answer that again, your story will change. So let's take a look at a few possible reasons. Maybe you want again wisdom from the past and mold the life ahead of you. In that case, perhaps you're just riding for yourself. So then your main goal is to look at specific experiences that affected your life, affected who you are in, ah, in some important ways and the focus on the lessons you can gain from those experiences. Maybe you're looking to achieve catharsis and self forgiveness, writing a sort of a confession. So then probably you're going to be focused on specific and maybe traumatic events in your past. Maybe things that you don't like about yourself, and that could be your focus, So that's a good goal as well. Writing does help to get over those traumatic events, but maybe your goal is different. Maybe you want to share an experience with others. You want to teach them something to inform or entertain them. Eso. Then your style will be different. Your descriptions will be different, and your whole approach that story could change. And even what story you're going to write might be different as well. Maybe you want to find your unique personal voice and writing, and then, if you're writing a life story based on on the actual events of your life, it's a good place to start, especially if you're new to writing in writing a novel involves a lot of different things, So focusing it on the events that happened to you on events that you understand and know might be a good place to start, and then you can always change it and embellish it and enhance it and turn it into fiction and the writing. A story based on your life can definitely help you develop that your own voice that you that you could apply to other stories later on. Maybe you want to tell an amazing story and make money, so that's a great goal as well. And then, of course, in that case, you really have to think about your audience and what kind of story your audience wants to hear. And I'm not saying, you know, I just make stuff up for the sake of the audience. But I do consider what types of stories the readers like, what people like descriptions. Do they like dialogue? What do you want to include in this story to make your readers interested in the story? Right. So that's another goal. Maybe you want to experience the pleasure of writing the way your favorite authors, right? That's an excellent goal, especially if you're new to writing. Perhaps you want to imitate the style of one of your favorite authors, but of course you want to tell your own story, so that would be a good way to start developing your own style. A lot of beginning authors started the imitating somebody they admire, and this school is similar to the reason we take pictures. We want to make an experience permanent, want to deliver it. We want to be able to go back to it, our memories not very reliable. So it's good to put things in pictures or in writing. And that could be a good Gulf writing a story as well. Maybe you're simply desiring to write the story because telling stories of the part of being human when you meet with your friends. When you meet with your relatives with your family, we always want to tell stories, and we want to hear stories. And that's what makes Ah, that's what makes life so special. So maybe that's what you want to do. Just tell a story because that's what people do. Why do you want to write him. Think about your reasons and I would love Teoh. Read those reasons so you can post them in the discussion area of this class. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. 3. Lecture 3: Section overview: in this section will talk about story structure. Structure is important. Think of it is a building plan a blueprint mapped an adventure. You can make changes to your structure if you decide these changes are needed later on, but it's good to have something to aim for. In the section will define what the story is and look at ways to find a story in your life that you can base your book on. Then we'll discuss for possible story structures that you may like with other structures. One is called Make a Sandwich, the other is cut a slice. Then we'll look at the novel like approach, and maybe the most exciting one will go on the quest I needed to get started. 4. Lecture 4: What is a story?: lecture for activity. What is a story? A story can take many different forms, and myth is a story, right? So it's a fair tale. So is a folk tale. Then we can look at some longer types of stories, like a novel or a novella. A movie tells the story as sitcom. That's an interesting one to a sitcom or TV Siri's, they tell a story. Usually there's one story per episode. And then there's a larger story that can spend entire season or of the entire life of how many seasons are four or five seasons, all that sitcom or of a TV series? A story can also be a morality tale, such as of Moses or Jesus Mohammed or Buddha. All those different things are stories. So what is a story? What makes all of those different things similar? I would say that one of the features important features of any story is Ah, it's purpose. So what is the purpose of a story again? There could the different ones stories can tell us how to live and what the value stories can share. The beliefs off past generations with future generations. Our individual stories are all life stories can tell us who we are can help us. The authors understand ourselves better. Life stories make lives more meaningful, more exciting and even more mysterious. Think about it this way. Our lives are filled with stories. Your life is filled with stories. But sometimes it's hard to tell those stories because we don't know what to look for or how to find those stories and to know what to do and to know what the story is. We need to understand the features of a story. So let's take a look. First of all, what the story is not. A story is not just a Siri's off events that something different. A story needs to have a specific structure. Let's think about it that way. A story is a meaningful narrative with a beginning, a middle and an end. And I'm not saying that this is how you're supposed to write it. You could use flashbacks, could use flash forwards. We'll talk about all of that in later lectures. Right now we're just thinking as authors. What is a story? How do we find it? Beginning middle and end, not how we tell it. So think about it that way, A character. And if you're writing a life story that's going to be you, is a different person at the end of the story. Compared to the beginning of a story, right? Some kind of change occurs in that character. Could be a physical change. Could be an emotional change. Could be both. It's best if it's both, and why does the change occur? It occurs because of the events that happened in the middle, right? So that's one way to look at this story. Now let's break it down some more and understand. What are those three parts beginning? Middle and end? What are they supposed to contain? When you're looking for a story, ask yourselves these questions at the beginning. Think about your character or yourself. If you are the character of your story of what did you want? A character needs to have a goal or a desire or a problem of that the character is going to solve. If life is just happy and it's nice and the Kirk doesn't want anything, there's no story, right, so we need to have the desire or goal. It's very important at the end. We're gonna look at what was the outcome that the character accomplish, what they wanted to accomplish. Did they fail to accomplish it? Right? So you can think of the beginning and at the end, kind of together. And then what happens in the in the middle? Well, in the middle you have to have the struggle to get it. We can just say, once upon a time, I wanted to win the lottery, I bought a lottery ticket and I won the lottery. End of story. Nobody wants to read that story right. It's boring because there was no struggle. There's no lesson your readers cannot learn anything from that kind of an experience, So that's struggling obstacles in the middle. It's very important. You can two ways. You can have two ways to look at the outcome. You could look at what happened right? The physical events and how did the character change? That's more of an emotional change. Both of these are important, and both of these is what's going to make your story interesting to the readers. My character arc, that's a constant. We'll talk about in more detail in later later lectures. But for now, think about the character arc is the change in the character as a result of events and realizations, So this is important events and realizations. Events are external realization. Zehr internal right? So something happens in the characterise. React in a specific way, has specific thoughts and feelings in both of these together. Those external events and internal realizations is one builds your character arc. You can also look at it as objective and subjective. The events are objective, right? They just happen, and the reactions are subjective. So it's interesting to see how does your particular character how does that character react to a specific event? And you can think about even your life? Something happens. How do you reacted? How would a friend react? How with a family member react? Our reactions can be very different to the same events, and that's part of your character. Arc. Find the shape of your story, so that's going to be an exercise. And I'm asking you to do to this exercise in two parts. This is a short exercise. Its goal is to help you figure out what story you want to tell, and everybody knows most people know right the form of fear tail. So I'd like you to write your story in the form of fairy tale. First, the link should be maybe one page of beach and half nothing longer than that. And you can start like a typical fear tale starts by writing. Once upon a time, there lived the character with you. If it's about you. One day something happened that created the problem in the need. Of course. Make that specific, Right? So what happened in what problem? On what needed it create. Once you write that you already have a good hook to your story, you have a reason for writing. Then you go to the middle. Therefore, the character had to struggle to solve that problem and satisfy that need in the middle. You're going to describe those attempts, right? Those struggles and that the end is a result of its struggle. The character changed. You can write about what happened if the character accomplished that goal or not. So that's the external external parts, right? External events. And in any case, the character has changed emotionally. So right about the change, right? So that's your part. One Part two. Take the story that you've just written and rewrite it as a letter to a child. Your goal is to share a lesson you learned from the experience that you have described in your fair tale. Make it short. Remember, you're writing to a child. Kids have very short attention spans. Make it simple. Focus on an insight on the lesson that you gained from the experience. Once you're done with the letter, they could look again at the letter and at the fear. Dale, do they convey the same insight? Maybe, Maybe not. Maybe you have two different insights you would like to share in your story. All right. And if you would like to post that, you can do that in the discussion. And if not, you can just them use it for yourself. 5. L5 mp4: lecture. Five. Find a Story in your Life. The challenge in writing a life story is that life is a serious, off connected stories, and it's hard to find when one story ends and another one begins. So when you're thinking about what you want to write about, you have to find a way to separate those different stories. To find a way, Teoh, find the beginning. Find the middle and find an end of each story. Eso How do you do that? Let's talk about this next them. How do you find where to start the story? What's a good starting point? What's a good ending place? Well, it depends on what kind of story you want to tell. What is your story about In life, you have different challenges, different goals. And if you think about a story, as Uh is a way to describe that gold is a way to describe the challenge. He may have an easier time finding out how to separate your life stories. Let's take a look at an example Simple. Let's say you have a young woman who wants an adventure, so that's that could be the beginning of a story, right Maybe she's lonely. Maybe she's bored or she's just craving an adventure and she finds a job in the foreign country, so that could be it right? That could be the whole story. She finds a job in the foreign country, and she gets that adventure that she was interested in. And maybe you could finish it right there. Or you could finish with her going back home with a renewed appreciation off off life and enter hometown. That could be a typical quest story. Or you could do it completely differently. She wants an adventure. She moves the foreign country, she finds a job, and then she feels lonely and wants to be loved. So that could be the beginning of a story, right? So then you're need is the desire to avoid loneliness. She meets a man and falls in love with him. So that could be your resolution. Or you could take it a step further and say that the resolution is they get married in a traditional ceremony of that country, and that could be the end of the story. So let's take a look at the different option. Let's say you have a young woman she's the foreign country. She meets a man and falls in love with him. That could be the beginning of your story, right? And then they get nearer than a traditional ceremony of that country. But when they move back to the woman's home country, he can't adjust and they start having relationship problems. And you could end the story there a different way to do it. You could start right with the marriage ceremony. All right, that's the beginning of the story. Everybody is happy and they expect, and she expects to have a happy life and they move back. He can't adjust. They have relationship problems to get a divorce. So that's a different kind of story or my last example. I promise you could start with they get a divorce, and then she has to start your own life for new life by herself. So different ways right to write that story and to think about what story do you want to tell The story of adventure? The story of falling in love, the story off relationship difficulties, the story over starting a new life after divorce? It's all up to you. I hope this example was helpful 6. Lecture 6: Structure one : lecture. Six structure one, make a sandwich. So remember, our goal in this part of the course is to help you find a story or multiple stories in your life or in the life of somebody else. So with this approach, what you could do to start with is throw the line of your life. You're going to start at birth, obviously, and you're gonna end at the present moment. Now, what are you going to do with this line? We're gonna look at a few different options. So option one, you're going to divide this line into segments that correspond to different. Oh, you can say physical or emotional segments of your life. The first will be childhood, then adolescence, young adulthood and then depending on how old you are, you could look at your twenties, your thirties, in other decades if you're older than that, Right, So this is pretty easy, right? You're just dividing your life into segments for now. Now, the next step, what you're going to do is think about each of these segments and this exercise works best . If you don't come in with some kind of preconceived idea of what you want, your life to be. So try to be open minded and think about one segment at the time. So the 1st 1 obviously is your childhood list the major events of your childhood. What are those major events? Well, it's your story, right? So it's your subjective experience. Maybe a major event was when? I don't know. You got a teddy bear for your birthday? Maybe that was important to you at that time. What you could also do is list major events as you perceive them. Then in major events, as you see them right now, I don't know, maybe a distant and died. And at that point, you didn't think it was a big deal. But maybe that the fact that the appearance of the fact that your family So maybe in hindsight you realize it was a big deal, so you could make a list of two sets of events from childhood right events. You thought as important then, and events that you see are important looking back at it. And as you look at it as you look at this list of events, see if he can find the title that reflects the overall theme of your childhood, and that's not easy to do. But it's interesting if you confined the title, and if not, that's OK. Then you're going to look at the next event of the other adolescence, right? And you're going to do the same thing. List those major events of your adolescence and again you could do the same to different, lest right events that seemed important. Them events of that seemed important. Now, um, if you moved, you could also, if you moved a lot, you could also a list different settings of your adolescence, right, And you could do it for any part of your life, too. Segment three. I think you're getting the hang of it, right. The same idea. List the major events. We are young adulthood, and when you're doing these events, when you're doing these lists, don't think too much. Don't analyze things too much a lot of times, especially the first time you writing these lists. It's good, Teoh, right down the first things that pop into your head because those your subconscious is tell me those are the most important event somehow important for you, right? And that's when you could find your themes your twenties. Same thing. List those major events and see if you can find a theme your thirties of the exact same exercise, right? And if you're older than that, that then of course, you could keep going through those other decades. And by the way, I'm going to include this as an exercise in this class. So that way you can kind of review what we've been talking about. So for now, I don't feel like you have to take notes. Just the listen. Going to think a little bit about it. Ah, and see if the overall approach makes sense and then see if maybe other approaches would look would work better for you. Let's look at one of those other approaches. So another way you can start looking for a story in your life is to divide your line in two years, and this is more arbitrary. And I picked seven years. Um, I don't know. Seven. Seems like a magical number. If you're much younger, like if you're in your teens, you may want to divide your life into segments of three years, but seven years seems seems to be a nice number. Severe, arbitrary rights. You're dividing into those seven year intervals. And then what you're going to do is you're going to use the same approach as we use before you're gonna list the major events off each of those time periods and see if you can give each time period a title. And when you're done with that, it will be interesting to compare this list with what you've done before with the with the with option one right and see if you can find any correlations, any common themes, anything like that. Option three. I like this one personally, but you know I don't want to buy. See, obviously, because you decide how you want to do your story. If you divide your life into decades and I give you an example, maybe from 2 to 12 it's the 19 eighties, and you can see it on the screen here and so on. So what's the benefit of it? Well, this way you can if you're depending on who you're writing for. If you want to write for more general audience, this might be more interesting approach because that way you could connect the events of your life to certain events and culture in history and politics and things like that. So what you're going to do here is your going to list the major world events of the decades and lice of world. You define what that world is, right? Maybe you're a gamer, and the world events would be limited to the world of gaming rights. You're gonna try just those kind of events. Maybe you're a political junkie. So then you're going to be focusing on actual, ah, world of political events. So it's completely up to you. Maybe each decade your interests were changing. So maybe those world events which changes well, just kind of experiment and see what you want to come up with. So once you list those major so called world events off the decade, give the decade a title. I don't know the air of the Rubik's Cube, right? Theeighties? Something like that. Then you're gonna list the major personal events off the decade right in your life, obviously, and give that decade more of a personal title. Once you're done with that, see if you can find the relationship between your life in the world around you. Let's talk about the what I mean by world events a little bit more. Someone you think of the eighties, what comes to mind to my mind, the first couple of things that come in this Rubik's Cube and disco. And personally, I don't have much of a connection to this coast. So if I were writing about the decade, I would probably focus on that Rubik's Cube craze and the puzzles and then maybe looking. And I like puzzles personally. So I think I could see a connection between world events. Right so called world events, with everybody going crazy with all these puzzles and my own desire to solve puzzles and, let's say kind of jumping ahead if you want to write a novel, not not just a plain life story. Maybe you have a character who likes puzzles, who grew up on the ages, and maybe that character uses his or her puzzle solving skills to solve a crime later on. Right? So there are lots of interesting things you could do with connecting personal events to los cultural events the 19 nineties. What's in 19 nineties? I think it's the time for me again going with the ideas of games and puzzles. It's the time when video games started becoming more portable, easier to use, right, more widespread. So maybe you could write about that. Or, of course, it's up to you completely up to you. Lots of different events in the nineties. A good thing to do If you don't know you can't remember. Um, go ahead on Google it See what interesting events happened in 19 nineties, maybe in the world, maybe in your country. That's actually very interesting. If you focus on your specific country because your experience is unique, you don't think it's unique because you live in that specific time and place, right? You think, Oh, everybody knows it? No, they don't. Most people do not live obviously, in your place, in your country, in your city. So see if you could do something like that. The two thousands well, the time of social media in the United States at the time of 9 11 right? The collapse off of the World Trade Towers. Um, there isn't those air world events, but those are not the only world events again. It may be more interesting to focus on smaller events that people don't know so much about . All right. The 20 tents. Well, you get the idea, right? So right about these decades from the more cultural brother world perspective. And then you write about your own life during that time and then see if you can find any connections. And right now, don't worry so much about how am I gonna write the story? You're just brainstorming, right? Your listing, all those different possibilities. We'll get to story writing later, but we've got to start with a lot of different ideas. So we have lots of choices to ah, later to pick from. All right. Option for which you could do is divide your life by key events in the first event. Obviously, you're going to write. I was born, and then you decide what your key events were. And don't feel that your key events have to be. You know, I was born, I went to school, I graduated, got married, had kids. Whatever. Those are obviously important events, but they don't have to be the key events in your life. Right? May be the key. Events were really small things. Small events, right. So you could write about them. I'll give you a silly example I was proud about 10 years old, and I had this hair curler and I wanted to be fancy. Wanted to Big is beautiful. So I started using this hair curler and it got completely stuck ahead. Long hair got completely stuck in my hair and my mom panicked and she was kind of screaming at me and my dad, who's very reserved and kind of calm and quiet guy. And he just said, Well, just calm down. Let's go into this other room. And he worked problem for half an hour to the disentangle, this stupid hair curler from my hair and it seems like, Well, it's a very small event, right? But I still remember it all those years later because I think that was a key event that she shaped my relationship with my dad. I saw him as very caring, is very patient and as a guy who took charge in the moment of kind of panic and chaos. So something like that I could write down and keep building on that. So again, those key events are not necessarily key events. Objectively, right could really personal, real small ones. Option four continued. When you divide your life by key events. The next step you could do is, ah, focus on the list of desires. Desires are very important in any story. This this is what drives a story right? If you think about any story structure, the character wants something or has a problem than the character tries to solve that problem, right or accomplish that goal and that they end, they either do or don't. And that's really if you think about story structure. That's what the story is, right. It's a character's attempts to accomplish a desire or solve the problem. Achieve a goal. So if you structure your list of key events like that, then you're going to start seeing possibilities for plot emerging as a young child I wanted . And then you're going to see what, what did you want and then go in the by your key events. What did you want at each of these points? The list of desires will probably be shorter than the list of key events, and that's perfectly fine. All right, so now you're looking that you have two lists, right? Was still going with this option for you have, Ah, a list of key events and they have a list off desires. Example. One. I wanted to go to college. I went to college. Um okay, so So we have, Ah, the key event and the desire that match example. Two. I wanted to get married. I followed my boyfriend to Africa. I studied medicine. I became a vet for exotic animals. I broke up with my boyfriend. So this is different, right? The desire is different from the key event. And that could create an interesting story too. So that was just a couple of examples. And then see if you can do it for your story. Focus on desires. Why is it important to focus on desires as I mentioned earlier desires a driving force behind your life story behind any story, Right? So think about that. A Z watch movies, TV, Siri's read books, stories, whatever. A desire always propels the main character towards a specific goal in towards alive destination. So kind of interesting, right? Then we'll talk about it more later. 