NaBloPoMo#30 Viewpoint, Character, and Plot

“No writer sitting down at his typewriter can be absolutely  sure what will emerge.” This quote is by Foster-Harris in The Basic Patterns of Plot,  Copyright by the University of Oklahoma Press, fifth printing.

At my typewriter, I have found his statement to be true and as much worth remembering as Hemingway’s famous line “all it takes is one true sentence.”

My copy of  “The Basic Patterns of Plot” was in my hands more than it was on the shelf as I studied how to write. The worn copy is still the favorite of my how-to-write books.

From the correspondence writing classes through the University of Oklahoma, and from this book in particular, I learned the basics on viewpoint, character, and plot.

According to Foster-Harris, “The purpose of the viewpoint is to locate, focus, limit, and define the story.”

My novel, Call of the Cadron,  is told from the viewpoint of the protagonist, Jordan Diane Maxey.  A few chapters are presented through the viewpoint of two other characters.

Call of the Cadron came off the press in May 2012. I self-published it through my company, Nic Baker Books.  I still have much to do to market the book but I’m having a good time.  Just to hold my book in my hands is the fulfillment of a dream.

Do you have a favorite book that has helped you through a struggle in writing?

I highly recommend The Basic Patterns of Plot, which is out of print now, but sometimes it’s available as a used book. Even though it may be a costly item, I can tell you it’s  worth it.        —Freeda Baker Nichols



Quoting the Experts

“No writer sitting down at his typewriter can be absolutely sure what will emerge.” Quote by Foster-Harris, from The Basic Patterns of Plot, the University of Oklahoma Press.

The small hardback copy has a wealth of information that has continually inspired me. Out of print now, my copy I treasure and still love reading it.

Recently, a minor character in my short story (or novelette)  took on a mind of her own and was conversing quite beautifully with the protagonist. “Whoa!” my critique group said.  They advised deleting part of her conversation, changing it in a major way. That’s my favorite passage,  I thought. But our critique group’s rules frown on arguing the point. Finally, I  agreed and worked in the changes.

Somewhere I have heard or read that a good rule to follow is: cut your copy even in the sentences you first believe are your very best!  Listen to your reader. After all, isn’t your reader the person to whom you are writing?

© 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols