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Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story
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Story check (Flashbacks, subplots, and foreshadowing)


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Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story

with Lisa Cron

Video: Story check (Flashbacks, subplots, and foreshadowing)

The writer's job is to weave in subplots, flashbacks, and foreshadowing, so the reader sees them for what they are, necessary information, rather than what they are not, deadly digressions. Here are questions to ask of your story to be sure you've done just that. First, does each subplot or flashback in some way affect the main storyline? What specific information does it give that the reader needs to know? It might be factual information, it might give us insight into the protagonist, or both, but whatever it is, it must be relevant. Second, does the reader need to know the information at this very moment? Make sure the logic is on the page and not just in your head.
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  1. 2m 40s
    1. Welcome
      1m 45s
    2. How to use this course
      55s
  2. 9m 38s
    1. Explanation (What is a story?)
      3m 34s
    2. Example (What is a story?)
      4m 14s
    3. Story check (What is a story?)
      1m 50s
  3. 8m 46s
    1. Explanation (Hooking your reader)
      3m 51s
    2. Example (Hooking your reader)
      3m 19s
    3. Story check (Hooking your reader)
      1m 36s
  4. 8m 51s
    1. Explanation (All stories make a point)
      2m 56s
    2. Example (All stories make a point)
      3m 54s
    3. Story check (All stories make a point)
      2m 1s
  5. 9m 33s
    1. Explanation (Feeling what the protagonist feels)
      3m 43s
    2. Example (Feeling what the protagonist feels)
      3m 19s
    3. Story check (Feeling what the protagonist feels)
      2m 31s
  6. 7m 6s
    1. Explanation (All protagonists have a goal)
      2m 36s
    2. Example (All protagonists have a goal)
      3m 9s
    3. Story check (All protagonists have a goal)
      1m 21s
  7. 7m 37s
    1. Explanation (Uncovering your protagonist's inner issue)
      2m 53s
    2. Example (Uncovering your protagonist's inner issue)
      2m 27s
    3. Story check (Uncovering your protagonist's inner issue)
      2m 17s
  8. 9m 58s
    1. Explanation (Being specific rather than vague)
      4m 51s
    2. Example (Being specific rather than vague)
      3m 33s
    3. Story check (Being specific rather than vague)
      1m 34s
  9. 9m 3s
    1. Explanation (Suspense and conflict)
      3m 29s
    2. Example (Suspense and conflict)
      4m 6s
    3. Story check (Suspense and conflict)
      1m 28s
  10. 10m 35s
    1. Explanation (Cause and effect)
      4m 0s
    2. Example (Cause and effect)
      4m 16s
    3. Story check (Cause and effect)
      2m 19s
  11. 11m 50s
    1. Explanation (What can go wrong, must)
      4m 42s
    2. Example (What can go wrong, must)
      5m 0s
    3. Story check (What can go wrong, must)
      2m 8s
  12. 10m 59s
    1. Explanation (Setups, payoffs, and the clues in between)
      4m 19s
    2. Example (Setups, payoffs, and the clues in between)
      5m 6s
    3. Story check (Setups, payoffs, and the clues in between)
      1m 34s
  13. 11m 7s
    1. Explanation (Flashbacks, subplots, and foreshadowing)
      4m 56s
    2. Example (Flashbacks, subplots, and foreshadowing)
      4m 20s
    3. Story check (Flashbacks, subplots, and foreshadowing)
      1m 51s
  14. 1m 49s
    1. Next steps
      1m 49s

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Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story
1h 59m Beginner Jan 31, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • What is a story?
  • Hooking your reader
  • Feeling what the protagonist feels
  • Being specific
  • Creating suspense and conflict
  • Writing flashbacks and subplots
Subjects:
Business Collaboration Presentations Business Skills Writing Communication
Author:
Lisa Cron

Story check (Flashbacks, subplots, and foreshadowing)

The writer's job is to weave in subplots, flashbacks, and foreshadowing, so the reader sees them for what they are, necessary information, rather than what they are not, deadly digressions. Here are questions to ask of your story to be sure you've done just that. First, does each subplot or flashback in some way affect the main storyline? What specific information does it give that the reader needs to know? It might be factual information, it might give us insight into the protagonist, or both, but whatever it is, it must be relevant. Second, does the reader need to know the information at this very moment? Make sure the logic is on the page and not just in your head.

When you leave the main storyline, you want the reader to follow you willingly, not kicking and screaming. Third, when you return to the main storyline, will your readers see things with new eyes from that moment on? You want readers to come back to the main storyline feeling as though they have new insight. Ask yourself, what has the reader learned that changes how they'll see things from here on out? The only wrong answer is nothing. Fourth, if a protagonist does something out of character, have you foreshadowed it? This is a bona fide get out of jail free card.

Otherwise, when the protagonist does something out of the blue that he or she would never do, it's to groaner, but if you set it up in advance, it's a delight because you've surprised us with something you've allowed us to suspect. Now you try, the example in your exercise files is about Mona, a young woman who's just earned her first paycheck. Your job is to choose where to stop the scene and write a flashback that gives it meaning.

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