7. Lecture 7: Structure two: lecture. Seven structure to cut a slice. So we've been talking about different events, right and different things you could write about. And now we're going to try to narrow down on the specific part of your life that has an interesting story. So we're going to call it a slice of life, and what it means is you're going to choose a period in your life that tells one specific story that follows more of this dramatic structure with a beginning, middle and end. Maybe it will be your two years experience, a researching and Antarctica. Or maybe you're five years working as a preschool teacher, right? So it's a specific time period defined by specific goal in the specific attempts to accomplish that goal. And actually, there's an exercise. I have a bunch of questions for you that I will include in the exercise. But to begin with, I think about what will make a good story. Looking back from today's from today's day, right? Looking back at your life, what part of life what part of your life do you think would make a good story and the single slice? It doesn't have to be two years or three years. It could be one afternoon if something really dramatic happened at day, Three months, two years. So the time frame doesn't matter. This is different, right from what we've discussed before. So this is not about the time frame. This is more about a story in a specific event. And, uh, in the exercise, you're going to see a bunch of questions. I'm asking you how to find all that right slice and make sure that you did choose the right one. So the goal in the exercise you're going to do will be to find a story in a key event. And the I'm going to write down these questions for you in attached exercise. But you can start thinking about them. I'd like you to think about these events in terms of desire. What did you desire in your life before this pivotal event or turning point? It's good to think about the conclusion off that single slice first right to some kind of turning point, and then ask yourself, What did I want before? When and how did this desire originate or begin to intensify? And at that point, when you find the beginning of the desire that could be the beginning of your story. So we have the end, right? The turning point will have the beginning, the desire. And then we need the middle. So the middle is usually the struggle to fulfill this desire. And when you come to the end, I'm think about what did you learn from the struggle? Did you change in any way? And usually the answer is yes, right in it. I was struggle with something. There is a change in the sometimes without realising. But there is a change. So think about that change. How did you perceive those events as they were happening in? How do you view them now? That's always a good thing to look at then and now, because it gives more depth to your story, right? Our immediate reactions are different from our reactions upon reflection and including both in your story creates more depth and more interest. All right, 8. Lecture 8: Structure three: lecture, eight, Structure three and novel like approach. In this section of the course, I'm going to ask you to do two exercises that will help you look at your life and find a novel in it. What they mean, find a novel in it. Think about what a novel is. It's a story with a specific theme, right? So you can see Oh, it's an adventure novel or it's a romance story or it's, ah, Quest novel. Or maybe it's a mystery or a thriller. If you think about characters in these novels, Israel people, let's see. Take a romance novel. Do you think these people have lives outside of the romance they probably have of houses? They have jobs. They have. They go to school, right. They have conflicts with friends. They have family relationships, maybe pets. So all those things happen in their life besides romance, and they do come into play in the story. But only one of concerns. Romance, right, because the romance is the theme of the novel. In all novels, air like that, memories are like that, too. There's a memoir by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, and it's called The Hidden Life of Dogs. and I think you can guess from the title that she's writing about dogs and obviously in her life it wasn't just dogs into life, right? She was married and she had other things going on. But her focus in the novel in the memoir Sorry, is on dogs. Even her husband gets just a rare mentioned, and only when it comes to his interaction with the dogs, right. So it's very important to have that, Ah, clear theme. Let's take a look at how you can do that. So we're looking at the theme through time, right? You can start by thinking about your life as a whole. Choose a specific theme like dogs or romance or mystery or whatever else it might be, and less specific events that have to do with that theme, right? So that's the overall approach, and let's take a look at how we can make it more specific. You can what the one of the benefits all the novel approach is. You can play with time. You don't have to write chronologically up to this point, you were doing these timelines right from. I was born to the present moment, and right now is you're looking at these events. You can move through time as you want. You can stretch it, meaning you can focus in one afternoon and right. I don't know 10 pages about it. If that was very relevant to your theme, you can condense it, say, five years later, you're jumping over years and we'll talk about specific techniques a little bit later in the course. For now, I'd like just to get the idea that you can play with time and you can adjust the time to the theme that you're trying to convey in your story. And you can focus on specific moments that have to do what that seem right. I hope this approach is making sense, so let's take a look at that some more. So you're going to look at the specific issue in your life. I didn't know he relationship with dogs, and maybe when you were nine years old, you were dog sitting a friend's dog, right? And that that went on for two months. Then maybe you were living somewhere when where the owners had dogs and that was going on for three years. Then maybe the same event surfaced for one week and then one day, maybe its relationship with the person, right? Maybe it's, Ah, I don't know, health problems. So whatever this. But you're looking at that specific issue, and you're looking how it's surfaced through time. You can also look at the specific emotion, right? Maybe you're especially happy, especially unhappy. Felt guilty. Whatever this, and you can look at that emotion. There is an issue behind a demotion, right? And again, your your pick in specific time periods. When that emotion one that issue surfaced, you could look at the specific relationship. And maybe, I don't know. Maybe you met somebody in high school and you were friends with that person for three years . Then you didn't see them for a while until a spring spring break. Some years later, maybe he ran into them again at the party. When you were 24. Let's say, Ah, then you started dating, but the relationship was a long distance relationship for a while, and then you got married, right? So you're looking at your relationship with that person. I'm through time, right? And you're only picking events that have to do with that relationship. All right, so Now it's your turn to right, and let's take a look at the couple of exercises I'd like you to do that can help you acquire that novel like approach. In the first exercise, you can focus on a theme, right? So see if that works for you and you can make a list of conflicts, especially when they're mutually exclusive, and they have more examples in the exercise. But here's a silly one for you. Let's say you're really hungry and your, um, in the grocery store, and it's after hours and the grocery store is locked and you have no money and no way of buying the food because everybody is gone. So your mutual exclusive desire You want to be a good person, right? You know it's not good to steal, but at the same time you're hungry, right? So those values are conflicting as well. The value over have to be a good person and also have to take care of myself, right? So how are you going to reconcile those? And this is a silly example, but I hope it illustrates the point and they'll have more examples and exercise, and a lot of times that same conflict surfaces multiple times in our lives in different circumstances. So see if you can find that conflict, such as no desire to please yourself in a desire to please others. That's a common one, right? So how does it surface in different times in your life? Make a list and then read you list a couple of times in the See if you can come up with any observations about that conflict, and then you can decide if you'd like to write a story about one or more of these conflicts . Maybe it's not the same one. Maybe these are different conflicts that keep showing up right. So go ahead and try that, and then we'll continue. And the next one with that you can do is focus on a specific relationship. And maybe that's an easier start. Think about people in your life to the relationship that you'd like to explore and then write a list of the main emotional incidents and key events. And the first event should be your first meeting. If you're talking about a friend or a co worker partner or your first memory if its appearance or grand parents or a sibling. Once you make this list of event, read the list and write the reflective paragraph about this relationship. Whatever comes to mind, don't think too hard about it again. We're still at the brainstorming stage, right? So whatever comes to mind is good and see if you would like to write a story about that relationship. And if you'd like to write about the whole relationship or a specific period within it, that could be interesting to Oh, another way to look for a story is look for turning points in your list. In our life is a continuous line, right? So sometimes it's hard to know where is. The beginning was the end of a story. But if you look at the starting points, that's a good place to end the story right. One story ends, another story starts. You know how old fear tales and where they got mere than lived happily ever after in that stand. Because that's the end of that particular story. The next story would be about their marriage, heaven, kids, whatever it is, it's a different story, so the end. Yet they got married and lived happily ever after. So think about the turning point, turning points like that in your life and those are good places to end of story or it, so let let's go ahead and try it. 9. Lecture 9: Structure four: lecture. Nine. Structure for go on a Quest. What is a quest plot? Usually it's a story. We're a character searches for something and hopes that this something will change his or her life. And usually quest plots involved physical movement, physical travel, right? Usually, character starts at home thinks that something that he or she is looking for is outside of that home. They go looking for it, searching for it, and they come back home. So it's a story that ends with full circle, getting back home. A lot of times they find what they were looking for right there at home, and most of the time they don't just find the object. Or actually don't find this object they were looking for. But they find wisdom. They find some experience. But the search for the specific object is what starts the quest. What are some common quest plots? Well, a quest for the Holy Grail, looking for the Emerald City, a quest for immortality, looking for the Atlanta's looking for the Middle Kingdom. So all those different stories that I'm sure you're recognizing some of them, all of them have a quest plot. At their essence, some more specifically in Gilgamesh, the famous epic Gilgamesh is looking for immortality, right? That's his goal. That's why he leaves home, so to speak. Don Quixote. He wants to redress the wrongs of the world, and he wants, wants to wind his lady. And that's why he gets equipped for his adventuring. And and he leaves home in The Wizard of Oz slightly different. The scenario Dorothy doesn't leave home while she she wants to leave home, but she doesn't leave it on her own desire. I don't here on the court. It's the hurricane that makes your leave home. And then her goal is to find her way back and what the characters find. All of them find wisdom, so that's a no important part of a quest. Blood. You're supposed to learn something from that travel. They learn something about the world in themselves. They change, and I think that most stories need to have the character change right. If events happened and the character doesn't care, then why should we read about it? Ah, the characters in the quest plot in the Navy story, really, they don't have to achieve their goal to have a successful quest in our examples in Gilgamesh. Well, guess what? He did not find immortality, but the epic is still famous, and it's still interesting to read because of the lessons he learned. Don Quixote. He didn't save the world, didn't really when his lady and he repudiates everything at the end. But there's still a lesson, and Dorothy and Toto they get home. And what's their lesson? Home is the best place of all right. There's no place like home that's a famous line from that story, so all of them find something, even if they don't find the actual object that they're looking for. So quest plots are interesting when you write your story. If you want to base it on your life, you could definitely the quest story. And the more logical way to think about the Quest story is think of the time when you left home. Maybe you went on some adventure. You went travel somewhere. You left home to go to college. It doesn't have to be leaving home permanently, right? That could be It doesn't have to be, but it should involve going back to the place. If you don't go back to the place physically, then at least going back and your thoughts right. A quest story can also be a little less literal. It could be a success or failure story in the profession, business, education or personal life rights. Again, Yura have a goal. You trying to accomplish it, and you're doing some things outside of your home to try to accomplish it. Religious quests could be really interesting stories. And, of course, adventure story request is an adventure, so that's kind of an obvious one. To write is a quest story. 10. Lecture 10: Section wrap-up: good job on finishing Section two. I hope our discussion gave you some ideas about possible ways to structure your story. Which approach that you like the best. Complete the common below. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Deciding on the possible structure is a great first step. Next, we'll discuss essential elements of a story and get one step closer to completing your goal of writing a book. Let's continue. 11. Lecture 11: Section overview: in this section will work on outlining your story. If you used to hate outlining when you were in school, don't worry that this will be different. Most creative writers outlined their work especially longer pieces. If you do the outline the way it works for you, it can only help In this section will also look at the three major parts of any story, the beginning with the middle, and you guessed it for the end. We'll discuss what users expect to happen in each section in how you can best write it. All right, let's get started. 12. Lecture 12: Find an inciting incident: lecture. 12 the beginning. Find an inciting incident. So far in this course, we've been talking about different kinds of ideas, right and different things and themes and characters you could write about. So from this point on, I'd like us to start focusing a little bit more. And in this exercise, I'd like you to think about possible beginnings. Don't feel they have to be limited. The one beginning, right? Maybe you haven't decided what story to write yet. Some maybe try a few different beginnings. Of course. Keep in mind. I'd like you to focus on the beginnings of different stories then, right? But I'm start with with one. And at the beginning of the story, you should have an inciting incident. What does that mean? Let's take a look. My suggestion is start with the character. If you're writing about yourself, then that character is you. And of course, you. That character is different at different times in your life, right? So think about your character yourself at that specific time and place. So you're gonna add that time in place, right? So it's not just you in general, but you may be as a 10 year old girl in a classroom sitting next to your friend. And then something happens to that character, right, and causes you to have a problem in the desire or need. And you can probably see in that sentence alone. There's already a suggestion of the plot of the rest of the story. So let's take a look at the example, and we're going to start with a Cinderella story. I think most people know that story, right? So Cinderella was an orphan. Her dad got remarried. The step Mom didn't like Cinderella. Cinderella was treated basically like a slave, and her life was really miserable. She wanted to get out in the way she got out. She eventually, with the help of some magic, went a ball. Meta prints that married to him lived happily ever after. So what happened at the beginning? What was the inciting incident? It was the death of her father, and then the story. It's mentioned very briefly, right, but we know that this is what puts Cinderella in the bad station. Where did it happen? Well, it's a fairytale. So it happened once upon a time in the far away kingdom. If you're writing a real life story. Maybe you need to have more specific details there. His death cost Cinderella to have a problem, right? So what's what's the problem? She had to live with her evil step family, and that problem led to a need to find a better life. So what? The Cinderella due to find a better life. That's what the story's about. And from the very beginning, your leaders air wondering, Well, two questions. What is she going to do to find a better life and this you're going to succeed? Right then, those questions should be answered at the end of the story. So now let's try to go for your example. Start with yourself as the character in the specific time and place, right? What about right about what happened, where it happened? And this is critical. Think about what problem that this event create. And then what need did this problem lead Teoh? If you need to look at the Cinderella example, you, of course, can do that and write that inciting. It's that that beginning at the end of the story, and you don't need to worry about the end yet, But at the end of the story. Your readers will expect to find out how you try to satisfy that need and whether you succeeded or not, Right, so a brief reminder of what is your inciting incident? The inciting incident is an event that happens early in the story. If you get going back to Cinderella story, it's not described right. The death of her father is just mentioned there, but we know it's important enough. It doesn't need to be described. It needs to be mentioned. The inciting incident, if you're writing about yourself, needs to happen to you, and the inciting incident is often set in motion by someone else, right? It's not you who is doing it. It's the circumstances that create a certain scenario, and then you have to find your way out of the circumstances. All right, so we're in tried. You can write a few different inciting incidents and see which one that looks more interesting to you in which one you would like to continue writing on Alright and then we'll continue 13. Lecture 13: Problem, goal, or desire: lecture. 13. The beginning problem. Goal or desire. When you start your story, you need to give you a character, a goal otherwise referred to as a problem or a desire. And as you're starting, think about the way or a way this goal, problem or desire will be resolved at the end of the story. And a lot of times it helps thinking of the ending of your story as you start right, because you know you have to address that goal right it at the end. So that's external events, right? What will happen? How will this goal be resolved? Are not resolved and internal. Think about the way your character, which could be you right if you're writing about yourself, will be changed by the end of the story. So you're looking at external events and internal change. Ah, desire line. You can think also off. The desire line is, ah, a plot of the story, and the desire line can include real events that actually happened. And it can also include your characters, characters, reflections of thoughts about what might have been or what still might be right. So it's a with the potential that you could be addressing as well as the reality in your story and desire. Lining is what gets the readers interested. They want to see a character, have a goal and try to accomplish it. They don't want to read about just happy people sitting on counters doing nothing. That's not a good story. So your story has to have this forward momentum, and that's created by the problems that your character is attempting to solve and by the actual attempts right to resolve that. Your opening scene. One of the main goals of the opening scene is the established conflict. It's your promise to the readers that something is going to happen in the story, that they have a really a reason for reading and that your character has a reason for telling the story. The conflict could be you versus another character, you versus nature. You versus society, you versus yourself, even your opening. See what kind of conflict couldn't be? Maybe family problems, romantic problems, misunderstandings that let the problems it can. I'm a gain or loss and many other conflicts of problems you could write about. These are just a few examples to get you started. Let's take a look at some of ah first lines and some opening scenes, some famous opening scenes or opening lines. For example, in Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man on the Sea, he says, Ah, he starts with. He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream, and he had gone 84 days now without taking a fish. So you read that first line. Do you see the problem? They see the conflict. Yeah, he doesn't have fish, and he's trying to fish. What issue going two days ago? The fine fish. How is he going to solve that problem? So in the very first line, the conflict that suggested and take a look at what else is here? We have the character, an old man who have the setting in a skiff on the Gulf Stream. So we have. We know we can it instantly. Imagine what the situation is just from the first line, so it's a really good opening. Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person that gets their attention to right, so we have lots of questions right away. So When did you discover it? How did you discover it? What does it mean? She had turned into the wrong person that she have a different plan for herself. What was that right person that she had expected herself to turn into so lots of questions here. Good. Good types of questions. They're not confusing us. They're making us want to read more. When the Gibson was a little boy, he was not the Gibson. Kind of interesting makes you think? Well, what is that concept of the Gibson? A celebrity. Ah, a famous person. How does he perceive himself? And what was he before he became the Dick Gibson, right? Severe, simple sentence on definitely gets our attention. The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there. This is a more philosophical opening. But again, it opens up with some kind of a conflict between the past and the present, or the character and his or her perception off the past. And that again can let you readers get interested in the story. All right, I'm going to give you a quote from Anton Chekhov, and this is a quote about how to make your writing more descriptive and how to show what's happening in your story to get your readers more in Erste. So take a look in descriptions of nature one must seize on Small details group in them so that when the reader closes his eyes, he gets a picture. For instance, you'll have a moonlit night if you write that on the mill dam, a piece of glass from broken bottle glittered like a bright little star and that the black shadow of a dog or a wolf rolled past like a ball. So if you look at that second sentence, he's there for only showing us what the Moonlight Moonlit night is. He didn't just say the moon was shining, so those descriptive details are very important. It's what creates aerial world for your readers and makes them more engaged in the story. We'll talk about using details in more detail later on in the course, but at least I'd like you to start. I'm thinking about the importance of small details, right? Here's an example. If you say Mary liked animals, well, it sounds like it's a specific sentence, but actually it's not. It doesn't give us any details, and it doesn't show mirrors character. They could look at the second line every night. Mary fed her £80 Labrador retriever all the best parts of what should have been her husband's T bone. It's very different, right? We know what animal she likes. We have the picture of that animal, and we also have a hint of her relationship with the dog versus relationship with your husband all in just one sentence. So that's a much better opening line or a much better line altogether than the 1st 1 just mere like the animals. And if word cliches water cliches, cliche comes from a French word that means stamp, so stamp. It's something that could be used. You know, the kids using Stanford crafts many times, and it's the same result all the time. So cliche is an overused expression, and they if you use cliches, your readers will feel like they've read the story before because they've read this language so many times before. So a few examples of a cliche hungry as a bear, quiet as a mouse fresh as a daisy. These are boring expressions come up with more specific ones, with more original ones going back the jobs quote. Remember the example of the moonlit night that was original and interesting, right? Eso try to use language like that when you're writing your story so something should change . What does that mean of when you're writing your story? The goal here is to show that you or your character discover, is that the task is more complex than you had anticipated. So that could be the beginning of your story. Or maybe you received disturbing news and that again, while you got this news now, what they're going to do, and that's what makes the readers want to read. You arrived to a new place. That's another kind of change or the physical change. And, of course, an emotional change. You meet someone who begins to influence you right away. That's interesting to write, so that could be a good beginning, or something happens in the world that will lead the major change in your life. Remember earlier we talked about how you could make two lists of events, events in the world and in events in the personal life. So see if you can find an event in the world that that you could start your story with that created the change in your own life. There could be other things to going back. The Cinderella example. Her dad dies, right? That's a change. Now what is she going to do? So think about the beginning. That inciting incident, opening scene with something that changes, that could be a good place to start, All right. 14. Lecture 14: Show your struggles: lecture. 14. The Middle Show Your Struggles. In the previous lecture, we talked about the opening scene and how you can start your story. Now we're getting to the middle. We have the goal, the problem or desire right, And now our character needs to attempt to solve that problem or accomplish the desire. That's what the middle ist for. So let's take a look at how you can do that. One thing. One question you can ask yourself is, Who is your adversary? An adversary is something or someone that stands in your way and prevents you from getting what you want. And it does not have to be an enemy. It could be somebody who loves you, and I'm sure you can find examples when you won't accomplish a goal. Maybe you want to go on an adventure, and somebody who loves you tell the Oh, no, don't go. It's dangerous, so they're acting out of good intentions. But they're preventing you from accomplishing your desire, right? So thinking in over the adversary in this brother sense no, just an enemy who wants to hurt you. An adversary could also be a circumstances. Ah, poverty, prejudices, illness, injury or a competing desire. Maybe you want to stay at home and take care of your family. But you also want to go on an adventure, and you can no do both right. So those conflicting desires can create an interesting dynamic for your story and especially for the middle of part of your story, adding complications. Complications are important in the story. You don't want your character to say, I want to accomplish this and they make the first attempt and I'm done. End of story. That's boring, right? Your character needs to show to use a cliche, but he or she is made off, right? They I need to show their through character trades. They need to be tested by their circumstances and what's the's? That's what these complications air for. Another way to lose it complicate to look at complications is to see it as desires that change based on our circumstances. So we talked about the Cinderella story. I remember him. Main desire is to leave the stepmother's house and to get a better life. But then she gets in the media desire more of a short term desire to go to the ball right then she gets to the ball so that desire has been satisfied. And it's not like a cam happened at the ball. I don't need anything else. She wants something else next. What is it? She wants to dance with the prince, and after the dance, she wants to marry the prince. And if you look at the list of desires so that last desire to mere the Prince is what could could lead her to accomplish her main desire, right? That's how she could leave the stepmother's house turning points when you're writing the outline of the middle part of your story. It's good, Teoh, but I think it works to match these desires to turning points. So if you look at the first turning point or the inciting incident actually write, the first turning point is called Inciting Incident was the death off Cinderella's father and that created the desire to leave the stepmother's house. Then she finds out that the Step Sisters air going to the ball and her desire based on the turning point based on the new knowledge, is to go to the ball. She goes to the ball right, and the turning point is when she sees the prince, and that creates the new desire, which is to dance with the prince. She dances with the prince, and she likes it. So what is her desire to marry the prince? The last 30 point and that last desire to mere the prince? That's your precipitating event. It marks the end of the middle. How denotes the end of the middle will think about. Your main desire is to leave the stepmother's house right in. That last turning point, like into danced with the prince, leads to the desire to mirror the prince. That can actually be the answer to her main desire. Right? That's how she could leave the house. 15. Lecture 15: Transition to the end: lecture. 15. The middle transition Through the end, we started talking about the middle of your story in the previous lecture, and we talked about turning points and desires that follow them. The section of the middle that suggests a transition to the end is the one that ends with a precipitating event or the last turning point that addresses the characters Main desire. If that doesn't make sense, that's okay. Let's take a look at the example. So what is your precipitating event? It's a turning point that happens before the end of the story. Remember, in Cinderella's example, she has a few different desires. Her main desire first desire was to get out of the house, and then the sequence of desires leads to the last one. Her desire to mere the prince. And that's the Precip. That's a desire that suggests the precipitating event is coming, because that will resolve how she addresses her main desire. A lot of times, that precipitating event is a turn of fate and the surprise for the main character. So in Cinderella, her last desire is to mere the prince. But then something has to happen right for the desire to Ah, have a chance at coming through. And what happens That event is the prince announces he will. He will, near the girl whose foot fits the glass slipper and after that of a transition from the middle of the story to the end of the story. So what I'd like you to do is in this lecture is, ah, do a turning points exercise. The purpose of that exercise is the practice, your story structure, especially the middle part. A lot of writers find that it's easy to start the story, and a lot of times they know how they wanted to end. But the middle part gets kind of boring because they don't know what events need to happen in the middle. To keep the middle part interesting and exciting for the readers and to have to have to build that forward momentum for your story. So what's the exercise? I'd like you to choose a novel that you like and that, you know well, right down the main characters may and desire, like a case of Cinderella. Her main desires to get out of the house, right, A list 30 points and associated desires like I did with central example and then write down the precipitating event again. That event is something that happens. That address is the main desire. Usually it's an external event, like in the Cinderella story. It's the announcement of the prince that he's going to mere the girl whose foot fits the glass slipper, make a list of all different forces developed in the middle and talk about how each force contributes to the final outcome. In Cinderella, What are the forces in the middle there? Cinderella's own desires. There's a stepmother. There's a steps the sisters in their, um, the fairy godmother. So all those characters have a specific role in the story, and they somehow contribute to that final outcome. So go ahead and do this exercise, and then we'll talk about what happens next. 16. Lecture 16: Crisis, climax, and final realization: lecture 16 with the end crisis climax and final realization. There are three parts to the end of any story. There's the crisis. There's the climax, and there's a final realization. Let's take a look at each one of these three parts. So the crisis you can think of the crisis as both as danger and as an opportunity or maybe danger. That leads to an opportunity in the Cinderella story. If you remember, at the end of the Prince finds the glass slipper and he says he's going to check all the ladies, all the young ladies in his kingdom and see who's shoe, whose foot fits the shoe. So the danger for Cinderella is that he might find somebody else whose foot fits that you. But there's also an opportunity. So there's one scene when the princess emissary comes to the two Cinderellas house and with shoe, and he tries the Step Sisters first, and they're feeder too big. They don't fit the shoe and Cinderella sitting in the corner, so that would be her opportunity. But let's think about in two different ways. Today's Princess. That or today Cinderella would probably be more assertive, and she would say, Well, I'm here. Let me try that you I bet my foot will fit so she would take advantage of that opportunity in the fear tail. That's not Cinderella's character. She is not assertive. She's waiting for the opportunity to come find her and reward her for her patients, for her sweetness, for her good behavior. So the opportunity comes to her versus she goes after the opportunity. So that's the difference with the changing times right in changing storytelling. But the opportunity is still present in that story. So what happens? The emissary tries to shoe Or or the Princeton tries to shoe, depending on what version of this story you're reading and the shoe fits and that's the climates. The moment when the shoe fits would know that the change is coming, and we know that the final and major pivotal event is about to happen off. What's that event? The prince chooses Cinderella right by the chew. That's the external event, and they get married. The internal is Cinderella stops thinking of herself as a poor servant, and we can say figuratively. A princess is born right and final realization, which you can also look as as the lesson of this story. The moral of the story. In Cinderella's case, if you're Sweden patient, a prints will find you and you will live happily ever after. We can debate how applicable that more list to today's life or even toe life at the time. But that's a different discussion, right? That's what the story is telling us whether you agree or disagree with a lesson. That's a different topic, but that's what the final realization is in a Cinderella story, all right. 