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In this course, author Lisa Cron digs into the craft of writing a compelling story based on what the brain is wired to respond to in every story we hear. Whether you're writing a story from scratch, or revising your story for the umpteenth time, this course offers practical how-to advice, then illustrates it using before-and-after examples. Discover how to craft a first page, zero in on your story's point, create empathy, find a character's secret goals and inner issues, translate generics into specifics, write for suspense, create cause-and-effect connections, build momentum and tension, and deftly implement setups, payoffs, flashbacks, subplots, and foreshadowing.
If you want to be sure your story is grounded in specifics, what the reader not only needs but really wants to know, ask yourself the following questions--and be ruthless. First, have you translated every single generic into a specific? You want to make sure that everything on the page is so specific that as far as the reader is concerned, your story is virtual reality. Second, will the reader know what your protagonist's specific reactions are? Remember, the reader isn't simply interested in what happens, what they really want to know is how what happens is affecting your protagonist.
Don't forget to let us in on what she's really thinking. Third, do all your sensory details--that is what something looks like, feels like, tastes like--have an actual story reason to be there? You want to be sure each sensory detail is strategically placed to give us insight into your characters, your story, and perhaps even your theme. Remember, the reader expects that everything you tell them is there strictly on a need-to-know basis. That includes how delicious the strawberry taste, how stunning the sunset looks, and how excruciating the pointy-toed high-heels were.
Okay, to help get the hang of this, open the example in your exercise files. It's the rough draft of a scene featuring a woman named Mable. She's worried about something. Your job is to decide exactly what.
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