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MORE PLOTTING

Posted on September 28, 2011

So why are you writing your story? Is it to make a political or social point? Is it to change society, to highlight a wrong (perhaps a miscarriage of justice) or maybe even just attract a partner? Is there, in other words, a deeper meaning for your story, one that is more fundamental than a mere narrative?

There may well be. Nothing wrong with that, and plenty right with it.

A word of caution, though.

THE STORY COMES FIRST.

A Day in the Life Ivan Denisovitch is a powerful blow against the communist way of doing things not because it highlights the cruelty, corruption and sheer ineptitude of the system, but because it does so throught brilliant writing and careful plotting; because the prose is simple and has a gentle, lulling rhythm, and because Solzhenitsyn makes you care about the characters, make you feel that you are in the labour camp, that you are experiencing subzero temperatures and eating nothing but thin gruel.

Never forget, whatever your reasons for writing, that you must be a storyteller first and last.

Tags: getting the message across, The story comes first