17. Lecture 17: Let's outline your story: lecture. 17. Let's outline your story. Now that we talked about the basic elements of the story and the story structure, the beginning, middle and end, it's time to write an outline. Why outline? While outlining is much better than just doing free writing and hoping that that three writing is going to get you from the beginning to the end and reveal that structure. Some people like brainstorming, and that's fine, but I find that outlining is a little bit easier. You could imagine that story as you're outlining. You can play with the shape of the whole story without writing the whole thing. You have fewer words to work with, so it's easier to manipulate and easier. See the skeleton of the story before you start filling it with all the details so you can see that arc of your story and again, Caesar to change your outline is your right. And once you have your outline, then you can start filling in all the details, descriptions, conversations, all those things. So where do you start? I would start at the end. I would find the final key event. Remember, we talked about when you look at your life and different turning points. Each of the stunning points could signify the end of the story off a story, right? Meaning that something in the U has changed. We just talked about the Cinderella story. And once Shamir is the prince, what has changed? She is no longer a poor servant. She's now a princess, writes a major change and then we can look back and see what events led to that change. So step two would be fine. The main conflict. What conflict in me led to this final key event? What was it in Cinderella story? The main conflict was she was mystery, that she was abused. She wanted to get out off the bad situation. Right? Step through the inciting incident. So you see my questions here. When did you become aware off the conflict that got result in the key event? Where did the conflict begin? And what incited the problem in Cinderella story? For example, the inside the incident was the death off your father and probably she became aware of the problem when she started getting mistreated regularly by her stepfamily. Right? So think about that inciting incident in your story. Step for your problem. What problem was brought on by the inciting incident in Cinderella Story is just bad life and mistreatment and overall misery. Step five. Your desire. What did I want in response to my problem at the beginning of the story for Cinderella? She wants to get out, right? That's her main desire. Was there person? People are power that stood in the way off the satisfaction off my desire for Cinderella. It's probably both for poverty and that evil family she's living with. She couldn't just walk out of the house in the, uh, go to something else because of life circumstances, right? And because of who she waas interim pivotal events that initial desire, change or intensify at any point or points. I'm think about Cinderella story. She's living in misery, and she's suffering, but she eventually she gets used to it. Then she goes to the ball. She has a beautiful night. She dances with the prince. She has a amazing dressed right and glass slippers, and it's probably the most unforgettable night off her life. So do you think after that she can go back and live the same way she used to live? It's probably impossible. Her desire to leave is intensified at that point right after the ball Step eight emotional beats list each of your major changes in feeling or attitude next to each pivotal event of your story. So for Cinderella, it would be she's mistreated by her stepfamily. She hears that the sisters are going to the ball, she dances with the prince, and so all of those will be pivotal events. How does she feel it? Each point? Feelings are important that the story is not just a list of events. It's an exploration off the mental state of the emotional state of your character. So definitely, briefly right down the major changes in feelings or attitudes Step nine. Precipitating event. Was there an unexpected event that forced into crisis in that narrowed your options? Or was there an event that you anticipated that putting the crisis and we discussed it in depth for Cinderella story, her desire to marry the prince, and then the unexpected event off the prince, announcing He's gonna marry whoever used is able to fit into that shoe that he found, ah, crisis. Did you hit a low point that you despair come into danger. And how did the conflict between you and your adversary reached the peak? In Cinderella's point, she's problem. The spear. When she sees that the princes trying to fight the woman to marry, she doesn't think that women would be her. And the when she she's when the shoe fits, then of the conflict between her and the sisters is intensified because the sisters get and the mother get a stepmother get incredibly jealous off her. Ah, climax. Was there a moment of transformation when something in you or in your life changed? Was that the belief and need a feeling or a personality trait since and their elders external change right. She marries the prince an internal change. She no longer feels like a servant she feels and becomes a princess. Step 12 realization. What did you realize? That the moment of transformation that made the transformation possible? So Cinderella, not only she's becoming the princess by virtual nearing the prince, but she's also realizing that her status in life is now different. Right? So that's the realization and last one resolution Did something in your behavior change as a result of this realization and Cinderella story, maybe It's not as philosophical. We don't have that change in her behavior. But in real life stories. When we learned the lesson one realize something. We started behaving differently. Right? And we act differently. So what is it in you if there was such a change? All right, So you have your 13 steps, go ahead and try writing it and see if this outline, um, leads you to some interesting ideas. 18. Lecture 18: Section wrap-up: Hey there. How did the online the work out for you? I hope you feel more excited about writing a story Now that you have an idea about a weight structure, it finding the inciting incident can sometimes be a challenge. But don't worry about it. If you don't have one yet or you don't like the one you have, you can always change it later. As long as you have the genital structure of your story in mind, we can move forward in the next section, will talk about memories and reality and discuss how you can use your knowledge off the differences between the two to enhance your story. Let's get going. 19. Lecture 19: Section overview: Whether you're writing a memoir or a fictional story, you can use your own memories and your own experiences to make your story more engaging and more realistic. Depending on the project you have in mind, you can use a lot of real experiences or very futile experiences. But I hope that the exercises in the section help you flesh out some of the details needed for any story. We'll talk about ways that our memories form, what shapes them. And then we'll also talk about truth in memory eating. We'll practice retrieving some of our memories through free writing exercises and setting descriptions. Let's get started. 20. Lecture 20: What shapes our memories: lectures. 20. What shapes our memories? Something is when we think about a memory would tend to conceive of it as something similar to a recording done by camera, as if our memories just record events of without any emotional involvement. But that's not true. Our brains are not cameras, and they do not accord objective events whenever we remember an event whenever we experience it, our memory off the event itself is combined with our emotions about that event. And that's an important concept, especially if you're basing your novel on the through life events. Let's think about it some more. The past is gone. All have of it is our memories, so we cannot go back and we cannot relive those events. And we cannot to live those same emotions. These memories fade into the past and that they change shape depending on our position in life and depending on the lens from through which we look at those events. Think about an event that happened, I don't know. Maybe when you were in elementary school, and maybe your friend didn't invite you to a birthday party, and at that point, that event, that memory was probably one of the most traumatic events in your life. That's how you perceived it. So looking back at that event is your concept off a different is your memory of a different than the event you experienced? How about maybe 10 5 15 years from now, going into the future? Looking back at the same event, it required different significance so that memory will change shape. So the point here is that memories are not objective recordings of reality. But it's our perceptions of the events that happened. We'll talk about the lens that we look at A T. Events through that lens is, ah, our personal recollection, combined with a certain view that were attached to it. What what kind of you could it be? Religious view, political view, psychological view or mythological view? So all those are ways of understanding events of ways of seeing. So your religious perspective or lack of religious perspective will create an impression off. That same memory for you, different from somebody, has a different religious position. The same with political position, the same with psychological view. Ah, so it's interesting to examine how we see these events and what shapes of those events and those memories. It's so cute to have a certain perspective. Of course it's unavoidable. But it would be nice for us to examine our biases it right and tried to minimize them. It's this old saying about. Is your glass half full or half empty? It's the same glass, right? If you're seen at this half empty, why is that? If you're seen it, us have full recognized that that's how you see it. Why, Why is that? What is your psychological position that allows you to see the glass is half full or half empty? It's It's good to look at those biases and try to avoid distortions when the life one right about through life events. Simple memory versus reminiscence. And let's define simple memory as events that happened so you could list those events right , And they actually did happen in reality and those air events removed from their emotional significance. Reminiscence is much more interesting is our emotional experience off these events, and when you're writing a story when you're describing events in the story, the way you would create emotions is by descriptive details. You don't want to say I was happy I was sad. That's not very interesting. It's not your engaging for the readers. You should use descriptive details. Let's take a look at what I mean by that. So we're gonna look at two kitchen descriptions, and each of these descriptions will involve unopened refrigerator, a sink with some unwashed dishes at table with an unfinished meal, a broken wine glass and then over the overturned chair. So right now, this is just a objective recollection. Off events writer objects. It doesn't have specific emotional significance, but depending on how you remember that kitchen, remember that the moment your your memory in the way you write about it can be very different. So let's take a look at example, one So kitchen description. One. The refrigerator door hung partially open, washing the room in feeble light that turned everything in its path is sick. The green. Yesterday's dish is stewed, piled in the sink, slick with dishwashing liquid but still unwashed. Then, er, a congealing mess that was once garlic and lemon chicken lay untouched under the burnt out stops of candles under the table, shards of glass gleam dangerously as a stained, darkest blood spread its way across the floor away from the disaster on the table, in the overturned chair in front of it, toward the hallway in the darkness of the bedroom beyond. So what kind of emotions do you experience when you read the description? Something sinister? A hint of a murder, perhaps. Maybe murders too much, something unpleasant. So why do we get the some pleasant feeling what words stand out to you, and I'm sure you can find them, such as congealing mess, staying darkens blood. Uh, what else is here? Sickly green, right? Overturned chair. So all these things create kind of a negative, sinister impression, right? So you're creating this, the memory of the reminiscence of the event with these descriptive details. Let's take a look. A description to the candles had long since flickered out, and the only light came from the open refrigerator, making the whole kitchen look as if it were underwater. In the sink dishes Chinese with joy were stacked and waiting to be washed. The punch it out. Others of lemon and garlic filled the air. Not surprising, considering the chicken was still warm from the oven. Diamond bits of glass spark within the pull of wine red this fire that was even now making its way across the floor, away from the untouched meal on the table and the haste to the over inter chair in front of it, toward the hallway in the dimly lit bedroom beyond. So it's the same details, right? But the way this kitchen is described create severe, different impression. It's much more positive, maybe suggests romance suggests, Ah, something much more positive, much more pleasant. How does that do that? This has Shania with joy, right, waiting to be washed, the sense of anticipation. The chicken was slightly warm from the oven. It's no longer congealing mess, right, that severe, different description that broken glass is described. This diamond bits wine red, this fire right? Not as blood, so different comparison. So you can see how you can shape your memories by the words you use, and you can create a very different impression off the same scene. So I'm innocents. To go over it again is more than just the fact. Remember, with their two kitchen descriptions, who had the same set of facts? But we mix that memory with imagination. If end with those descriptive details and reminiscence is much more complex, more interesting, more engaging for you readers than a simple memory. Or it s a reminiscence is what you really want to include in your novel. 21. Lecture 21: Truth in life stories: lecture 21 Truth in Life stories. So in this lecture, what I'd like you to do is think about how you want to present your story you're writing. Are you writing a memoir, or are you writing a novel? Let's talk about what you can do or in what you need to do if you're writing a memoir, if you're writing a life life story, this is very different than writing a novel in terms of leaders expectations. If you're calling something in a memoir, your readers expected to be true in certain ways. Let's take a look at exactly what I mean. I'm sure you watch movies. And in movies there's their different levels of truth. There's a documentary, so if the movie says it's a documentary, we expect it to be the facts right about people that existed or exists in about things that actually happened, then the next level is a movie that's based on a true story that's much more of a loose connection. We know that movie makers can take certain liberties with the true story, but the major events will still expect them to be true when it says, inspired by a true story that pretty much means that the only truth in in that movie is just that the fact that the moviemakers were inspired by something that happened and they can take lots of liberties and that movie is, ah, convey very close to a fictional movie. So when you write in your book, what do you want it to be? They wanted to be an equivalent off a documentary or something that's inspired by a true story. You can do it any way you want, but you need to label it correctly. And let's talk about that. What are you interested in? When you're writing of this story? Are you interested in the truth? Do you want to tell the truth about certain events or they want to tell a good story? Or maybe your goal is both. You have to decide how you want to do it and what you want to do, and it will define whether you're going to write a memoir or a novel objective, truth versus poetic truth. What this objective truth. It's like we discussed in the previous lecture. Maybe it's the same as the difference between the memory and the reminiscence objective truth is what actually happened. The events that happened, Can the life story be objective? Maybe the answer is yes and no. You could describe the events that happened in an objective way, but at the same time, they're going going to be colored by your perception of reality. So that perception that interpretation will be subjective. So does that mean that any life story is a subjective version of reality? Perhaps, but still your readers. If you're writing a life story, if you are labeling it as a memoir, your readers expect a certain level of truth. So again, fiction is made up and the author knows it, and the readers know it. And that's perfectly fine. Subjective truth, like in the memoir, is the authors version off events, right? So it's your interpretation off events that actually happened. If you want to write fiction, that's perfectly fine. But do not call it the Life Story or a memoir. Then call it a novel. If you want to base your novel on through life events, you can absolutely do it. You can be. You can start with life events, then change them in any way you would like and call it a novel. Writing a novel gives you a lot more freedom in what you can do with those life events. If you're rising a memoir, a true life story, the readers trust you not to lie about your perceptions, your feelings and your motivations. Right, those air subjective. But they expect you to tell the truth about them. And the readers also trust you not to lie about your actions and actions off others. Disclaimers of When you're writing a memoir. You do need to include a disclaimer and here, a couple of ways you could do that. Readers don't expect you to be documenting your life events right from from birth to the present day and recount them in exactly the same way they happened. Eso here some ways you could write a disclaimer. Some names and biographical details in this book have been altered, or you could write what I have been unable to remember fully. I have allowed my imagination to fill in, or you could write or maybe include that as well. To protect the privacy of certain individuals, I have disguised their identities. I have taken poetic license with the order of events for the sake of the story. So those disclaimers are important to include eso that your readers don't feel cheated or lied to. And again, this only applies to memoir. If you want to write a novel, you can make up whatever you want and my disclaimers. I'm not an attorney, and the laws related to memoirs are complicated. So, um, differently. Check with your agent publisher in the attorney before publishing your life story. If all of us is too intimidating, you can write a novel on based on your life. I'm instead, so the choice is up to you. 22. Lecture 22: How to retrieve memories: Lecture 22. How to retrieve Memories Whether you decided you're going to write a memoir or if you want to write a novel of based on your life, either way, you need to retrieve your memories. And sometimes that's not easy to do, but their specific tips and techniques you can use to help you remember things better and in more detail. So let's take a look at some of these techniques pictures. Old photos are a wonderful way to retrieve those memories. And when you look at those pictures, ask yourself specific questions. Look at the details. Look at the specific Out with your wearing, Let's say and ask yourself, Why was I wearing this outfit? If there are the people in the picture, um, think about your relationship with people and how you felt about the people at that moment and maybe how you feel about them today. What was the event that's been documented? How did you feel about the time that place that event and what was not in the photo? That's a more difficult question to answer, but it's an important one, right? Ah, so photos are not exactly reflecting the reality that's happening but it's, ah there more reflecting off the reality we would like to create, Right? So what was not in the picture? What else was there? That's another good question to ask. As you look at pictures, listen to music. What music did you listen to at that point in your life? What music was popular? Where did you listen to that music? Who did you listen to? That music with So all those questions again can help you re create the time. And listening to that same music can help you trigger some more memories that at that point right now, maybe you're not aware off. So as you're trying to write down your memories, you could try playing the music that you used to listen to at the time that you writing about. But remember, objects, I'll think about objects that seem to be symbolic over time, you writing about and I have some examples from my childhood. One thing I remember about my grandmother and I used to spend a lot of time with her in the summertime. She always had this amazing white hat. It was starched the perfection and show his word because she tried to protect herself from the sun. So when they think about that white hat, think about my grandmother. It brings back some summer memories from my childhood, my mom's sewing machine. In the winter time, I would wake up, and a lot of times on the weekend I would sleep in late, and that would wake up to the sounds of my mom's sewing machine in the kitchen. So that's another memory that they could build on and could develop and objects related to my dad. He was a cameraman. He loved taking pictures, and he had this old leather camera bag that I would always see. It was in his room where it was on the table. He would have his camera there. He would have film some old pictures. So that's an association with my dad, right? And traveling with him, taking pictures together, us again, that one object. Bring back a lot of memories of certain events of a certain time in your life. So if you can think about objects like that, describe living spaces. Get when I think about my childhood. One of ah, the memories I have is my neighbors really long hallway and It was dimly lit, and it seemed like there was always this white, super fat cat that was always sleeping in the corner of that hallway. And then I can. From that, I can remember. Why was that? Was I there? What was my relationship with a neighbor? And they can go on to retrieve some more memories. Tin roof with sounds of pounding rain, especially in the summertime. That's, Ah, more of a sensory memory sensor members are important. They can help you remember events of the view from my grandmothers to the apartment again thinking about that, you makes me think about what? How I perceived things. At that time, there was this tall sky rise. It looked like a castle to me. And that again, could the help you get into your childhood memories, right? Memories like that. Research. That's a very OH useful thing to do. And now it's pretty easy with the Internet. Read about the events that happened at that time, especially if you're trying to connect your life story with some events in the world. Look at online images of your settings that can help us while they can bring more details into your memories and, of course, talking to family members and friends who remember that same time. Don't be surprised when they remember the same events in their different ways. That's normal. But they could. That could help give you a new sense of perspective. All right, so here's some of the ways I hope you find them useful, that that could help you retrieve your memories. 23. Lecture 23: Start by free-writing: lecture 23 start by free riding. Starting a project is often the most difficult part, right? We said expectations that may bear too high or we start doubting ourselves. Can I do it? Can I not do that? Should I write in next the American greatest novel Eso. These things can prevent us from actually doing what we would like to do and prevent us from writing. And the free writing is a very good way to get started. And to get out of that mindset off all made bacon a do it and of all these doubts, So free writing. What is it? How the ideas you with free writing, You set your timer, find it up a topic and you write without stopping. And the goal here is to write fast to not think about what you're writing, not go back and edit, Right? So just set a timer and start writing. How long should you? Right? I think five minutes is a good starting point. Five minutes is not too intimidating. Anybody can can ride for five minutes, right? So it's very reasonable. Accomplish a ble goal. And what is your topic? Right? You need the topic. If you're writing a novel based on your life story, then I have some suggestions what you could do. You could write about your earliest memory or your most recent memory. You could write a time when you felt what it is like to be a woman or a man. Your first kiss, actually any first. Any first experience is a good the way to start in a good way, a good topic to write about because their first experiences with anything tend to be quite memorable. Maybe an embarrassing moment. A funny moment. So pick one of them or you could try writing on all of them are five minutes per topic. Pick one topic and start them writing. So that's That's how you do free writing and what's the goal of rewriting? Want to do it when you want to come up with new ideas so that the exploration stage when you feel stuck in your current project, you could also use free writing as a warm up exercise Before you start writing, you could write first thing in the morning. You could right before you go to bed and you think five minutes is not a long time. But if you do it consistently, those minutes start adding up and those pages start adding up and you will feel more comfortable with writing. And also you will feel that right. It leads to more writing, and you're going to get more ideas and your style improved, so free writing is a really, really good exercise. 24. Lecture 24: Start by describing a place: lecture 24. Start by describing a place in the last lecture with it, an exercise on three writing, right, and you were describing the specific experience, and that could be a very effective way to get started with a writing project. Another good. The technique is to start by describing a place we exist in a time in a place right, and the settings are environment effects us and shapes us in many different ways. So writing about the place seems like a logical place to get access to your memories. Or, if you're writing a novel, if you write the complete fiction to create a specific world of four your readers, so let's try something different instead of starting with writing, let's start by drawing. And don't worry, you don't have to be a great artist. To draw this, take a large piece of paper, take a pen or pencil and draw the floor. Plan off the house that you would like to describe the house or an apartment, and this could be if you're writing a memoir, could be a real place. If you're writing fiction, then you could make it up and include details like always bathrooms, front yards, backyards, balconies of things like that. It doesn't have to be super detailed. Nobody else needs to look at it. Just tried it so that it becomes clear in your imagination. I know that you've drawn of this. Approximate idea of what that house saw an apartment looked like. Think about and again, you can adjust it to yourself or the fictional character. If you're writing fiction, how did you usually get to that place? Did you take the freeway? Did you drive that? You take a bus that you walk? Was there a different way to get there? Described that way? How did you enter? Did you go to the garage? Through the front gate? Maybe up the steps. How did you enter? So think about the details off of all the movements of how you're accessing the place. Once you enter the house in your mind, think about what room are you going to walk into? Choose a room and imagine that you're walking into that room, right? So that you get into the room once you did. Let's describe the room. What do you see when you first walk in? What do you know? this. Maybe you know this furniture. What furniture is there? How is it arranged? And then start looking at more details. Is there a fire fireplace? Is there a bookcase? Other cub boards? What's in them? What kind of lighting is there? Are the rugs or carpets? Is this day or night? What kind of lighting is there because of their day or night? And you can ask yourself other questions. But these air good to begin with. And hopefully, as you start them responding to these questions, more ideas will come to mind. So now that we have a description of your setting, um, think about yourself. So remember you were entering the room, right? What age are you? Describe your thoughts and feelings at the Tate at that age about that place in about that room. Is there anybody else in the room? Who else is there? Are you interacting with, um describe your interactions with those other people in that room? Also take a few minutes to answer those questions to write it and then take a break pause. And then she read what you've written and try to bring yourself back to the present. So you are describing right your experience at that moment at the time, in place. And now, from today's perspective, look at that same time in place in yourself and add your current thoughts and feelings about the place the true, that house or apartment and yourself at that age and about others. Looking at the then and now perspective helps your story acquire a more interesting depth, right in a different perspective. All right, so go ahead and try and do this exercise, and this exercise is attached the course materials so you can read it as you Indeed, all the questions as you're doing it. All right, I hope you enjoy it. 25. Lecture 25: Section wrap-up: How did you like the setting exercise in the section? I hope you like that Some things are important because a lot of our emotional memories are associating with settings with their homes, with streets, towns and other locations. And if these settings are important to people, toe us people in the life. But they should be shown in our stories as important or characters as you develop your story. Keep working on settings and make sure to use your own memories for your story, especially your own emotional memories. That's what will help you connect you to your readers. Emotions is what makes reader scare body characters. So show these emotions in your stories. One way the show emotions is through voice, and that's what we'll talk about in the next section. 