The 8 Specific Elements to Writing a Bestselling Novel
by Writing Workshops Staff
A year ago
1) High Moment and Character Change: You have to know the specific purpose of your scene, build to a key moment at the end (last lines) of your scene, which creates change in your character.
2) Microtension on every page. All points to the secrets and twists to come. What are you not saying simmers under the surface of your scenes. This will make or break your story. Discussion of critical action-reaction cycle.
3) Nuances of deep POV, including unique voices for every character. It's important to establish character mood, mind-set, and motivation right from the start.
4) Sensory detail. Going beyond five senses, using specific wording to set mood and tone for the scene. What the character processes through her senses should reveal important things about her and not merely convey information.
5) Emotional manipulation—you must know how you want your readers to feel and how to get them there. And you need to masterfully learn how to show emotion in three key ways.
6) High Stakes! High, believable personal and public stakes that ramp up to the climax.
7) Purposeful backstory in the right amounts and the right places.
8) Tight, distilled dialogue. It makes or break a scene. We'll look at "on the nose" dialogue and discuss dialogue mechanics. Characters rarely say what they mean, but what they need seeps through.
If you're looking for a guide, consider one of our upcoming fiction workshops!