26. Lecture 26: Section overview: in this section will talk about voice in storytelling will define what voice ISS, and we'll look at some interesting ways to use voice to make your story multi dimensional. What way to do is to do this the combined your your past voice and your present voice. This technique works especially well. If your story deals with the characters present and his or her past. Well, look at the techniques that can help you hear your own voice and develop it in writing, and we'll discuss the differences between the writing voice and your speaking voice. All right, let's get started. 27. Lecture 27: What is voice in creative writing?: lecture. 27. What this voice in creative writing. I'm sure you've heard it, and maybe you've even said it yourself many times when you like a book, when you like a story, maybe you're going to say, Oh, this writer has such an engaging voice or the voice of the striders seems so authentic, so real, so believable. Ah, voice is an important characteristic of any creative writing, but sometimes it's hard to define exactly. So let's talk about what is it and how you can create your own unique, authentic and engaging voice so voice we can define. It is your unique style that's a shaped by your attitude, your personality and your character. And how is it represented in a story by your unique vocabulary by your imagery by tone, rhythm, speech and thought patterns When you are thinking about voice, whether you're trying to create your own voice in your story or your thinking about somebody else's voice as you read in your book here, some of the questions to think about what is the age, the social status, personality, life experience of this character? Where does the character live? Who involved does the character care about what does the scared to like to do? What is here, she afraid off. And what does he or she want most of all? So all those questions will shape the character and will effect how she or he talks. Let's take a look at a couple of examples. Let's say your character is describing hot weather and let's say you're writing in the first person point of view. Here's an example. It was so hot, even my shirt was all stuck to my back. And what I really wanted was a blue Popsicle or maybe Gatorade. My mouth got all watery thinking about it, which made it worse. Even so, you can think about what kind of character do you have in your mind as you read it? Is it somebody younger, Maybe a teenager, maybe in their early twenties? Is this character female or male? Of Where does the scare toe live? Who does he or she interact with? Right, So you, of course, it's severe short segment here, But even from that short segment, you're beginning to get a feeling off who that character is, And if that's not clear, let's take a look at the different example, so you can see the difference between two different voices. And again, we're going to go with the same idea of hot weather and the very similar scenario. This one is in the third person point of view. So if he felt the sweat tickling and trailing down the small of her back and soak in her gauzy white blouse, she ran a hand through her hair, which felt even longer and thicker in the humidity off the afternoon. So you see, the vocabulary is different. The cadence, the rhythm is different. We have a different perception of who this person is. The Misha sounds more sophisticated and more reserved than that first character. All right now, let's set, try and do an exercise, and the we're going to start with this. Take a topic. Pick any topic you want. Maybe current events. Mayor, Maybe politics. Today's weather. What she did earlier today doesn't matter. Any little topic, and right, just a few sentences about it. You don't need to think about your voice consciously. Just try it anyway you want, and then what I'd like you to do is rewrite that segment in four different ways. Think about the 1st 1 could be. Think about a teacher that you have or had and think about. How would the teacher say it? What words would they use? How would they phrase of the same the same point that you're making in their voice? Then he righted A like your grandma would would say, Say the righted, like your best friend would do it and is your favorite celebrity. So you're gonna end up with five different segments, right? Written from off with five different voices. When you're done with that, we're going to another exercise that will help you focus on the your voice and shape it for different circumstances. And that will be very helpful when you, especially when you're a dialogue in your story so you can develop different voices for different characters. So rewrite that same piece. But keep a specific audience in mind. And I have some suggestions. A teacher, your grandmother president, your favorite celebrity, your best friend. So again they're gonna rewrite that piece five different times, trying to adjust your voice to a specific audience. Once you're done with that, you're going to have a bunch of different pieces, right and I'd like you to look at them and start comparing them. Can you name the tone in each piece? Can you look at the words and think about why you chose those words and how those words create an attitude? So see if you can see the differences and discover how you created those differences and, of course, ah, the best way to practice voice. And that's it's a little difficult to develop the true authentic voice and writing. So one of the best ways to do it is to start looking at your favorite authors and see how they create their own voice can the and asking the same questions. Can you name the tone? Can you identify how the tone and attitude are created by the words your author chooses? All right, so voice. It's important to take some time to develop. But I hope these exercises are helpful in creating your own voice or different voices for different characters. 28. Lecture 28: Learn to hear your own voice: Lecture 28. Learn to hear your own voice. This lecture is applicable if you're writing a memoir and if you're rising a novel if you're writing a memoir, this is especially important because you're writing about yourself, your true self, your authentic self. So your voice needs to come on through here clearly, if you're writing a novel and if you're new to it, I think you can use this exercise to develop the voice of your narrator. I'm not saying that all novels are written in the same voice that the author has. Some authors create a different style of narrator like Edgar Allan Poe. If you look at his stories, a lot of his narrator's Adar crazy killers. I don't think Edgar Allan Poe was exactly like that, so he's creating a different voice. But if you're new to novel writing, it makes sense to start by developing your own voice and using that voice as the voice of your narrator. So let's take a look at how you can do that. How to find your voice. So ask yourselves some of these questions. Are you writing in the King's English that you were taught in school unless you're the king , this is not your voice right? Or have you been writing too many business letters or legal briefs or academic papers or something else that requires a specific form, a specific vocabulary that also is not your voice? That's kind of a formalized the generic voice, right? Are you trying to improve? And I put improve in quotation marks your style because you think it's not good enough. I see this thing with my students a lot. The writing in Essen, and they feel they don't have enough good vocabulary rest, as they call it. So they go into a thesaurus friend the longest wars they confined and put them in, and these words realistic, out in the sound, very unnatural. I'm not saying they shouldn't use big words if they come naturally to you, and your voice is very formal or, you know a lot of big words is my students like to call them. That's fine. But, um, don't try to improve your style artificially just by adding big words to it. So then ask yourself other questions. Do you write anything informal like emails, text messages? No, it's things like that. That's where you're more likely to find your voice if those emails, of course, are informal, right? I'm not talking about business emails, necessarily. So they informal I'm writing is where your voice is more likely to be found and your informal I'm writing. Voice is close to your true voice, but it's still not quite it, and we can do some exercises to help you develop it. How to find your voice? Well, the first thing you can do and it sounds simple, but it's a little bit more, more complex when they actually try it. Figure out what you want to write and just tried it. Don't think about how it's going to sound on paper, saying to yourself first and then write it. A lot of times I see it with my students. They would tell me that they don't know how to express a certain idea. And then they just asked him, Can you tell this idea to me? Just say it any way you can, and when they say it, it starts to come across quite clearly, maybe not 100% clear, but it least it's better than just being stuck in front of a blank screen. A lot of times we need to talk to be able to think so. Saying your words out loud and then writing them can definitely help. What what else can you do? Read your writing to wonder more trusted readers, meaning people who know you well and who are going to be honest with you and have them tell you where they hear your voice in your writing. And that could be a good exercise. It can give you a different perspective off how your voice sounds to others. What else can you dio if you're still stuck on? I don't know how to say then, writing. You can speak instead of typing and just record your voice using one of those voice to type programs in the sea. See how that works if you have someone to speak to. Sometimes the results will be better, because you'll feel it's a more natural environment, so you'll be able to present your words in a more natural way and the last one. But not least as they say, I think it's very effective. Start a diary that you will not share with anyone, and that's important if you start thinking that somebody is going to read it, then you're going to be changing your voice. But imagine that you're not going to shared with anybody. And if you want to, you can ride it and delete what you're writing if that helps you. But that exercise, especially if you do it for a while maybe good for a month, you're going to start seeing some differences. We're gonna start seeing your natural voice emerge. Well, I hope these suggestions have been helpful. 29. Lecture 29: Speaking voice vs. writing voice: Lecture 29 Speaking Voice versus Writing Voice In the previous lecture, we talked about how you can start developing your natural voice by riding the way you talk right by right in the way you speak and even by using voice the type programs So your text is recorded right from your speech, and that's a very good start, but it needs some tweaking. It needs some editing because there's a difference between your speaking voice and how it sounds and how your writing voice should sound. So let's take a look at these differences when you speak. We of everybody tends to repeat things or use filler words or use pauses. So and then speech. It's accepted, right, because we tend to think as we speak. So it's okay to have that repetition filler words read. The language should be more precise than spoken language, and it should be more condensed. So after you have your first draft written, you should go back and see if you can clear. If I think specify things and take out some of the repetition. Some of the unnecessary explanations. Possibly another suggestion is to use your natural diction and, of course, natural will be different for different people. But generally it's good to try and avoid flowery or abstract words. Using specifics is generally better than using abstract words. Don't use too many modifiers, meaning adjectives, adverbs, descriptions off off people or objects that can slow down the pace of your story. Avoid long and complicated sentences. And again, I'm not saying never used them. But if all your sentences are long and complicated, they're difficult to read. And plus, if you don't have a variety of sentence length, then it creates kind of a monotonous space. Look at your favorite writers, most of them with very a longer sentence with the shorter one. Sometimes they use one word sentences. So look at your favorite novels and see what they do in how they very sentence length trying to with unnatural or academic language. Meaning, you know, don't go the into the source. Find the longest word you can find and stick it in your text. Now that doesn't work, it will stand out, and it will not feel natural to your readers. And, uh, don't try to heart meaning don't use literal language on purpose just to use that language and kind of to show off. If the metaphor. If an image comes natural to you, of course, that's fine. I don't feel like you cannot use it. But don't try too hard to make your story unnecessarily. Literary. Ah, balance flavor with with clarity. So what? This flavor things like phonetic spelling. And they have an example here. Phonetic spelling makes ah slows down your readers. Makes your story hard to read, trying to limit slaying of a specific time or place because you don't know where your readers air coming from and they might have a hard time, I'm understanding it. You can use it in dialogue a little bit, but again limited. You don't want to make your story more difficult to read than it needs to be a limit. Professional jargon. Obviously, if you write the medical thriller or maybe 1/4 the story, then you're going to be using some of the professional jargon. But don't use too much of it. You don't want to limit your readership to people in the discipline. Right? And the limit. The use of present tense A stories are best told in the past tense. And why's that? Because the present tense. Even though it presents this immediacy of events, it doesn't allow us to reflect on the events right. It takes some time for us to absorb events in our life and reflect on them. So when you write the story in the present tense, it's hard to include those reflections. When you write the story in the past tense and that's, Ah, a common 10 straight stories in then it's natural to add those reflections. 30. Lecture 30: Combine your past voice with your present voice: lecture Thursday. How to combine your past voice with your present voice. If you're writing a memoir, then you're actually means you right, because you're writing about yourself. If you're writing a novel, then you can apply the same suggestions to your main character off the whole story or to your point of view character in specific scenes. Right. And it can work with the first person Lord, narrator or with the third person. Narrator But the idea is the same. We're going to try and combine the two voices one from the past one from the present. So what does that mean? So if you're looking at your protagonist, then ah, your protagonist, perhaps you writing about the past. So your protagonist maybe is your younger self right? The person in the past and the narrator is the older self in the present. So think about that for a minute. You're telling a story, right? You're telling a story today about events that happened in the past. So your voice today is combined with the voice off that same character in the past, and the dramatic tension between the two can add more interest to your story. So the protagonist, which is your main character yourself in the memoir or your point of view character in the novel. This is more immediate voice that you can excuse to express feelings and observations of the character at the time these events happened, and your narrator is more reflective. Voice. You're looking back at the events and you're describing those events from the present perspective. Problem or analysis may be a different point of view. You know how within to rethink events in their meaning as time goes by. So that's your narrator's voice, which is different from the protagonists. Voice Ah, flexibility of a composite voice while you have the same person. But you can show changes in that person over time, and you can get different points of view from on the same person, right? A czar experiences change as our thinking about certain events changes. We can see the same situation differently as time goes by. So that that the composite voice as more interest, more depth to any story, whether you're writing a memoir or you're writing a novel and your narrator can have that perspective and certain things that happen and his or her past some phrases to use for a composite voice, and this is just a few examples. I'm sure you can come up with better ones, but this is just to get you thinking about the past and the present. Before then, I had felt a certain way. Right now, I feel differently Later I imagined, or then I thought. Now I realize I used to believe, and you can also use it composite voice to look at the future in the future. I made the side. So again, I'm not saying they have to use all these phrases. These phrases are your thinking tools, right to help you imagine those two perspectives and see how you can combine them in your story. 31. Lecture 31: Stay true to your world: lecture 31. Stay two to your world, and we're still talking about your voice and the language of your using and how that language can help you create the real world of your story. So let's take a look at what you can do. Ah, voice and figurative language. Figurative language are similes and metaphors to create consistent voice. Make sure that your similes and metaphors are based on experiences from your own life. Or, of course, from the life of your characters. Is if you're writing a novel, let's see what that means. So first off, what is a metaphor and metaphors? A comparison of two undulated concepts. If you're famous, metaphor is by William Shakespeare. All the world's a stage, so he's comparing the world to a stage. There's just one sentence, but you can make your stories more interesting if you use what's called an extended metaphor when you start thinking about well, if all the world is a stage, what the people do in it, and then in what the life events represent and you can continue with that metaphor. So here's what she exploded with his metaphor. Here's how he made an extended metaphor out of it all. The world's a stage and all the men and women, merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man and his Stein plays many parts, right? So that's more interesting. Of course, in just all the world's a stage, it explains things a little bit more, and it extends that metaphor over a longer course of your story. And if you have to know a metaphor versus simile, and not to the much difference in terms of how we use them, the only difference is that simile has like in it. So metaphor is all the world's a stage If Shakespeare Oh, that all the world is like a stage, that would be a simile. But it's the same idea. You're comparing toe objects that are unlike each other. What you should do is avoid mixed metaphors. I've heard this of business meetings. It's our turn that bad. So let's make this touchdown for the company with the second our turn that bad. That's baseball, right? Touchdown. Isn't that football? So which meta for using a replay in baseball or football. So it's best to stick to the same world of the metaphor Unless, of course, you want to have fun with the mixed metaphors and use it as a joke. So, for example, there to metaphors. I'm sorry. Two expressions. Let's cross that bridge when we come to it or don't burn your bridges. So what you could do is you can combine it, will and save will burn that bridge when we come to it. So that's intentional mixing of metaphors, right? And that's done for humorous purposes to get reader's attention. And that's fine, too, dio. But just make sure that if you're mixing metaphors, there's a reason behind it. You're not just making a mistake. Ah, metaphors of your world. So this is going back to the idea that I'm think about, Where is your story set? What are your experiences or your characters experiences? Can you stay through that world? Just a quick example. John Didion and slouching towards Bethlehem. She's writing about California, and the some of a lot of her metaphors have to do with California. At one point, she rides like hot wind winding down Kahan Pass. Kahan Pass is in Southern California, so it makes sense that this is what she's used to write and it makes sense that that's the comparison would naturally come to her mind. So an example. If you're writing these ideas fit together like Lego pieces or like Matryoshka dolls. Which metaphor is better while the depends on who you're writing about? If you're writing about, I don't know an American kid. Maybe Lego pieces would be a better metaphor. If I'm writing about something in Russia, then Matryoshka dolls would be probably more interesting metaphor because Matryoshka czar Russian wooden dolls nesting dolls that fit one into the other So it would be a better metaphor to use in the trash in context. So it's not like one of these metaphors is better than the other always, but it depends on your world. And what would make sense for the story that you're telling? 32. Lecture 32: Section wrap-up: Welcome back. We've done a lot of preparation for your story already. By now, you should have the general structure of your story, some memories to work with. If you settings in some ways to develop your voice Now, I hope you're ready to move on and start populating a story with characters with people. That's an exciting part, isn't it? This with the next section is about Let's get started. 33. Lecture 33: Section overview: in this section will talk about characters. I think trading characters is one of the most exciting and aspect off a historical process . By writing a story, you're creating your own world and you are the master of the world. So you get to decide what characters should live in that world. If this sexual will talk about ways to create the main character and they said, create, even though you may be writing about yourself, there's a difference between you in real life and you in the book, and we'll talk about this difference and what to do about it. In this next section. We'll also talk about choosing secondary characters, and we'll look at effective ways to describe your characters. Let's get started. 34. Lecture 34: The main character: Lecture 34. The main character. If you are writing a story about yourself or based on your life, try to acquire an outside perspective. And actually, that applies. If you're writing a story about made up characters to think about, what did people always ask you? So that can give you an idea of what kind of things people are interested in about your life? Or about your knowledge that you could put into a story? And let's take a look at the simple example. These are very mundane questions, but if we dig into them a little bit deeper, we can find the story in them. It can start with the word you get your hair cut. How did you make your marriage work for 30 years? How did you recover from whatever traumatic event it is? What was it like growing up in wherever you grew up? So if you look at these questions, you can apply them to yourself if you're basing your novel on yourself or you can apply them to your characters and the answer these questions about your character. But think about what are the really asking People read books to learn from experience of characters, and people talk to others a lot of times to apply experiences of others to themselves. So maybe they're asking, would I be able to do what you have done and how would they do that? Or maybe they're asking, Could this happen to me and how would they handle it? So those are the deeper questions that you can certainly address in your story as you show your characters on trials and tribulations. Sometimes people say, Well, my life is normal. There's nothing exciting about my life. What am I going to write about? But normal is normal is good, but normal doesn't mean it's ordinary doesn't mean it's the same. Most people have not grown up the way you have drawn up, and maybe you're not thinking that way. But if you pause for a second, you realize that your childhood was different was unique. Most people have not done what you have done. Whatever this, they have not done it. They have had a different life. Most people haven't experienced life. The way you have these things might be obvious, but it's amazing how many beginning writers forget that. And, uh, I feel that they have more story to tell. Yes, you do have a story to tell the value of feedback. This is really helpful, especially when you write your first draft and you don't need to have professional writers . If alien the your story necessarily just the have people who care about you care about your story redid. And, ah, these two ways off you back are excellent. I wish you would write more about just ask them what they want me to write more about. Or is there some something they didn't understand? And they could just say I didn't understand this part, and you don't need to be defensive on this. Say it. And of course, they get a few different opinions and see if you can phrase things better. This kind of feedback is very valuable of what to ask yourself. One question is in my taken for granted that the readers know everything I dio. This is a question that I always ask myself on the right. My novels. I said them in Russia, and I'm writing in English for American audience. So I was have to ask that question. What am I taken for? Granted and am I forgetting to give necessary information, and it helps to have Ah, your readers, your friends, right? Who could give you some feedback? Help you answer this question? Just ask them. What do you not understand? What information would be helpful? What questions they have. What can I add To make the story more clear and to make the setting more interesting? Do you see a story in your life? Maybe If you want to write about yourself and you still feel while there's no story, ask someone you know and trust to tell you your story. How do they see your life? What do they do, they think are the major events in your life. And then when you hear that, the little give you an idea for what kind of what parts of your life you can focus on in your book and then develop your story. Of course, from your perspective, 35. Lecture 35: To brag or not to brag?: lecture. 35. To brag or not to brag, this is an important question. If you're writing a memoir, and especially if you're writing a memoir about an accomplishment, you don't want to come across as somebody who is bragging right, that's not very attractive to your readers. So how can you do this? How can you write about an accomplishment and still make sure that your leaders like you? Well, there's certain techniques you can use. Let's take a look. So if you're writing about an accomplishment and you're saying I designed the first something, I discovered something. I completed something. Ah, this is interesting for your readers. But how do you moderate your tone so that this writing about an accomplishment doesn't come across as both full? Let's see, you need to find the right voice. So generally, what happens if you're writing just on objective in personal account about your accomplishments that can come across as bragging. What the solution to this is to show a bit of your personality, to show yourself as a real human being right now, just the this accomplished the person who does amazing things and that the way to do it distinct. Let some embarrassing moments. Moments of self doubt may be self deprecating humor and show your vulnerability. Those things would moderate the accomplishments you writing about and make your story more relatable, more interesting, and you'll show yourself from a more attractive perspective. And I would say, the of thumb is, the more you have accomplished, the more attractive, modest two becomes. So the bigger your accomplishment of the more you need to moderate it with these techniques that we talked about. 36. Lecture 36: A hero or a victim?: lecture, 36 a hero or a victim. And this lecture specifically concerns those of you who are writing as life story, and especially if you're writing a life story about dramatic events, difficult events and how you overcame those events. Those stories can be very interesting, very meaningful, and they're definitely worth writing. But you have to have the right approach, the stories that have to do with your difficult traumatic experiences. So let's take a look at the few things you can dio. So how do you write about painful memories? One suggestion I have is put some distance between the memory and writing about it. If this just happened, and if the emotions are still raw, you can definitely write a journal, and that will help you heal, but of way to write a book about it. Other people are not traded to read about it, and you are not ready to read about it in the way that will make a connection to the readers. Because when you first experience an event, you are probably angry. You're very upset. Your said your very strong emotions, and that can bring bring about shallow writing and really angry tone, and that doesn't come across well in the book again. In your diary, in your journal, you can do whatever you need to do to heal and overcome it. But give yourself some time to hell and see a meaningful story that you can share with others. Avoid self pity again. The same suggestion. Take some time to heal and reflect. Create emotional distance so the emotions are not as raw and also create intellectual distance meaning. Give your mind a chance. The process Not just your heart, but your mind. A chance to process these events and you'll be able to write about them in the more engaging way in the more interesting way. He'll then, right so you can write for different reasons. You can write to hell. Oh, absolutely, and you can write it in your journal. You can try to understand your experiences of that's again, something you should do in your journal. But when you've done some of that and you're ready to tell a story, then you can start writing for the readers. So get my advice about writing about painful memories is right for yourself. First in your journal in your diary without thinking of plot or character development, just right to heal first. And then when you have that, then you can start writing for the readers and shaping the story in a way that readers will appreciate. Find the right voice and the supplies to Anya writing. You do avoid general statements like Always and never. It's much better to focus on specifics on an event. And also, when you portray the event more, in your opinion, less you will come up with a better story. I'm not saying Don't express your opinion The way you write the event would already present your opinion, but But let the readers think about the two, and they need the specifics of an event. Don't down your feelings. If you're feeling overly overly emotional and you can do it in the second draft, you can look for places that are too emotional and see if you can just tell them down a bit and understate, especially when you're writing about others so you can avoid accusations about others. And also so you avoid self judgments. You don't want to appear to your readers like somebody who's angry at others or themselves themselves. So try to understand, understate those emotions 37. Lecture 37: Find your antagonists: lecture. 37. Find Your Antagonists first, Let's define what is an antagonist. It's not the bad guy. It's not the villain in your story. It's anybody who's desire is opposite to the desire off. The main character in that opposition of desires will create a conflict that will help you write a good story and antagonists can be a villain. But it doesn't have to be. It could be somebody who cares for and loves the protagonist a main character, but simply has opposing desires. So let's take a look. How do you find antagonist most of the time, people who are closest to us, right or orthe? Our main characters, of course, will create the most emotionally compelling relationships. So Mother, father, sister ah, lover's spouse, child, close friend, mentor, maybe a colleague. It work. All of these could be emotionally compelling relationships. And if you focus on that relationship in your story, then you can start creating those conflicting desires and the conflict that your plot needs . You can use your antagonist to shape your story, So how do you do that? First you identify a conflict between the protagonist or the main character and your antagonist What's a conflict? It's a moment of conflicting desires. One person wants one thing. The other person wants something completely different opposite, and these desires cannot be both fulfilled. So those moments are interesting because the conflict is natural in them. Ask questions once you develop that conflict, or once you just think of that conflict, think about how did both characters grow and change as a result of this conflict? And maybe you're going to say, Well, I didn't change or this character didn't change They refuse to change. That's fine. That's a good answer to. And that's interesting that sometimes that's how stubbornness is defined, right, people who refuse to change. So that's an interesting idea to explore in the story. Also off was there a turning point in that conflict? And does this specific conflict point? A More general conflict will take a look at this in a minute. This is interesting. A lot of times are little conflicts in life showed Teoh something some other more bigger, some bigger underlying issue that leads to that specific conflict. How did the protagonists feel about it when it happened? And how does predict what the protagonists feel about it upon reflection. This is interesting. It's nice to include two different perspectives in your story, right? The immediate perspective and the perspective. Upon reflection, it does not have to be in the same scene. But you know, we think about things that happened to us, right? And sometimes these memories come back months or years later, and your protagonists can do the same in the in the story. Identify that conflict. So let's say you and your spouse there's a conflict, a desire to have a second child and you disagree. And let's see how you can break it up and develop within their scene so you can list Steppin stones won the day that he said he wanted a big hey wanted a big family. It sounded good then to be. Then we had our first child. Both were very happy. We needed money so we weren't thinking about additional Children. I went back to work. He was supportive. Things were going well. Then she got the promotion. You think? Well, that's a good thing, right? Somebody gets a promotion, but that could lead to conflict. So he got a promotion by then Time. By that time, the first child has lived with older, so this first child keeps asking for a sibling, and the husband reminds you that you agreed in a big family. But you weren't ready. So you still this point of doubt and then you get a promotion. So then what? The conflict. It seems these positive things happen, right? But this positive things can exacerbate the conflict. So don't think of conflict. It's just negative things. Problems that happen well, here we have two promotions, right? It doesn't look like it's a problem, but it could be depending on what the conflict is about. And then you stepping stones to write scenes. Each step and son should should be developed interest scenes you're going to show. And between these step in South Stones. Maybe nothing important happened or you want Teoh condense the time, then just right quick narrative transitions to connect those scenes. But that would start by developing those scenes and then later on, putting in narrative transitions. So scenes are showing narrative transitions are telling 38. Lecture 38: Choose your secondary characters: Lecture. 38. Choose your secondary characters When you're writing your story, it's important to limit your cast, especially when you write your first draft. The easiest way in the most effective weight right would be at first to focus on the main story in the main conflict. Include the Allies and a tag on ists. And how do you do that? You can ask yourself, Who helped you or your main character achieved the main goal of the main desire? Those people, those characters would be your allies who impeded those desires of those will be antagonists. And when he first planned your story, I would suggest them avoiding subplots for now so you don't get confused of with the how to organize all those things. So just focus on the main goal off the main character to begin with. So how do you do that? How do you choose those relevant characters? Start by stating the central conflict of your protagonist. Let's say it's a desire to get professional self fulfillment versus commitment of family life rights. You can see two conflicting desires, and then let's think about who would be the relevant characters for each of these two desires for self fulfillment. Probably my friend from work, you could say was helping my sister, my coworker memento. Or those would be the characters who are helping your character with that self fulfillment desire and commitment to family. Maybe my son, my mother, my son's teacher. Those would be the characters you would include to show how the ones that support the opposite desire. 39. Lecture 39: Use details, not adjectives: lecture. 39 Use details, not adjectives. Adjectives tell your leaders what to think, and details show them the characters in the settings. So this lecture we're gonna talk about characters and how you can use the details to describe them in a way that your readers can imagine what these characters look like. So now let's take a look how you can use thes descriptive details to create your characters . Start with choosing a character and make a list of these defining details. So what kind of details are these? The main guideline to keep in mind here is you want to show you want to use those the strips of details You don't want to use adjectives. Adjective still, and you need to show. So, for example, don't say that your character is smart, but show it. What a smart mean for your character. Do they solve math equations in their head? Can they remember history facts? Or maybe their smartness is something different. Maybe they can fix any household appliance in an hour, or if you want to show that the characters sentimental. Don't use the word sentimental, but you can say they watch Hallmark movies and cry at the end. Or you can show that their sentimental by saying they adopt homeless cats. The same idea. Don't say somebody is a good athlete, but tell them Tell your readers this person runs marathons or how did they describe a good athlete? Maybe they run around the fridge before getting extra donut. Maybe that's how they define being a good athlete. So use those details to create a sense off who your characters are. When you introduce a character, it's good to give this character. A couple of attributes may be thick eyebrows or light curly hair or Russian accent, something that would make your readers remember are the character by and next time When you bring the character back into the story, refer to these attributes. Your readers don't need a lot of description, but they need a few defining details to just to identify the character. Describe a gesture that's another way to show who the character is. Usually habitual behaviours show personality. So if you introduce a habitual behavior such as a gesture and use it in scenes with that character, that will help your readers remember who that character is, how to be exercise. So take a character lists, gestures, habitual gestures, list the typical behaviors and then choose the best ones. The best ones, meaning the ones that would create the best picture that would define the character the best. And they used these behaviors and gestures to create a portrait. Let's take a look at the example How to be Sarah. Let's say maybe serious, the person who dress flowers and all her notebooks. She is the person who says Cool beans all the time, drinks hotsy all day, gets a cat and cares it around the house with her. So all those four things could define who Sarah is, and you could refer to these behaviors or to these expressions when you when you bring Sarah back into your story, all right, so you can do this exercise for your main character or for yourself if you're doing the memoir, and you can also do this exercise for all of your major characters. That way you'll start creating specific portrait for all the characters in your story 40. Lecture 40: Section wrap-up: Welcome back. Have you started creating your characters? Are you thinking about interesting ways to describe them? Character descriptions are important. Think about your favorite characters from movies, books or TV. Siri's. A lot of times we don't remember the characters, their personalities and their quirks more than even plots of stories. So take your time developing your characters. I'd also suggest looking through some of your favorite stories to see what other authors do to create their characters. But for now, we can move on to the next section and discuss how to portray dark moments and stories without completed the pressing your readers. Are you ready to go over to the dark side? 41. Lecture 41: Section overview: stories deal with characters and their emotions, right? And characters should feel to your readers and to you like they're real people. Energy of people deal with a whole range of emotions. In the next section will talk about ways to deal with dark events, dark memories and dark emotions. We'll also talk about how to handle these strong emotions and strong reactions in the story without turning it into melodrama. Let's start. 42. Lecture 42: Face your fears: lecture for 22 Face your fears and this is a special applicable. If you're writing your memoir, what are you afraid off? What are your fears? Maybe you're afraid of hurting others because of the way you portray them in your story, you're afraid of humiliating your sell by showing yourself in some embarrassing situations . Maybe you're afraid of being inaccurate with your facts or details or your interpretations of events. Maybe you're afraid of being judged. All of these a realistic fears and everybody who writes a memoir has to face them. So the way to deal with it is when you write your first draft, don't think about your audience. The first draft ISS for your eyes only nobody has to ever look at it has never read it toe . So to begin with, be honest with yourself and your work. Don't worry about those fears. Tried to set them aside. Keep reminding yourself and you can edit later, which you need to do. The first draft is maintain emotional integrity in maintain authenticity and you may feel frustrated. Maybe you're gonna feel like, oh, I just want to give up. This is too hard. Well, think about this option to you can always change your memoir in tow, a novel into fiction, and then a lot of these years would be alleviated. This is not. It must, of course, there different ways to face your fears and to deal with them. But it's just a non option to keep in mind. So when you write the first draft, you your only goal is to complete it right and it's It doesn't have to be great. It doesn't have to be good. You can set your goal is to complete a really bad first draft, and it sounds like what I'm asking you to write bad stuff. That's not it at all. When was set, her goals too high. A lot of times we don't achieve them at all. But if your goal is to just write the first draft, that's more more achievable. Goal right, more manageable goal than saying, I'm going to write the first draft and it's going to be a masterpiece. It's not going to be. It's okay to write a really bad first draft. You can always edit and revise, and that's what everybody does. What are you afraid to say? Ask yourself those questions if you feel stuck because of those fears, what are you hiding from yourself? Ah, the weight. One way to deal it is to set a time of just five minutes and and free right to answer these questions and keep reminding yourself of the first draft is just for you. And these free writing exercises are just for you. Nobody has to ever see them. 43. Lecture 43: Balance the negative by adding the positive: lecture 43. Balance the negative by adding the positive in this lecture will talk about how to write about trauma in a way that will it will be beneficial for you that will help you heal and that will be engaging for your readers. So, writing about trauma, I'm sure you've heard that writing about trauma and difficult experiences can help you heal from it. But you need to write about it in the right way, and you need to think about it in the right way. Revisiting traumatic memories may lead to more trauma, and that's definitely something you don't want to dio when you're writing about it. So how can you deal with that? How can you make meaning out of trauma? So the goal for you is to make a meaningful story right out of these traumatic memories, and you can approach it from different ways. If you're religious, you can approach it from a religious perspective. If you're not so religious, maybe from a spiritual perspective, if you are more inclined to analysis and you're more like a science oriented person, then you could still analyze this trauma. But you can look at it from the psychological perspective or philosophic perspective, even aesthetic perspective. I'm not saying you cannot combine all of these. You certainly can have elements of different ones. But see which one resonates with you more and try to use that perspective to eliminate that story. Think about writing about these events as your second chance. You're not changing events, but you're changing the way you're perceiving them, right? You can't change the past, but you can change your memories about that. So you're writing about the pain. But instead of just focusing on the pain right about the insights you you have gained from that experience and those insights could be like we discussed earlier philosophic of psychological, religious, spiritual, different kinds of insights. And those insights will help you put that event into perspective. Add positive memories. That's another way Teoh Add something positive to the negative experience, and here's an exercise you can dio choose it. Painful period in your life in list 12 moments when you experience joy during that time and you might be resistant to that saying, Well, no, it was all dark. There was no joy. I'm not asking about prolong experience of happiness, just moments off joy, something good that happened, and you can find those moments and then choose. So you're gonna make a list of two. That's your A list of 12 that's you exercise. And then you're going to choose one of these moments and describe this moment in detail, and you can do it for more than than one. Of course, you can describe all 12 in more detail and then see which one. Which one or which ones of these experiences off these descriptions. You can include in your description, off your trauma in the way you dealt with it. 44. Lecture 44: Remember the arc of your story: lecture. 44. Remember the arc of your story? At this point, you might have been writing for a while. Maybe you're doing journal entries. Hopefully, you've been doing some of these exercises. And a lot of times, as our story and our ideas get more and more detailed, we forget the arc of the story. So it's good to go back to the basic structure once in a while and make sure that we're still telling the story that would still have the focus and that will be able to get our story to the end when they teach creative writing classes. A lot of my students tell me that they know how to start the story, and then a lot of times they don't know how to end it. And I think a lot of times it happens because they don't revisit that arc of the story, and they don't simplify the story as their writing it just to check to make sure they have that arc. So let's do it. Start with the question. What story do you want to tell? What is your current point of view on these events that your writing about what did you learn from these events and what is the meaning of your story? What's the point? What are you trying to say? What do you want your readers to take away from your experience? These are good questions to ask yourself, and these could apply to you or to, of course, the protagonist. If you're writing a fictional novel, it's a good questions to think about. Another approach is, um, think about the end of your story as you start writing or at this point, just pause and think about it. So all stories of the same structure beginning once upon a time. I'm simplifying, of course, but you're talking about the specific time and place in the character in the middle. Many problems happened, right? And the end, if you want a happy ending. They lived happily ever after, So that's Italy basic structure of a story. So do you have the beginning, the middle and the end? That's a good question to ask herself, and you don't need a happy ending. You can't have a happy ending, but you don't have to. You need a reason for writing your story, even if its dramatic, even if it ends with something bad if its purpose and meaning in real life not everything that happens his purpose and meaning, necessarily at least not that we can discern in a story. That's what the story is. It's a tale with some kind of purpose and meaning. So you have to think about that as you writing. And you can try by writing a fairy tale about a wound. Once upon a time, there was a little boy or a woman or a girl or a man who experienced a certain wonder this certain trauma as a result of this wound, what happened? Think about the change in the person. And in the end, this is a larger lesson, right? So if you're writing about trauma, I think about three parts here. The first part is the actual trauma. So what happened? What happened as they meet it? Result of the straw, more wound and what happened upon reflection? Or how did this person interpret this wound? What purpose? What meaning that defined in it 45. Lecture 45: Convey emotions without melodrama: Lecture. 45 Convey emotions without melodrama. You want your emotions to be real. You want your readers to perceive them Israel, and you want them to be believable. You don't want to be over the top of theatrical in your story. So what? This melodrama you can spot melodrama is If you see that your protagonist is an obvious hero or an obvious victim, and your antagonist is an obvious villain, it's all those obvious things. Point a melodrama. People are more complex. They have different characteristics, different features. So we don't want to be assigning various simple descriptions of your simple ways of characterizing or characters. You can also spot melodrama if you can spot over the top emotional violence like seizures and gasps, screams, floods of tears, extreme verbal confrontations and over the top physical violence. So all these things, especially combined, can lead to melodrama in your story. But you might say, but it really happened. This is how things happened. And that's fine, of course, that you should be writing if you, especially if you write a member, you should be writing about things, how they happened. But the problem with writing about them is If you have too much drama on too few pages, then it creates an unrealistic over the top experience for the readers That's hard to handle. So how can you do that? You can add details and descriptions to make the story feel more real to the readers, and also to dampen a little bit off those emotions to make the story more engaging. Also a range of emotions. So don't forget that not all emotions and emotional experiences are extreme. So don't just describe those extreme experiences. Try to show subtle emotions and avoid rapid transitions from one extreme emotion to another . That's also ah, good technique to avoid melodrama and don't write emotional scenes in too much detail. You can do it at first, of course, in the first draft, and then try to tone it down and focus on more subtle emotions. If would cliches Our eyes met and I felt a bolt of electricity go through me. You don't want to write stuff like that. It's been written so many times, and it's so, uh, it's a cliche means it's an overused expression. It doesn't do anything for your readers instead of that tried to use the five senses. And once you describe your experience using your five senses, it will become, um, unique and more realistic. And it will be your words and your descriptions, not those cliches that somebody else came up with years ago. 46. Lecture 46: Section wrap-up: Welcome back. You have survived our trip into the darker parts of our story. Congratulations. We're making great progress in this creative journey. Now we're coming to another exciting discussion, and that's a discussion about the central theme, the central message or center purpose of your story. What is it that you want your readers to get out of your book? We'll talk about it in the next section. 47. Lecture 47: Section overview: Welcome to Section eight. This section is pretty short, but it's important we're going to talk about the theme of your story and about ways to find a theme and your thematic conflict. To put it simply, you and your readers need to know why you're writing the story, what it's made, point ISS and what you want your readers to remember about it. All right, let's get to it. 48. Lecture 48: Decide what to put in and what to leave out: lecture 48 The side, What to put in and what to leave out. This lecture is especially applicable to those of you who are writing memoirs or life stories. If you're writing a novel, this is less of an issue. So if you're writing your life story or a book based on your life experiences, you need to decide what is your theme in life. One event follows another. Our characters get get mixed together, settings are different, and one, the one story ends and then another one begins. So it's really hard to say What is the theme in my life? That's not the question here. What is the theme off the book you're trying to write? Think about what is the main idea. What is the lesson you want your readers to remember when they finish reading your book? You can also think about theme as not necessarily lesson, but it's a sort of a universal observation about the human condition, so that could be the theme as well. Theme is important because it helps you select things that are relevant to the theme makes your story better structured provides unity and conceptual coherence. So what to include When you ask yourself these two questions, you will be able to figure out what to include and what not to include. So first of all, you need to figure out your theme right? And then, as you think about different characters, events and scenes, decide if they're relevant to your theme or if they're not relevant to the theme. If these characters, events, replaces or scenes are not relevant to this particular theme, it doesn't mean that they're not important. You can still write about them in a different story, but right now you're focusing on just this one. If they're not relevant to this particular story into this theme, then leave them out. Don't include them. Here's a sourcing exercise. Imagine two containers want to take with you, the other to leave at home so they leave it home. Container. It's not a trash can write. It still could be useful just not for this trip, so you can write, put in and leave out in your journal and right to lists right quickly. You can devise later, so anything that's relevant to your theme, write it under, put in least list and then leave out. Put things that are not not relevant. Uh, write them under their leave out list in your journal. I hope this exercise helps you. 49. Lecture 49: Find your thematic conflict: lecture 49. Find your thematic conflict and this is applicable to anybody, whether you're writing a memoir or ah, a novel, thematic conflict is important and your characters will be more interesting if all of your characters have this thematic conflict. If you're writing a memoir, then mostly you need to focus on yourself and on your own somatic conflict. So what is it? Let's take a look. Thematic conflict means that you have two opposing ideas to opposing desires, and there's no way that you can accomplish both of them at the same time. So you have to make choices. And this idea of making choices creates a conflict within you or within the character that leads to heightened interest in that character and in the story. So what I would suggest is look for a recurrent conflict in your character's life or in your own life. So let's take a look. That's some examples here with passion. Jealousy is inevitable, but jealous. A kills love. So we have love versus jealousy off which side is going to win. Maybe there's a certain balance, that balance that needs to be accomplished between the two, but how do you find that balance, my desire to overcome the problems inflicted by my injury versus the reality of permanent damage. So that's an interest in the conflict, right? That's a real problem somebody is dealing with. Are the several permanent damage, but they want to overcome on the damage and the problems. But how are they going to do that? Or will they have to adjust and somehow accommodate for that injury? My desire to be a part of the group versus might need to maintain my individuality, and I think we all have to deal with us. Ah, conflict to a certain level, right? We all want to maintain individuality, but at the same time it's hard to live in society and be completely independent. So how do we reconcile those desires, my desires to be a good mother and to develop professionally again? A lot of people experience so that conflict when you're a parent you want and probably need to spend time with your child. But at the same time, you're not able to spend as much time as you need to in the on your career to develop professionally. So how do you reconcile owes to s o Those are interesting, and a lot of these conflicts can recur multiple times in our life or in our characters lives. So think about this conflict as you develop characters for your story. How do you find your inner conflicts? I would suggest that you start by listing the major conflicts that you feeling you felt and then select the most compelling one, and that would work for you. If you're doing the memoir or for especially for your main characters, what is the most compelling conflict that keeps coming back in this character's life? Then make a list of arguments supporting each side. Make a list of people supporting each side and make a list of times when this conflict appears the most. Or when you felt of this conflict the most, or when your character felt this conflict the most, and then you're gonna be able to develop your character based on that conflict, and then the theme will emerge more clearly 50. Lecture 50: Section wrap-up: by now you have an idea of what you mean. Thematic conflict is and what the main point of your story is. So next we'll turn our attention to smaller. But smaller doesn't mean that they're less important. The smaller issues in the next section will discuss scenes, what their scenes and what purpose do they serve in the story? You may ask good questions, and we'll answer them in the next section. Try to continue. 51. Lecture 51: Section overview: in this section will talk about ways. The right engaging scenes you can think of scenes as building blocks of your story. Each scene is an important moment of your story that shows purposeful direction of characters in a specific setting. Each seem moves your story forward in some way. Generally important in directions should be shelter scenes and times in between. When nothing much happens should be presented through brief summary. In this section will talk about driving scenes with dialogue, character action and engaging descriptions. Let's get started. 52. Lecture 52: How to write a compelling scene: Lecture 52. How to write a Compelling Scene Let's start with the definition of a scene. You can think of it as a building block of your story. It's the smallest segment that creates the forward movement on the of your whole novel. So when you write a scene you need Teoh. Think about it is a specific moment in time in place, and that moment will have a specific set of characters. It will have action and dialogue or maybe one or the other, and it has a purpose. Each scene needs to be a novel for a reason. So what's the purpose of a scene? The overall purpose of any scene is to move your story forward, and it can do it in a number of different ways. And I have some examples here. You're seeing kin achieved more than one of these purposes, and some writers say the more purposes you're seen achieves the better so it can introduce new information or a new character, which gives the reason the readers a reason to keep to keep reading. It can show character development by certain actions, certain dialogue, certain events that happened in that scene. It can pose a problem or resolve a problem. It can create an emotional connections between characters and readers in the way that you are portray their actions in the way they approach problems. It can introduce a conflict or intensify it, and it can also build suspense. So lots of things a scene can do. And the now let's look at what this scene consists off the components of a scene you can think about this. Four questions. Who, where, when and what and let's take a look at what that means in more detail. Who is? If you're writing your memoir, then it's going to be you most likely right, the first person narrator or a different character and anyone else in that scene. Once somebody leaves the scene or enters the scene of then it's considered to be in, you sing and you can think about it this way. Let's say you're talking to a friend of yours is just that just the two of you. And then somebody else comes into the room. Well, you can see how the mood changes are. The conversation changes, so that moment when somebody else enters the room, that's the beginning That's a transition between the old scene and then you seen. And it's the beginning of a new scene. So the scene has a specific cast of characters it can also, the suit also needs a specific of setting. The first question of setting is the place. Where is the stake in place? And you could do it in different ways. I have some examples here. A specific address, UM, 347 East Palm Avenue. It's an address, or it could be in somebody's kitchen. Or it could be at summer camp. So all of those are different ways to think about the place of your story. Something also include includes the time and you can define time in different ways. A time of year windrow fifth grade, for example, or time of day. A 3 15 in the afternoon. Or you can say it's a few days later. So that's that establishes the time relative to a previous scene. But the time is important. Your readers need to be oriented in your scene. SCN needs to have specific components, and usually you can think of the main component of a scene. It's the interaction between you and another person. If you're writing a memoir or between two characters and a lot of times that interaction includes dialogue that's important most of the time in life, when you interact with people with talk right, so including conversations in a scene will make your story more realistic and also easier to read. Our readers like dialogue, and it's It's quick, Terry. That's fast read. Let's look at an example. Here's a scene from the diamond necklace by Get him up a son and I'll read it to you. And then we can talk about what components it has. And you can, of course, a look at the screen as well. One evening, her husband returned, elated, bearing in his hand a large envelope. Here, he said, Here's something for you. She quickly tore open the rapper and drew out a printed card on which were inscribed thes words. The minister of public instruction in Madame George Robin Rapinoe. Ask the honor of Mr Mrs Lascelles company Monday evening in January 18 at the minister's residence. Instead of being delighted as her husband had hoped, she threw the invitation spiteful upon the table, murmuring, What do you suppose I want with that. But my dear e, I thought it would make you happy. You never go out, and this is an occasion in a fine one. I had a great deal of trouble to get it. Everybody wishes one, and it's very select. Not many are given to employees. You will see the whole official world there. She looked at him with an irritated I and declared impatiently. But do you suppose I have to wear to such a thing as that? So here's the scene, and let's look from the very beginning, Give them a basan lets us get oriented than that. Seen by telling us one evening that's a specific time, right? Her husband returned. Returned indicates that they're at home right, so that the implied setting is their house. Who? Her husband and then I would have she later on in the scene. So I know it's a conversation to the husband and the wife when notes taken place one evening after he got back from work. We know what's that? It's at their house. And what's the goal of this scene? What's what's happening here? While he brought an invitation, Teoh a ball and she is, ah, asking him questions about it, and she doesn't seem to be happy because she thinks she doesn't have anything to wear. And the scene ends at your question. The next scene you can imagine would be there going to be discussing a different issue off . What? What is she going toe wear? So the purpose here was to introduce a new piece of information that the husband brought an invitation. All right. And of course, that scene serves a larger purpose in the overall story, which we can A judge here because we don't have the whole story. All right, so that's it about scenes. I hope it was helpful. 53. Lecture 53: Find places to develop into scenes: lecture. 53. Find places to develop into scenes you can think about your whole novel. Your whole memoir is, Ah, a book that consists off scenes in summaries. Scenes are events that happened to you or to other characters that you want to describe in more detail to make the more dramatic. And I mean dramatic not in terms of emotions, but dramatic as an dramatic structure off the theater like structure. You want your characters to act out those those moments. So those acted out moments are our scenes and the moments in between our times in between that they're not so important, sort of transitions between scenes. You can try this summaries. So as you're thinking about your ideas, you need to decide which places need to be developed as scenes and which can and should be used as summaries. So that's what we're gonna talk about next again. The difference between CNN summary so summary the remember book reports in school. You're just ah, briefly talking about what happened, and somebody you can think of it as list of events at first double Cup. Then I went to school. Then I came back. Just list of events. But if you think about the K, I came back. What happened when you came back? If that's important, you can start developing it. So here's some more examples off summaries. I found a wonderful school, so that's a fact that happened. Right? And you're telling us what happened? Your not showing us the search process off, how you were looking for that school and what makes it wonderful. I met my neighbor. So it's like a checklist. Well, how did you meet your neighbor? What were the circumstances? What did you talk about? Where when? If you start answering all those questions, you're going to be developed. Developing that summary sentence into a scene, I started the question, My choices. That's the same thing, right? It's just the summer. It's a statement. Can you show us how you're doing it? Can you give us the details about that and more descriptions? That's how you develop it into a scene. If you look at these three examples, do you need to develop another scenes or not? That's one of the major questions you're gonna have to answer when you start writing. How important are these events to your story? If they're important, they should be developed into a scene. If not, then maybe you should keep them a summary. So one way, when you start looking for places to develop into scenes, you can look for those leading sentences that we talked about in the previous slide, and I have those same three examples here. I discovered the wonderful school. So why did I say it's a leading sentence? Because there's a scene behind it, right? You can imagine that something happened. How did you discover that school? You could you could explain it as a scene. I met my neighbor. I started to question my choices so those sentences could be considered leading sentences because you could write the whole scene based on those sentences. So let's look at the example of a summary stranded in the middle of the sea more amid side , both with two fishermen and wave to them to fishermen pulled him into their boat and gave him some food. When I was writing my novel, this is what I wrote to begin with. I didn't want to spend too much time developing into interest seen because I wanted to focus on the overall structure of the novel, so I know what happened, right? But I'm just telling you, I'm not showing it at all. And then when you start developing those scenes, those summaries into scenes, then you need to focus on details, dialogue and all those items were talked about when we discussed compelling scenes in the previous lecture. So that's what what the my scene looked like, and I'm not going to read it to you if you'd like to pause. Indeed, it you can, but you can see that there's much more development right there. Descriptions. The boat was bobbing in the water. I'm describing the fisherman. I'm saying that they had tan faces, rough hands, smooth face, one guy and then the other one has a hint of a stubble here that an opponent deal. So descriptions right off the characters. You can see I have dialogue here as well, which makes the scene more riel. Some more, much, much more details here, and it's hopeful it's more interesting to read than just saying they helped him into the boat. How did the sights senior summary are you should use seems to describe dramatic events or key events in your story and you summary to provide transitions between scenes. I realize it's easier said than done right, because sometimes we don't know how important their these events and the if they're not important. Are we sure they're not important? What should we summarize? What we should develop? But when you start thinking about the theme of your book and ah, looking at the characters, goal scenes need to be important for for accomplishing off that goal. 54. Lecture 54: Use a cinematic approach: Lecture 54. Use a cinematic approach. I found this approach and then got explained, of course, in a few minutes, very helpful, especially if you're used to academic writing or maybe to writing essays. A lot of my creative writing students in my beginning classes, often times they come from academic backgrounds. So they're used to writing essays and research papers and summaries, and they're not used to writing stories, and it it's a different skill. So it takes a little bit to get them into a new mode of thinking that would help them write stories. And I find it looking at stories from the point of view over a cinema of a movie. I really helps them get into the different mindset and begin writing pretty good scenes. So what is a cinematic approach? Try to imagine your story as a movie. So instead of writing narrative summary, instead of telling us what happened, I'd like you to list possible scenes and think about these scenes almost as you can start even with. Like, if you took a picture of it, what would be in that picture or a list of pictures, and then think of events that could be filmed versus genital summaries. So if you start thinking of events that could be filmed, you're gonna have to think about specifics. And that's what we need in a story. Let's take a look. Sometimes people say, If you write a memoir, all my memories are too general and you're writing a sentence. Something like We often went to dinner parties. Well, that's a summary, and you can't even develop it into a scene because it summarizes a bunch of different events at a bunch of different parties. So when my students the stuff like that, I ask them while which parts it was important to you or to your characters and which party is important to your story, just pick one and then tell us what happened at that party and focus on specifics. So then just they could look at the beginning of the sentence at the bottom here during a Halloween parts in 2012 so that beginning of a sentence already will force you to make it specific. Right? Versus we went, we went to dinner parties. So you're going be forced to write about the specific Halloween party specific people who are there in a specific event that happened. That's what they mean. Think about scenes as events that could be filmed. Somebody could be filming that Halloween party, right? Somebody couldn't couldn't be filming the general idea of going to dinner parties, and it's really good to make lists off scenes. I showed an example earlier with that scene with the boat. I just throw the couple of sentences. I didn't have to develop it, and I knew in my mind what would happen in that scene. Right, And writing these lists will help you keep your story organized without developing this scene and then realizing, Oh, that that scene was Erel irrelevant, whether you're just spent two hours writing it. And also, when you have shorter these just lists of scenes, it's It's short, right? Just a couple of sentences. It's much easier to see these scenes on your computer or only print out and organized and put them in the right order. When you develop these scenes in depth, it gets harder to edit because you have to get through so much, so much more, so many more words and sentences. What I mean by the right order I'm in the right order for maximum dramatic effect. Maybe you need a flashback or a flash forward or or something else. Some other technique that you can use to make your readers interested. So I'm a big advocate of lists. You can think of these lists off scenes, as as your outline definitely helps. Keep things organized and makes it easier to arrange scenes in the best order before you write them out completely. Another approach you can use here is a list of your desires, not your desires, desires of your characters and scenes that will go with it. And, um, listing desires before you write scenes will help make sure that your novel your your stories moving forward. So, for example, you can list the desire. I wanted to find a better job. All right, so that's your goal. So what scenes would be related to the desire may be the first scene I went to resume workshop. The next scene. I went to an interview the third scene on my first day on the job, and you don't have to develop these scenes yet, right? So the first day on the job now your desire has been fulfilled, right? You found about a better hopeful. It's a better job. What's the next desire? Maybe I wanted to get promoted where I wanted to focus on my personal life. So whatever the next desire is, write it down and then dry the list of scenes that would help you or your character accomplish the desire. That is a very nice way to outline, because it will make sure that you're not just stumbling around, that you're moving your story forward. And as you look at the list of scenes, maybe you're gonna look at it and think, Well, I don't need to describe a resume workshop. Nothing exciting happened there. I'm just going to start with the interview and they can leave. After going to five resume workshops and submitting my resumes, I finally got the call for an interview. Maybe that could be a summary, and then the scene would be a went to an interview so you can decide which scenes or potential seems to develop in which ones to keep us summaries. And I'm sure you're a busy person. You're doing other things besides write in this book. So list are great because once you. You know, if you have, ah, some time to know, maybe maybe a weekend to spend planning your novel and writing this list of desires and scenes. Then when you look at your list, you can just pick a specific scene. If you have an hour to work in 1/2 an hour, just keep developing that specific scene. You don't have to spend so much time getting back into the mindset of your novel because your outline is there and you can just focus in on those little scenes and you'll see that the whole progress of your novel will be much better if you spend some time planning it before you start writing. 55. Lecture 55: Scene structure: Lecture 55. Seen structure. As you start developing your scenes and write in your book, you need to ask herself, and this is a question you need to ask about each scene. What is the purpose of the scene? So I think we've discussed before that each scene needs to move the story forward so you can ask yourself a more specific question. What does the C need to do to make sure that the story most forward? And here are some of the common choices off why you need a scene and how it can move the story forward? Maybe you're introducing new information or a new character that will become important to your story. Maybe something will happen that will show character development off the main character or off a secondary character. Maybe that's seen resolves. A problem of that happened earlier. And, of course, a Z you're showing this may be the main goal of the scene is to create more of an emotional connection between character or characters and your readers. So something needs to happen in that scene to show who that character is, so that readers can relate to that person more. Maybe you want to introduce or intensify conflict, and maybe you want to build suspense, right? So different goals. Always seen. Maybe you can come up with a different one, but the main thing to remember is that each scene has to have a purpose. It can be just people drinking sea or to chatting. Then, once you've established the purpose of the scene, find the key moment of that scene. Maybe it's a surprise twist to the plot. Maybe somebody gets unexpected news. Maybe there's a complication or a reversal at what happened later, so make sure you're identified the key moment and the I think it's a good exercise, because if you cannot identify that moment, maybe this scene has no purpose. So maybe you need to, ah, work on that a little bit more. And before you write this scene, think about what happened before. Remember, your readers are going to be reading this book as a continuous story, so you don't want them to be confused. Think about where are my characters in the plot? Where did I leave them and what are they doing now? And it's important you don't want to end the scene with the you know it was nighttime and they went to bed and start a new scene with they went out for dinner because then that doesn't account for the whole day in between. So make sure there's continuity off events. One of the good ways to start this scene in to Start a story is that the started media's rez, which is Latin for in the middle of things. What it means is start in the middle of something interesting. Don't start this scene with your character waking up and making coffee and getting breakfast. Ah, you need to start with something that's, Ah, different that's unique, that will hold your reader's interest. So don't be afraid to start a little bit later, later in the day, in this case, right when something is happening, established point of view that's important. You don't have to keep the same point of view through the whole novel, but each scene needs toe have a specific point of view over off a character. So, for example, here's the first sentence from one of my scenes. More emits turn towards the boat and threatening water started waving and yelling frantically. So with that first sentence. You know that more emits is the point of your character. I think he's still in the water, and he is, Ah, trying Teoh. Well, he's trying to pretend that he needs a saving, but that's what the scene is supposed to show established setting. I want to show you how how I'm trying to establish that setting in the scene said. Things are important, right? I'm your story shouldn't be taken place kind of in a vacuum. But at the same time, you don't want to turn your story into just a description of a setting that removed from your character. One of the most effective ways to describe setting is to show it from the point of view off the main character off that scene. So let's take a look in the first sentence. Here's what I wrote here. Mormon speared into the darkness, trying to discern the thin line between the water and the sky. So what am I doing here? I'm I'm establishing that. More misses the point of your character. He's looking into the darkness, so that gives us a bit of a description right of what the atmosphere looks like. The thin line between the water and the sky so we can assume his outside right. And he's looking at the sea or in ocean. It was a moonless night. So again, I'm trying to add a little bit more of a description of the setting and the lights off Petrovsky were faint and far away, all right, some establishing the distance between him in the city of Petrovsky. And it's Ah, dark even on a moonless night. Right? And I want to make sure that I'm not going to get into a description of the city. But I'm bringing it back to more emits again to my main character. He strained to see in front of him, right? So that's back to his perspective. The path illuminated solely by the navigational lights on the single engine boat in the distance stars. So now I'm trying to establish that he is on that boat in the next line with the captain confirms that we're getting close, the captain said. So the getting close part indicates that they're moving right there, not just part in that boat. Mormons nodded taken in the dark silhouette of the offshore oil platform 300 meters away, so again. I want to show that there's this oil platform because it will be important later in the story. But I don't want to just say there was an oil platform. I want to show it from his point of view because it's important to him write the stories about him, but at the same thing. I want to give some more description off the overall area, so that's what the next sentence is doing. The Black Sea was rich in oil and offshore oil platforms peppered the area right, so given a little bit more of an area description, some are operational. But with the ongoing economic crisis and political turmoil off the post Soviet era, many were abandoned awaiting demolition. So what's this last sentence doing? What? I'm trying to establish a broader context right in the brother a setting off this story as the post Soviet era. And I'm trying to foreshadow that, uh, there's a crisis going on and things are kind of in a disarray, so we can expect more needs to be involved in some sort of a disarray because of the overall situation. So why we're talking about this? What I'm trying to show is how you can establish sending from the point of view of your character. That way, it's more interesting to read than just a plain description of a setting. Consider the conflict. So the same scene continued. Oh, the conflict doesn't mean that right now it's more of its on the captain, right? It doesn't mean that more emits has a conflict with the captain, necessarily. But there needs to be some kind of a struggle. Some kind of ah dilemma decision to make some more mint is about to jump off the boat right and swim to the platform because he wants to. He needs to go to, ah, to Petrovsky and look at the this line in the dialogue. You sure you want to do this? The captain asked. It's risky, no shame and changing your mind. So the captain is saying it. But we can also assume that that's probably what more Mitz is thinking this he's making this decision right? Should I do it? It's risky. Should I change my mind? But bringing it into the outside world right into the world of his conversation with the captain makes the scene more interesting. So what does more, Let's say, he says. That's the only way to get the Petrovsky now in Iot to Curiel within the who. Curiel is right. But we can assume that somebody who is important and we can also assume that we're going to find out in the next two pages. He didn't get the chance to change his mind, and I'm not changing mine either. So it sounds like something dramatic happened to Curiel and now are Mormons has to go and uh, maybe save. He may be avenged something. So he has a good reason. It sounds like it's a good reason to get the Petrovsky. The captain nodded. I understand, so we know that he's going to go so in that scene and tried to establish conflict. Right now, he has doubts, right? And also foreshadow a conflict. What is going on with Curiel? So why does he buy? Those movements need to go to Petrovsky. So the summarize in writing has seen A good suggestion is to start in media stress in the middle of things. Establish your point of view, character, established the setting and show that setting from your point of your character and also consider the conflict all of that specific scene and how that specific conflict foreshadows the larger conflict in your story. 56. Lecture 56: Write vivid descriptions: luxury 56 right vivid descriptions When you write your book. When you writers scenes, your descriptions are consider using the five senses. A lot of beginning writers tend to rely only on site, but that's not how we perceive life right. We perceive life with the all Our Five senses most of the time, right, unless he has some impairment that prevents you from amusing one of these senses. But you can assume that most three readers have those five senses, and it's good to use all five, which means you're gonna include smells and shapes, colors, sounds, textures, light touch movements, all those different things. And it's also important to include your characters attitude in descriptions. I remember when they talk about scenes, was said, the you're going to have a point of view character in every scene. So when you're showing your descriptions, show them from your character's point of view and let's take a look how you can do that again. I'm going to use my book because I know exactly what I was trying to accomplish so I can explain much better to you. And I hope that these explanations help, so it's the same book, Lethal Cargo, Our Previous Scenes. And that's how the book starts. The point of view character is more minutes, and the whole story has taken place in that small town or next to the small town by the Black Sea. I also have another character. His name is Nikolai Volkoff, and right now he's in Moscow and I want to show. So this is the first scene that I want to show that he's in Moscow and I want to describe the contrast between the small town in Moscow. So let's see what I'm doing here. Nikolai Volkoff ran up the four flights of stairs to his apartment and unlock the door. So what does that first sentence of the scene do? Remember? Was said. Start in the middle of things and introduce your character, said Nikolai Volkoff. I use his full name for the first time when they using for the first time, and I show human action. He ran up the four flights of stairs, right? So he's moving his apartments, even though he's going inside. His apartment gives us some idea within the where the apartment is yet, but that's OK Inside. It was school in dark. So cool is, ah, feeling right. And the rest of it is mostly site. Talking about the soft evening light filtered through the thin gap between the drapes. And I think it's important to show you character in action. You don't want to just start describing his apartment or the drapes, so he's going to keep moving. He dropped his duffel bag on the floor Duffel bag. Gives us a little bit of an idea who he is, right? Um, not a briefcase. Not a huge suitcase, a duffel bag across the hallway to the kitchen and walked onto the balcony. So why am I doing this? I want to show the overall setting off the city, but I don't want to describe it. Just kind of in a neutral way. I want to show it from Nicholas perspective. So I thought by taking him out onto his balcony and having him look at the panorama of Moscow would be a little bit more engaging. So the next couple of sentences I'm showing what he sees a white panorama of central Moscow open in front of him. So central Moscow. All right, so So we have a location, right? the setting for the first time in that scene. On his right, the skyscrapers of the new are but reached up to the evening sky, painted orange and red by the setting sun on his left, the red brick towers of the Kremlin during the embankment off the Mosque River, the reflection of their slender silhouettes shimmering in the water. I was trying to be a brief, but at the same time I was trending with a lot of details and specific names. New Arbit, Mosque, River, the Kremlin. So we get somewhat of an idea right where he is the last sentence. I wanted to make sure that my readers remember that it's still all from Nicholas perspective, and I added a bit of attitude there. Nikolai, like that mix off history and modernity, all seen right from his apartment. I don't know, of course, the scene continues. That's just the beginning of the description of the beginning scene that includes a description. Now let's take a look at the different scenes so some other things happened in between. And then Nikolai has to go to Petrovsky, that small town by the Black Sea, and he is remembering how He used to go toe to that, the little down with his parents when he was a kid. So in this case, I'm trying to, since I already had descriptions of Petrovsky when I was describing more emits right and earlier scenes here. I'm trying to focus on the how Nikolai perceives the setting, and I was trying to use multiple sensors. So in the first sentence he goes out out of the airport and his stopping, taking a deep breath off warm, humid air infused with the scent of sea salt and tropical flowers. Some trying Teoh introduce the scent. Then he sees a little, uh or large square little kiosks that are selling different things. And I wanted to include more tastes and more more sense. And I wanted Teoh get him a little bit more involved physically with this environment. So how do I do that? There's a woman who's selling corn and, ah, she says, fresh corn hot and delicious, Cheap. So what is he going to do? He's probably going to buy it right? So let's go to the next page and see how the scene continues. He pulled out his wallet, gave two notes to the woman she opens the bag gives gives him corn. The taste of this sentence is important. They think the taste was exactly as he remembered that he used to go to this town when he was a kid. So his childhood memories are coming back now. Fresh, slightly sweet and buttery. Even hot corn on the way from the beach was a family tradition, or so he used to think. The truth was that the time of his childhood trips to the Black Sea was also time of food shortages in Russia and supplies. Two small towns were especially abysmal. So what am I doing here? I'm trying to introduce a little bit of history, but I don't want my story to sound like a history book, So I'm showing it all from his experience, right? It's the same taste of corn. He remembers it in the Net, right? Introduce the reason why they were eating corn all the time because there was not much else to eat right. So trans introduce multiple senses and at the same time trying to build the setting and build the larger context of the story, use specific details you don't want to see my mother was a strong, kind woman. What does strong mean? What us kind mean? Can you put it in a scene? Or in the more specific description? Maybe like this? My mother cared £50 of mail on her back, yet she had the shy smile for each of our neighbors as she climbed the hill. Right again, you're showing through inaction, making it more specific than just saying, saying she's strong and kind. Use a different sense. Then what? What is expected? For example, if you start a sentence with my morning coffee tasted, you would think while I'm going to focus on taste, right, Andrea. There. Smoother, harder, sweet. But what if you do something different, so the obvious sense would be taste? But maybe you go use sound instead, my morning coffee tasted as pleasing as a Chopin's waltz. That's that could be an interesting way to describe things. All right, the summarize. What do you do with descriptions? Be selective, be concise and the precise, which meaning which means you specific details don't use cliches or abstract words or many adverbs or adjectives. Remember, my mother was a kind, strong woman. Those are adjectives. Try not to use them. Instead, show her kindness, ensure her strength 57. Lecture 57: Write realistic dialogue: lecture 57 right realistic dialogue. And this a point applies to those of you who are writing memoirs. Sometimes you're trying to recall a certain moment in your life, and you think well, but I don't remember the exact words. What should I do now? That's okay. Nobody expects you to recall the exact words that were spoken, and it's not lying. If you re create those words, what you need to do is think about. Do you remember the point of the conversation? Do you remember one specific phrase or word? Maybe typical off over character, your including. Do you remember the manner of speaking dialogue, dialect, accent? So those things. If you remember of those things, then you can definitely create those dialogues and convey the mood of what was said in the overall theme of what was said. You don't have to remember the exact words. And now let's talk about a dialogue in general for any story. Your goal is to write real sounding dialogue, which doesn't mean that that's really so. Let's take a look real sounding. Most people use contractions, so you'll be writing. I'll be there, not I will be there that unless you have a reason for a character to speak that way, right? Natural sounding would be I'll be there. Keep sentences short and informal. If you're writing a sentence that you haven't heard them reading aloud without running out of breath, then probably your sentence is is too long. And it would be hard for somebody to say in dialogue. Reading it aloud definitely helps to make sure that you can say it naturally. Keep it real sounding, but not really what I mean by that. A lot of times our conversations in the life kind of meander and go back and forth threatened with change topics. Now that doesn't really work well in the story. Uh, your dialogue and the story has to have a purpose, right? It needs to advance your story so it needs to be condensed and ordered. It shouldn't be meandering. And if white noise words such as who are oh, and Orwell words like that, we use them in dialogue because we're thinking as we're speaking and that's okay, that that comes the most people naturally. But you don't want that. Nobody wants to read those words rights. You don't want to include them in your story. So don't try the transcript of real conversation. Think about dialogue in your story as condensed conversation, focused and purposeful. Use dialogue to reveal character. Show you characters through dialogue and action. Don't try it. Something like he was a selfish jerk. That's telling That's not showing or she was the best grandmother in the world. This is like a summary, right. What does that mean? Can show us a moment. A scene when these straits can be observed. Can you use dialogue with a guy who was a selfish jerk? Can the show how he was selfish in this dialogue, or how the grandmother was so wonderful again? In an interaction with her three ways to present dialogue, You can do summary dialogue, indirect dialogue or direct dialogue, and all of them have a place in your story, and all of them have specific goals. So let's take a look at each a summary dialogue. Here's a brief example. She told him that Misha had figured out what happened to his parents that August day in 1995. Right? So there's no dialogue, but there's implied that look. She said something when they want to use it to avoid repetition. Maybe he already had the conversation between her and Misha, right? And maybe me. She explained it all to her. So you don't want to repeat the same dialogue here. You can use it the condenses scene because your readers already know what happened to his parents right from an earlier scene, and now you're going to move on. And then you can also use it to write sections that you don't think are important. Maybe the way Misha said it, or how he figured it out, wasn't important. Maybe it's what happened. That's important. And that's what you could focus on and not elaborate on his process off figuring it out in direct dialogue. So it's almost your speaking or your character speaking, but not quite. Here's an example. There was still one thing she simply had to know. How did Misha find out what had happened to his parents, who told him, and what other family secrets were still lurking out there? So what are you doing here? You're conveying her feeling, her curiosity, maybe her concern, without quoting the exact words. It gives you more details than this than summary dialogue and it's more efficient than direct dialogue. Second, depending on how important that point is in the story, you can decide if indirect dialogue is enough or if you want to go to direct dialogue and what this direct dialogue, that's what we most of the time think about. S dialogue when they have multiple speakers, will have their words in quotation marks. And there's a change between one character changing started new line when you switch from one character to the next one, and I just have a brief example. But you can find the red dialogue in any book and any story that you're reading. Misha stepped into the kitchen and sat at the table. So this is the beginning is different, right? That suggests the scene right. He's doing something for a moment. He just said, their state staring at the faded flowers on the wallpaper. And I'm given, like in a scene, a little bit of a description right off the room with the fate of flowers. Then he said to me, So that suggests, after that line there's going to be line in quotation marks. His exact words. I know everything now and then the dialogue can continue. So when should you use direct dialogue? If you want to convey conversation is a scene that unfolds in real time and you can say that my example will continue, right? So then probably the character who I am referring to us. I will ask him, Well, what do you know what happened? And then he'll start start explaining, and you can also use direct dialogue to explore dynamics off character relationship. What is the relationship between Misha and the the narrator in that scene? You'll probably find out as the conversation progresses. So what should you do in dialogue? Established the point of view of each speaker. His or her attitudes and values make your dialogue real sounding, but not riel and that keep in mind the purpose of each conversation. How does it advance your story thought to do? Don't turn dialogue into long speeches by one character. Don't include boring dialogue. We do it all the time in life. Hi, how are you? I'm doing okay. How about you? Everything is good and that's OK. And real life that suggest our way to greet each other. Your readers don't want to see this kind of dialogue in your story is boring, and it doesn't serve a purpose in this story. Don't override dialogue, leave some things and said, So how do you do that, right? Dialogue in as much detail as you want and then go back and look at that and see if anything is repetitive. If readers can figure certain things out without explicitly reading them without your explanations off those things, all right, I hope this is helpful. 58. L 58 mp4: lecture 58. Show your thoughts and feelings when the thoughts and feelings of you, if you're writing about yourself or of your point of your character is very important. By the way, this lecture is super short, but I wanted to make this point in a separate lecture because it's very important. Think about it this way. Descriptions capture the outside world, right, the outer world. What you characters live and act. Thoughts and feelings show you main characters in the world. Both of these worlds are very important. And to create a connection to your character, you need to show those thoughts and feelings. They're like close ups in the film. Without them, the distance between the readers any characters is too great, and it's hard to make a connection. So how do you do that is? You go through the scenes as you go through of things that happen to your character or things that happen in the outside world. Think about and make little notes about How does your main character feel as a certain things happening as a certain thing is said to him or her? What does you mean character, character? Think and feel as thes events are happening and write down these little reactions. How does the character react when something happens that's important to you? Don't need to write a lot. You don't want to bore your readers by describing all every single little thought of the character. But you do need a few briefly, ah, place descriptions of thoughts, feelings and reactions. Teoh show that in their world and to create that connection, I hope this this is helpful. 59. Lecture 59: Section wrap-up: I hope going through this last section is helping you figure out which moments are important enough to develop in the scenes in which are not that you can present through summary. Sometimes all the different guidelines and suggestions about seen writing can be a little overwhelming, but don't feel that you have to do it all at once. When I like my drafts. I often write scenes that consists most of dialogue with very little character development or setting descriptions. And we'll and I do it because such drafts help me see the general direction of the story and the general actions and interactions of my characters when they complete these bearable drafts, almost diable the drafts. But then I go back and I start feeling in descriptions, actions, thoughts and feelings. I find that this process helps maybe more efficient and get through the story, get to the end of the story a little bit closer. It also helps me keep my motivation. We're getting close to the end of the course, but we have a couple of other interesting things to discuss before we finish next. We'll talk about time and we'll talk about fun ways to use time in your story. See in section 60. Lecture 60: Section overview: in this section will talk about time and will play with time in the life time moves forward at the same pace, right? Although it doesn't always feel that way, some moments feel. Do the long and other slide by so quickly in this section will talk about different ways to portray time in your story so you can make it more exciting. We'll discuss Con Chronological Order will talk about flashbacks, flash forwards and cliffhangers. We'll also look at components that can help you try the good opening scene and will brief the look at ways to use humor in your story. Let's get started. 61. Lecture 61: How to use chronological organization: Lecture. 61. How to use Chronological Organization What. This chronological order. When you write your story in chronological order, it means that you follow the time line of events in sequence. See relating events in the same order as they happened. And there's some advantages to using chronological order, such as we experienced life chronologically. Right Time is moving just in one direction, and the were you stood. So it's easier for us to write in that same chronological order. And for readers, it's easy to understand that order and follow your story. They will never feel confused about which event happened before which other event. So chronological order is not the only way to organize your story, but it's definitely a good way to organize it. Let's take a look at that some more. When you write in your book chronologically, it doesn't mean that you're going to spend the same number of pages on each event in your life, right or each event in your story. Not all time is equal. Let's put it that way. You know how we experience life. Sometimes it's routine, a little bit boring, and it seems time goes kind of slowly And then the exciting parts happen. And those are the more memorable parts, right? And that it seems in some ways that time speeds up when exciting things happen. But at the same time, it seems to go slower as well, because we experience life more fully. So when you're writing, you have two goals in terms of stretching and condensing time. You want to lengthen the exciting parts of your story, and you want to skip over or shorten the boring parts and their specific techniques you can use to do that. So think about time as emotional time, right? Physical time. Obviously, it's space doesn't change, but emotional time. Our perception of time changes with these events. So your goal is to stretch emotionally charged moments and condense unimportant or emotionally neutral times. So how do you stretch time? Well, one goal in your story is when the when you have an important moment, right? It is a seen not as a summary, which means you're going to include descriptions, right? You're going to use your five senses to help readers feel immersed in the story. You're going to include the main characters, or if you're writing about yourself your own in the responses meaning thoughts, feelings, observations, reactions to the events that's happening that are happening. And you're also going to include dialogue if it's relevant, if it's needed and when he want to condense time when they wanted jump over moments, appearance of time when nothing exciting happened. When you don't want your readers to be reading just about routine events, you can use specific razors like let's say you're describing something exciting that happened that night and then you don't want to say. And then my character went home and they had dinner. They rushed 30. They went to bed. Nobody wants to read that right. It's boring. So you're just gonna end with that interesting scene and then continue on to the next interesting scene in the morning, and then you're going to describe what happened in the morning. If nothing happened for eight days, then you're going to say eight days later and then get back to what was to the events that are relevant to your story. The falling October or I was in my thirties when so they're different phrases in the I'm sure you can come up with others that can help you condense time but still maintain that chronological order. You can use a technique that's called a horizontal jump. In other words, you are not going to use those phrases that we just talked about. You can simply jump the new paragraph and in you seen. So how do you do that? You have to think about how you want to start each new scene. Right then you can very. Of course, it's good to very the way you started seeing. You don't want to be starting the same way over and over again. It gets boring for the readers. You can start with dialogue with action with a description of setting within. In the response, you can start by stating specifically time in place. Or you can start and you seen by using bridge in techniques, which your readers may find a little bit easier together into, or to follow them. Horizontal jumps sometime. So let's take a look at some examples and them using examples from my book Lethal Lethal Cargo, because I know what I was trying to do and also because I owned the copyrights and nobody can have any problems with the way I'm using this story. So let's take a look at the few examples beginning you seen with dialogue and think you look, I'm not quite beginning with dialogue. If you look at that, the 1st 4 lines are not dialogue, right. But this is actually the opening scene in the book. So I felt the first. The four lines were important to get the readers oriented in what the book is going to be about, or at least the circumstances off that opening scene. If I were writing this scene in the middle of the book, then I could have skipped the 1st 4 lines. So let's take a look. Let me read it to you. And you can think about two and see how this scene is focused on dialogue, mostly on the interaction between two characters. More emits peered into the darkness, trying to discern the thin line between the water and the sky. It was a moonless night, and the lights of Petrovsky were faint and far away, his strained to see in front of him the path illuminated solely by the navigational lights on the single engine boat in the distant stars we're getting close to captain said. More miss nodded taken. Taken in the dark silhouette of the offshore oil platform 300 meters away, the Black Sea was rich in oil in offshore oil platforms, pepper the area somewhere operational. But with the ongoing economic crisis and and political turmoil off the post Soviet era, many were abandoned awaiting demolition. You have to get off before reach the platform, the captain said. The area between the platform and the shore is watched for boats, but not for swimmers. I understand. Mormons stripped off his shirt, shoes and trousers, revealing swimming trunks underneath so you can see how dialogue is important in that scene . And what? That's what I tried to focus on. Um, if this scene were in the middle of ah book, you could probably just start with. We're getting close to Captain said right, and have the readers follow it from there. Another technique is beginning, and you seen with action. So take a look at this one, the old rusty Lada spotted to stop on a dirt road behind the row of old houses. So the very first sentence already gives us an image, right? So we have an old card it's stopping, and another thing that you should do in your scenes is make sure that your readers know who the point of view character is, right? So who is it in this case? The first sentence doesn't tell us. But the second does Valentin get out of the car, pulled his black equipment back out of the back seat and headed down the street, walking close defenses in the way from street lamps for tonight's trip, he wore black jeans, brown sandals with black socks in the Navy blue flannel shirt. I'm not going to read the rest of it. You can get the idea. So he's by himself, right? So there's no dialogue here, and I'm focusing on action and on the character who's doing that action, right? So that's another way to start than you've seen. Another option is a starter scene, with a description offsetting, and that works really well. If your previous scene had the same point of view character, remember how I said it's important to get readers oriented? So they just rather seen right the previous scene in a specific characters point of view, and then the next scene should be in that same character point of view. That's what they're either is expect if it's a different point of view. Character then say that. So here I'm started with description. Petrovsky Police Station was located two blocks from Isha's house in a small three story building with whitewashed walls in the red roof. In front of it, next to a covered porch, was a sprawling flowerbed with sand lilies. Across from the station was an old fourth and next to it, another cafe. It's colorful umbrellas reminiscent of giant exotic mushrooms, and you can continue. So this is very different, right? We don't have action here, but we know that there's an implied point of your character, the same one who finished the previous scene. You can also start with an in the response, meaning your character's thoughts, feelings or reactions to what's happening. So take a look again. As he climbed into the passenger seat next severe for the second time that day, Nikolai wondered about her motivation for inviting him to stay at your house. If a similar situation occurred in Moscow, would he do the same for a person he barely met? Probably not. But then this wasn't the fear question. Moscow was a 24 7 city with a population of 10 million and dozens of hotels within walking distance of each other. And then you can continue. Then they get into dialogue. So that first paragraph gives us a glimpse into Nikolai's thoughts. Right and again, I mentioned the calyx in the second part off the first sentence to help my readers get oriented and understand who's perspective they're reading. You can begin by stating time and place, especially if you're changing settings right, because again, you're either is expected to be in the same setting and with the same character, unless there's a change. And if there's a change, you need to clarify that. So let's take a look. A phone was brought to the poolside table about 1000 kilometers away in a small Greek village of neo smart Maheras. The man at the table set aside his mango infused drink, took the phone and dialed, and I'm not going to read the rest of it. You congee that yourself if you'd like. So what I'm trying to do here is I want to clarify that we have a different setting, right, different time in place and they stated, And then I'm going to introduce that man at the table. This is the first time I am bringing him into the story, so there's going to be some description off who he is later on. So we talked about ways just to jump into a new scenes right and how to do that. Um, if you and your readers find that bridges are easier than jumps, that you could use the them as well. Andrejus, meaning that you're including a signal phrase that helps your readers understand how much time passed during the next several months or in the following days, or it took longer than we had expected. And then you can kind of summarize what happens next or you can come get into and you seen . I hope these techniques are helpful to you, and I hope you have some idea now how to use a chronological time organization 62. Lecture 62: How to use flashbacks: lecture 6 to 2. How to use flashbacks. We talked about chronological organization earlier, but that's not the only way you can structure your story. Sometimes you may want to use a flash backs to interrupt your chronology. So what is a flashback? It's a jump in the present narrative, their memory from the past. And we know that happens in life as well, right? There's something that reminds us of a memory from the past, and we feel like we're transported into the time. This house reminded me of the time when, earlier I had seen, I recalled when or once so all of those of sickle phrases indicate an entrance into a flashback. Right? And the indicator your readers that a memory is about to be a told to them how to write flashbacks. You need to find the trigger to inter flashback. In real life, general memories done, just pop into your head for no reason. Usually, there's something that reminds us of a time in the past something that triggers a memory, and you also need the trigger to exit a flashback right and return to the present narrative . Why do you want to use a flashback. I'll think about your story. Your flashback has to have a purpose. It needs to advance the story. You need to keep flashbacks brief if they get too long than the readers, forget what the present nears, ever present tense narrative is telling them, and you shouldn't have reused flashbacks. If you make your readers jumping time too many times, they're more likely to lose interest in the story. So use flashback sparingly. Find a trigger to intra flashback. I have a couple of examples here. It could be a song or a chance encounter. Ascent Ascent is an interesting one. People have a lot of emotional memories connected to sense, So maybe the scent of a perfume reminds you of your grandmother. Maybe your story takes place. Let's say in in the mall, in the department store and somebody gives you a sample of a perf you, and that takes you back to the time when something happened from your childhood. All right, so you need to have some kind of a trigger or a reason toe enter a flashback. And on the other side, the flashback. You need some kind of ah, way to exit it again remember that shouldn't just stop it properly. But there should be something that brings you and your readers back to the present moment. Maybe a door slams or phone rings, or somebody addresses the narrator, and that brings them back to the present time. And that signals to the readers that the flashback is over. Use a flashback to advance the story that's very important in the life memories, sometimes just coming through our mind because they're triggered by something. And there's no reason for those memories. They don't necessarily serve a purpose of in our daily life or a clear, clear, practical purpose. But when you're writing, your flashbacks need to have a reason. So think about how well writing about this memory help you tell the story. How is this memory relevant to the story you're telling and what new information about character or plot does this memory provide? And if there's no new information and it's not relevant to the story, then you probably should not include that flashback. Keep it brief. Readers don't want long pages of a backstory, long pages of memories. Flashbacks should illustrate a specific point, and then you need to quickly return to the narrative of that you're writing. If a lot of the information and scenes and characters in the flashback are important to the main story, perhaps you should write a flashback as a scene in the main story, right instead of writing, it is a flashback that's always an option as well. Don't overuse flashbacks. Don't try to use flash backs to make a boring story exciting. That doesn't work right. So don't do that because your readers will know very quickly that you're just trying to spice things up. And the your story is not going to be stronger because of these random flashbacks and use flashbacks only when there's no other way to bring a moment from the past into the present . As we said before, if it's an important moment, if it's a long moment, maybe you can include it at the beginning of your story, right and included as the main part of your story. Not as a flashback 63. Lecture 63: How to use flashforwards and foreshadowing: Lecture 63. How to Use Flash Forwards and foreshadowing. Let's start with an unusual and interesting technique that's called the flash forward. We just talked about flashbacks, right? A flashback was interruption with present narrative to go back in time. A flash forward is a scene that interrupts the present time narrative to go forward in time and show events in the future. And, by the way, you don't have to be writing science fiction or fantasy of to use a flash forward. A lot of times of we look at events in the present and imagine what the future will be like , Right? So it's quite the realistic technique to use in the in realistic fiction. Flash forward, remember, is a scene right? It's not just a vague idea, or five years from now, I'd like to be a doctor. That's not a flash forward. That's more just like a dream or a goal. A flash forward should be a scene, which means it should have a specific setting. Characters dialogue and its purpose would be to show the future or to show the future. As somebody imagines it. There's an example from a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens before I draw nearer to that stone, to which you points that Scrooge. Answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that will be, or are the shadows of the things that maybe only still the ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood? Men's courses will foreshadow certain ends to which, if persevere, then they must lead, said Scrooge. But if the courses be departed from the ends, will change, say, the stuffed with what you show me. The spirit was immovable as ever, Scrooge kept towards it, trembling as he went and following the finger red upon the stone off the neglected grave. His own name, Ebenezer Scrooge. So here of the Ghost. So this is a fantasy element of the story, right? The ghost. This taken Scrooge into the future and shown to him what the future will be like if he doesn't change the course of actions, right? A T least according to Scrooge. So that's a flash forward. What this foreshadowing Ah, foreshadowing is not a scene that they're just little hints and clues about the events to come. For example, in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The students early in the story hear strange noises and sounds in the walls, and later they discover a monster there. So those strange sounds were used to four share, though the presence, the presence of a monster, how to use foreshadowing make it relevant to the story. Obviously, if these noises in the walls didn't lead to anything or nobody cared about the monster, there was no interaction with that monster. Then he shouldn't include it in the story. So you have to have a specific purpose, and you have to plan for shadowing. And again, don't overdo it. Eso you use foreshadowing Teoh and the and then you make sure there's a payoff. Write something important happens based on those hints and clues that you put in early in the story make foreshadowing relevant off. That's important. You don't want to give clues and hints about events that may not end up being too important . So ask yourself, does a specific event need for shadowing? And why does it need foreshadowing? What dramatic effect with foreshadow and serve? In the example of J. K. Rolling and the monster, she put those sounds in the walls right first, Why did she need to put them in? I think she wanted to use them to create more suspense, more anticipation and maybe make the final encounter with the monster a scarier than it would have been otherwise. And you also have to balance your foreshadowing with the issue of whether you're given too much. If you include foreshadowing right, so hints are good. But you don't want to hint as so much that your final event that pay off the appearance of the monster. Let's say it would be too obvious for the readers. Use it with the purpose and the purpose could be suspense. So as you write your story, decide how much suspense they want to create. Let's say your story has a scene when there's a murder in the park. So what kind of hints would you like to include? And I have here examples off three levels. If you want to call them that three levels of hints you could show you a character research in parks online that sounds pretty innocuous and innocuous and innocent, right, But it's still a hint shown you character hiding something in the car. Let's say that's the next level off foreshadowing. It's a stronger hint because if somebody is hiding something, your readers may suspect that they're up to no good or show your character hiding a gun. We all know what guns can be used for. So that's the strongest level of foreshadowing. When you write your story and create specific scenes of, you have to think about how many hints do you want to create and how much suspense do you want to build into your story and what level of hint you want to include? You could use for shelling to set up a certain plot point, for example, Maybe later on, you want to show a conflict at work. So what scene that we need earlier in the story? Maybe you can show your character applying for a job or interviewed for a job, or maybe coming to work on the first day. All of these air possibilities. So you have to decide of what would suit your story best. So the gold here is Ah, you're setting up a specific plot point right? Ah, plan for shadowing. How early should you include it while you don't want it to be too early because your readers might forget. You don't want it to be too close to the event itself because that might become too obvious . Maybe you need to foreshadow the same event more than once, so maybe you can use more than one clue or more than one hint. And it's possible that each the following hint could be stronger than the other. In my example were there earlier off a character, uh, committing a murder in the park, Maybe first to just show that character researching parks online, then later hiding something and let later you see that the character has a gun so the hints could be stronger each time. Some some authors like to include foreshadowing as the right the draft, but sometimes it's too difficult. Maybe you write about this murder in the park, and then you go back and find places where you could include foreshadowing Now that can work quite nicely, too. All right, don't overdo it. Uh, you don't want your hints to be too obvious. Readers like to think so. Let's give them a chance to think so. What you could do is maybe a character gets interrupted in the middle of a certain discovery, which makes the character forget it, and then the readers together to If you end the chapter is seen with the discovery, your leaders are more likely to remember it, and that might create a hint that's too obvious. So if your character discover something and then gets distracted, something else happens. Your readers kind of get distracted, too, and that could create a nice way to hide it. Hint A little bit. Ah four. Shattering in the payoff. I'm going to quote Anton Chekhov again here. If when the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired, right? So that pistol on the wall or it's also known as the chair halves gun. You could look that up if you'd like and their explanations of it, meaning that, uh, everything in the story serves a purpose. If there's a gun on the wall, it needs to be used right. If it's not going to be used, don't put it in your story. I don't put a hint that's not going to be used off course. There exceptions. There's a concept of a red herring. If you include a misleading clue on purpose to mislead your readers and to misdirect, Um, and to make your story more interesting, that's perfectly fine. But it's still your hands. Your clue has a purpose. 64. Lecture 64: How to use cliffhangers: Lecture. 64. How to Use Cliffhangers. What is a cliffhanger? The term comes from a novel by Thomas Hardy. That's that was called a pair of blue eyes from 18 73 and at the end of one of the chapters , his character, Henry Knight, was left hanging off a cliff, staring into the abyss below, so that severe, literal definition of a cliffhanger. And, of course, the readers would want to find out what's going to happen to this poor guy. So that would make them go to the next chapter into the next scene and read what happens to him now. We don't need to hang all our characters or cliffs. Of course, a cliffhanger is a little device, and it means characters procuring situation. At the end, there was seen or a chapter. It's an unresolved situation that creates suspense and entices readers to read more. You can think of. It is the type of foreshadowing the readers know that the problem is, they're So how is the problem going to be resolved? And they want to keep reading. You can also think of it as a question like an an implied question you posed to the readers What is going to happen? How is he going to get off that literal or figures of cliff? So when you write a cliffhanger on, think about these goals. You need to intrigue your readers by creating a question in their mind and withholding an answer until a later scene or later chapter. You can think of flip cliffhangers as a type of foreshadowing when, though the situation is important when, though, is going to be resolved, which is Don't know how yet. Don't overwrite it If you add to money details to Manu, our thoughts about the scene, the you might lose that in effect of suspense and think about the very last line. Make your last line of effective and intriguing types of cliff hangers General. Three main types of physical danger. A blackout or an emotional cliffhanger. So take a look. A Let's take a look at these examples. Ah, physical danger. This is from white out they can fall it. Kids voice ring out. Nobody move. Don't respond around leveling the gun. Kids stood in the doorway. He had no gun, but he was holding a simple glass perfume, spraying his hand as if it were a weapon. Tony recognized the bottle that she had seen on the security video being filled with Madaba , too. Kid said, This contains the virus. Once court will kill you, everyone stood still. So that's the end of the scene. Everyone stood still. That's pretty effective last line. When over there not going to keep standing still writes, What are they going to the next? What's going to happen? That's the intrigue. That's a question in readers minds. And obviously it's physical danger because, he said, the survivors can kill everybody. So that's one type of cliffhanger. Another type is a blackout. So what? I mean by blackout? We don't need to read the whole scene, but we can start at the beginning. There was malice in the dark that she could smell it, feel it. She walked faster, certain. Now she was being followed. Then something happens to her and the last line. It was the last thing she heard before. The blackness closed over her right? So she's maybe being kidnapped. She's being attacked, and she doesn't know what's going to happen, and neither do the readers. The blackout technique. You can use it when your character doesn't know what's going to happen in between these events and when you don't want to describe them, so probably the next scene, it has to be resolved, right, So she's gonna find out, she's gonna wake up. She's going open her eyes, and she is going to be probably in a different time and place. So where is she going to be? How is the situation going to resolve itself? So that's the blackout type of fuck cliffhanger. The third type is emotional cliffhanger. This is the most common type of cliffhangers, but they're often more subtle but very effective. They get the readers to turn the pages, even though the readers can pinpoint a specific ah phrase or sentence, and they don't know why they want to turn the pages. When using an emotional cliffhanger. Think about different possibilities. This emotion can come from the main character or your point of view character from another character or from the reader, and almost any emotion can function as a cliffhanger. So what you need to do here is grounded either solidly inside the head of the viewpoint character like we talked about earlier. If you don't do this the emotion might come across as inauthentic. The motion can come from a non viewpoint character, and then the cliffhanger is the viewpoint. Characters opinion about the demotion, right? Um, let's look at an example from catching fire from the movie catching fire. So one of the scenes there, Katniss is being told that this trick 12 has been destroyed. She didn't expect that it's a shock to her. So the scene ends with the camera. Zoom in. You know her face and we see the despair, the agony, and we see the tears in your eyes. And that's the end of the scene. So what's our question? While we want to know what's going to happen next? We feel sorry for her. We want to find out how is she going toe overcome that emotion, right? So that's the emotional cliffhanger. 65. Lecture 65: How to write a good opening scene: Lecture. 65. How to write a good opening scene So you're opening scene is, of course, the first time that your readers encounter your book and your story, and it's important it should introduce your characters. It should introduce the setting, suggests the plot and suggest the direction of your story. So those are the goals. Important goals of the opening scene. Let's take a look at how you can accomplish these goals. Introduce your story idea that's important to do in the opening scene. Have you seen the movie Jaws? And if you, if you have maybe also know that it was based on the novel Jaws and the of the idea is the same. There's, ah, a great big shark that's theorizing Resort town and people get eaten by that shark, right? So that's the plot of the movie end off the novel. The opening scene is very similar in the novel and in the movie. In the In the movie, we have a couple, a man and a woman who are living in the beach house, and the woman goes for a swim and she disappears and her companion is a little bit drunk. So he's passed out, and he doesn't realize what's happening in the movie. The scene a similar except it's a group of teenagers at the beach party, right? So that first scene, the dramatic events with this woman or a young girl in that first scene introduced what happens in the rest of the story. Ah, foreshadow your story idea. That's another important element of what you're opening scenes should do. I have two examples here in Macbeth. Three witches come to Macbeth in the opening scene, and they make predictions off what's going to happen. And we know by these predictions or first or predictions are for share doing right. And we know that that these predictions are not good for Macbeth, so anticipate something bad to happen. And the other example is Sleeping Beauty, for your foreshadowing is used a lot in fear, tales and myths and a lot of stories. So in the sleeping beauty, the king and queen are very happy that they finally had the baby, that ah ah that they have a little girl now and they have a Parsi and they invite a bunch of different theories to off the Parsi. But they forgetting to invite one, and then she curses the baby. And of course, the curse is not going to take effect for a while until she turns the 16 years of age. And you probably know the rest of the story. But again, think about that opening scene. The curse happens early on, and then she lives pretty happily for a while until her 16th birthday. But the readers know that something's going to happen, and that foreshadowing makes the more interested in reading. So that's why it's important to include foreshadowing at the opening opening scene components. You should have a compelling hook. You probably should have of the protagonists perspective, a clear arc. You can hint at the ending and establish tone and pace, pretending this perspective, just going back to that for second. It's not always the case if you look at the Harry Potter series, for example, JK Rolling doesn't start with Harry Potter's perspective, but she has a reason not to start with it. So I'm think about if you're choosing a different character, the begin your story, your novel with Why is that? Do you have a good reason? She did for sure in here bother Siri's all right. Compelling hook. Let's take a look at these two sentences that could start your story. Janet walked into the dentist office and up to the receptionist window to send in for her root canal. And here's the 2nd 1 Janet Priest in the hissing Gas and immediately felt her face sliding off her skull. What is more compelling, I would say the 2nd 1 Why is that? The 1st 1 I think, starts too early. There's nothing that exciting that's happening yet. Why did not, for root canals exciting, but there's not doubt no action right at the beginning. She just going in. She's planning to do something. The 2nd 1 She's right in the middle of things. There's actually a term for it. It's called in medias rez, which means from Latin in the middle of things, you want to mercy readers into something interesting that's already happening. You want to give them a feeling that they need to catch up a little bit, and that will make them read more careful and pay more attention. Protagonist perspective. I'm giving you an example again. We've seen this before from my book a little cargo and I'm starting with more emits. Actually, he is not of the main character. He's one of the two characters and the alternate perspectives for the 1st 2 chapters between him and another character. But the look at the very beginning more omits, peered into the darkness, trying to discern the thin line and you can keep reading. But what I was trying to do is I was trying to make the readers imagine the scene quite easily. I want to make it easy for them to get into the beginning off this story, and they can feel what more Mrs feeling right? And then he starts having adventures, and by then they're hopeful, interested enough in him to keep reading. Ah, clear arc. You need to have a protagonist with a clear motivation. What does he or she want to do? What's the goal? And your story is going to be developing a conflict which comes up against that character's motivation or desire, a resolution that needs to be satisfied by the scenes end. It doesn't mean that your character has to accomplish what they set out to Dio, but this resolution needs toe relate to the initial desire or goal and the opening needs to have a number of questions that keep the readers reading, not to confuse them, but to make the one to find out more so. Hint that the ending, Let's so think of the example of The Wizard of Oz. The story begins and ends in the same place in Kansas, but the scenes in the beginning and the end of year different from from each other. At the beginning, Dorothy is feeling unwanted. She's unsure she belongs to Kansas into her home, and she wants to be somewhere else. Then she goes into a big adventure and that the end would see that she knows that this is home. This is the place where she belongs. She loves being there. So the ending scene is the completion off Dorothy's art from the very first scene, right, and as a lot of quest stories, it ends and begins in the same place. But emotionally that place is they're different for the main character for Dorothy, in this case, established tone and pace that's important. If you're writing a romance novel, your readers need to know it's romance from the very beginning. If you're writing a violent bloody I don't know thriller. Then show that in the opening scene you don't want your readers to believe they're reading one type of book. You know, the 1st 2 pages are all nice and romantic. And then suddenly there's blood and gore. That's like a bait and switch. And your readers don't like that. They want to know what the story is like, and they kind of know what they're in for from the very beginning. 66. Lecture 66: How to use humor: lecture 66. How to use humor and before was started. Just a quick disclaimer. You could the watch a whole class about humor, or you could do the whole book about humor and still not quite master it. So this lecture has very limited goals. I just would like to give you a few tips, a few techniques, how you could introduce humor into your story. So it's not a complete class on writing humor. But first of all, why? Why would you want to use humor? If you're writing a life story based on yourself, then humor, You could use it as an antidote to bragging what I mean by that. Well, if your book is about accomplishment, you want to show something that you are successful at. You may want to soft in your tone with humor so your book doesn't come across as too arrogant or to bragging. On the flip side, if you're writing about something very serious, something very dark humor is a good technique to lighten those serious and dark moments. You could also show your authentic self right, and you can use humor to soften any scenes with anger or pain or embarrassment. If you're writing a novel, these are all, of course, good goals that apply to the novel as as well. But you can also use humor for a specific character. And maybe this is the one character that's always making fun of things, always looking at the lighter side of life. So that's a good way to develop a character in your story as well. Well, let's take a look at a few examples. One way to use humor is to use the rule of three. So what you do here is a list to relevant ideas to expect that ideas and then a surprising third air, the surprising 3rd 1 Here's an example. Losing way this simple. Eat less exercise more and pay NASA to let you live with an anti gravity chamber. So obviously eat less and exercise more is what your readers expect, and then you add something unexpected, and that creates a humorous effect. Use misdirection. So what you do here is you start with a common saying or a proverb directly or a cliche, and then you change it. Here's an example. A proverb is you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink, and you could change it in your story and say, You can lead the horse, the water, But you can't make him think so. It sounds similar again. It has that surprised ending like we discussed last time and that it creates again a little bit of humor. Use. Irony, actually, is when you mean the opposite of what you say. Let's say you're writing about things going wrong in the life of a character, and you want to say or what you mean is. God hates me, but you're right. God loves me. So that's the opposite. And in the context of your story, it will create this ironic effect. Use the word play here. A couple of examples from George Carlin. Atheism is a non profit organization, and, of course, it works especially well. In written form. You can see how the world profit is spelled right, and that's where the worth play comes in. I put the dollar in the change machine. Nothing changed here where there's a play on the word change, right? What does it mean? A change in direction in life or just small coins? Use hyperbole or exaggeration, an example from Rodney Dangerfield. My parents didn't like me for bathtub toys. They gave me a blender in a transistor radio. Obviously, we know that if you want to live, you shouldn't use a blender in the radio inside the bathtub. Eso that's ah, he's exaggerating here to create a humorous effect. Use misplaced focus. Jonathan Swift wrote his modest proposal. The problem he was addressing was Irish kids living in poverty, and he was trying to find solutions for that. And he used the both irony and misplaced focus when he said, Well, let's eat the kids And of course, there was an effect of shock as well that made people focus on this problem. Or the last technique we're gonna talk about is using funny sounding words. I have a list of examples here. All these words do exist in the English language, and they do have you meanings. But too many people, they sound funny. So adding these words to your story can create this finding effect, and you can look at more examples at the length of that posted here. All right, that's the end of it. I hope these techniques give you some idea of how to use humor. And maybe you look at some more books and some more details, detailed information on how to develop on how to write humorous essays and humorous books. I hope this was helpful. 67. Lecture 67: Section wrap-up: We've covered a lot of ground in the score so far. Now, you should have most of the techniques you need to start writing. You know, you have a story to tell and, you know, you have the basic techniques to get going, right? At this point, I'd suggest that you stop the course for a while and actually start writing. Don't second guess yourself. Don't criticize yourself. And don't compare yourself to the latest bestselling author. Sure, they're published. Book is better than your first draft, But have you seen their first draft? What we see as readers is a Polish draft is a finished product, right? You aren't at that stage yet. You're still writing the first draft. So relax, have fun and tell your story in any way you can. Then come back here and we'll talk about devising in the proving. I'll see you soon 68. Lecture 68: Section overview: Congratulations. You have written the first draft of your story, and now you're ready to revise it and make it the best your story can be In this section will talk about the process off purposeful divisions this process takes takes multiple readings, and each reading has its own focus and its own goal. If you're writing a memoir, will also address a few specific questions that have to do with memoirs. And if not, then most of the section will be applicable to you. Also, are you ready to get started? 69. Lecture 69: The first reading: ask big questions: lecture 6 to 9. The first reading. Ask big questions So you have finished your novel ready. Have finished the complete draft or your life story. My suggestion is before you start reading it and revising it, take a break set of the side. We've all heard that good wine improves with time, and I think your ability to edit will improve as well. When you give your mind a chance to forget the details of your story and separate a little bit from it. When you get back to it, you'll be able t o read it and edited with a fresher perspective. So taking the break is important. Then, when you're ready to begin. Yeah, I would say that you need to read fast and take notes. Your focus is the big picture. Don't get focused on little details or start editing, punctuation or spelling or changing words in your sentences. There will be time for that. For now. Your goal is to read your book through as fast as you can and to get a general impression right? And as you're reading, I'm gonna have a bunch of different questions for you, for different areas of your book. So the first area is a theme questions. So as you're reading, think about and make some notes about the themes that emerged in your book. There might be multiple themes, so think about those multiple themes. But also think about the major thematic conflict and think about ways you can make this conflict and these themes more prominent and more obvious to your readers. Then also think about the story in general. What is the story? What is the essence of your story and that suggest that you write your story in three paragraphs. Do you think there's a reason I named three paragraphs? If you're thinking that three paragraphs have to do with the structure of the story, the beginning, the middle and the end, then you're correct. Those three paragraphs should reflect the beginning, the middle in the end of your story, see if you can do that and figure out of the main story in your book, Then look at voice. What are the qualities of your voice, where there's your voice sound real and authentic, and when does it sound less real and, of course, fixed the areas, or at least mark the areas for now, where your voice is not sounding as real and as believable as you would like it to be. And, of course, the boring parts Readers don't want to read those boring parts, so you have to be honest with yourself and look at parts of the story where your story gets boring and the reasons that it may seem counterintuitive. The reasons could be kind of opposite. Maybe have too many details, and these details are not advancing the story enough. Then you should cut those details. Or maybe it's the opposite. Maybe you're jumping over important events too much, and you're not give enough enough details, not putting in enough emotional significance in this story. Then you need to add details to those sections. A chronology. We talked about different ways to use time, right, stretching time and jumping over a certain scenes using flashback slash forwards. So take a look and see if you maybe overdid some of those techniques, and you could change the order of events to make the story less confusing. Or you could do the opposite. Maybe you see that there's an opportunity to make your story more suspenseful by including a foreshadowing or a flashback or flash forward so you could look at chronology that way and see what you could them. What you could fix to the beginning. This is an issue that a lot of beginning writers have. They want to make sure that you read the readers understand everything, so they start away early in the story. Maybe you've heard advice from editor saying that never start the story with somebody waking up. Why not? Well, because it's too, too obvious, too mundane. Nothing exciting is happening. Get to the exciting event. Get to the media's rest to the middle of things when something is happening. And perhaps you can cut some of the opening pages and start a little bit later in the same idea. Place to the ending. Think about where does your story really end again? A lot of beginning writers stand toe over Explain things at the end. You need to trust your readers. They're smart people that got to the end of your book. They're going to be able to figure out what the meaning of your book is without explaining without your explanations at the end. And the more member of the memorable ending would be a powerful image or a scene. One line that the character speaks, not your explanation off the ending. All right, so those are the questions you should ask when you're doing of the first reading off the story, and these questions are attached to you, of course materials for your reference. 70. Lecture 70: The second reading: ask smaller questions: lecture. 70. The second reading. Ask smaller questions now that you've done the first treating and looked at the themes in the big events in your story, the overall chronology, the overall story in its complexity, we're going to start looking at smaller issues that can make your story more interesting. So for this reading, I would suggest that, as you read it, mark spots when something doesn't feel right or when you stop paying attention. So you're really leading right the whole manuscript again in Just mark those spots again. Try not to fix them as you go, but just mark those areas. And then, as you're reading, you can also make notes in your anything journal. And here's some examples off things to look for areas to develop, areas to shorten underlying or mark cliches that you can a later replace. Don't try to replace them as they go. I find it more effective if you fit focused on one specific issue at the time. So if you just mark all the cliches and then you go through your book again and try to fix those cliches and express the same ideas better, you'll be more efficient than if you're trying to fix everything as you go, look at areas when you're telling too much, and maybe you need to be showing so seeing development. Another interesting look think to look for is recurring images. There's a potential to develop some symbolism in those recurrent images. Look at humor or look at possibilities to add humor to a specific character or the specific scenes. And we discussed earlier some techniques how you could use a little bit of humor in your story. And, of course, ah, into me. It's the last one, but it's the most important one. Lack of clarity. If your readers don't know what's going on in your story or who the characters are, they're not going to read. So make sure that your your scenes, your characters, your development is clear in all these areas are listed in are included in your attached exercise with the lots of specific questions exactly how to find these areas and what to do with them. So I hope this exercise will be helpful. When do you stop anything? Well, if you're rewriting the same paragraph and you don't know if you're making it better or worse, you don't know what's good or what's bad anymore. That's a good sign that you probably should stop when you're changes. Stopped being meaningful. Sometimes my students say, Well, is ah, the world fantastic, better or worth fabulous Better? Which words should they use? Well, I don't know doesn't make a big difference. Is it meaningful? If you can tell, you could probably use either word, and that would be OK so we can change things endlessly. But if you realize your changed, your changes are not changing the meaning that enhancing the meaning than just stop what when you don't know what you're anything for anymore, you keep reading and reading and you don't know what you're looking for. That's another sign you need to stop and also when you feel you're done. And no, it's not that specific. But we get that feeling that this I'm done and maybe this is not the best book in the world . But this is the best book that I can write at this point in my life. Then that's a good time to stop. All right, so this is the second leading. I hope this questions and ideas were helpful, and the exercise is attached to, of course materials so you can look a more specific questions 71. L71 mp4: lecture. 7 to 1, questions specific. The memoirs and life stories. One concern that people have one writing a life story. A true story is reactions of others. You can think, Oh, what will and me rethink. Will she ever speak to me again? So that's definitely a valid concern and something to think about as you write your story. As you consider writing your life story, think about what kind of goals do you have. Why are you writing it? The wrong goals would be to humiliate somebody, to shame or to punish. If that's why you're writing a story, you may want to rethink your goals. The right goal for most life stories would be to make some meaning out of a life's event and write the story about it in the any life store. There some legal concerns of deformation, of evasion, invasion of privacy. And if you're in doubt, if you're worried about that, if you feel that your story could offend or hurt somebody, I would suggest to get professional legal advice generally. How do you avoid some of these problems? One is don't exaggerate and don't lie off course. The exception ists. You can disguise someone's identity. That's a lie that's completely so called lie that's completely acceptable in memory rating . And when you disguise those identities, you need to disguise them. Well, we'll talk about this in a minute. Don't accuse anyone off crime off dishonesty or or of incompetence, and don't attribute a mental or a physical disease to anyone. So those are good the general guidelines. But again, if your story is very sensitive than you do need in in many cases anyway, you do need to get legal advice about it. Getting permissions is always a good idea. It gives you some legal protection. It shows people you care, and it prevents unpleasant surprises for people who are in that story. This guy's and identities. How do you do that? You can change the person's name, or you should change the person's name, change their appearance and delete a specific, recognizable characteristic. What I mean by that, uh, if a person has a limb, for example, in your story, they're not going to have a limp. That's part appearance, right? Part of characteristic. You can also add the personal habit or trade that the real person cannot have. For example, of one of the characters in your story is a cat owner and in in life is a cat owner. And in your story, you're going to make that person allergic to cats, right? So that's another way off. Disguising identity. There's some ethical concerns that have to do with your intentions, vs reactions of others. Do you intend to lie? Do you intend to hurt or they want to entertain at any cost? And maybe the answer is no. But if people perceive it that way, that could also pose some problems. Unfortunately, when to turn your life story into a novel. If the previous slides have been kind of depressing, if you think that ethical reasons, emotional reasons and legal reasons are somehow preventing you from writing this story, then you can definitely turn it into a novel. Or if you just feel that imagination has taken over and you want to embellish, you want to exaggerate. You want to add things that didn't happen then that's perfectly fine, as long as you don't call it the memoir. As long as you say it's a fictional novel and then you can use your imagination to any extent that you want and remember what you're doing. If you're writing a memoir, a life story or fiction, you need to write a good story that has a clear story arc, interesting characters that it has, ah, theme that your readers can think about interesting settings. That your story consists of scenes that move the story forward with dialogue with the interactions and that your story has an ending that provides a resolution to the main thematic conflict. 72. Lecture 72: Section wrap-up: How did your division process go? I hope you found my questions and multiple readings helpful. Sometimes it feels that reading your story multiple times takes too long, and it can be tempting to correct this issues and one reading. But I found this way with the process of multiple readings easier and better and more efficient. But of course it's your story, and you have to decide what works best for you. So it's up to you. And please remember everything I have presented in the scores are just suggestions and tips . We all right in different ways, so union to decide what works best for you. Take the suggestions you like and use them and ignore the rest. What We're talking about creative writing here, right? So be creative. 73. Final Thoughts: Congratulations. You have finished the scores. I hope you found my tips and suggestions useful. We have the discussed a lot of things. Story structure outlining, seen development, fighting your voice, developing characters, writing dialogue, identifying theme. Devising to thinking. I hope you can think some of these ideas and apply them to your story. Thank you for taking the scores. I wish you the best of luck in your writing. And I hope to see you in another one of my classes soon. Thanks again and happy writing.