BASICS OF WRITING CRAFT IN A NUTSHELL, WHETHER AS PRIMER OR REMINDER:

In a nutshell:

Viewpoint – The person and perspective from which your story is told.
In the simplest terms the choices are 1st person (I), 2nd person (you, rarely used), limited 3rd person (he, she, as in a central character or protagonist), and 3rd person omniscient (sometimes defined as a godlike viewpoint, shifting between and encompassing the viewpoints of multiple characters). Viewpoint is also referred to as point of view, POV, and/or viewpoint character.

Summary – The efficient accounting of events in a story that otherwise are not rendered fully in a scene. Story-telling with the emphasis on the telling versus the showing. Summary is often used to transition between scenes. It also allows the writer to leap through time, covering weeks, years, even centuries, in a few lines.

Scenes – The full dramatic rendering of an episode. The reader feels as if she is witnessing the action in the present. (Half scenes are partial scenes mixed with summary.)

Action – What’s happening in the narrative; what’s happening in a scene; what a main character must be capable of.

Dialogue – Conversation between characters in a narrative, usually with the emphasis on conflict. Dialogue is a primary tool of characterization.

Setting – The physical environment in which the story unfolds, often a reflection of the viewpoint character’s state of mind. Setting can be thought of as a container for the story’s action.

Dynamic details – Concrete and significant descriptive details that engage the reader’s senses and invite him to believe in the narrator’s and or character’s world.

Interior monologue – The thoughts of the narrator or character(s) as shared with the reader. In the case of a traditional limited 3rd person narration, the reader will only be privy to the thoughts of the viewpoint character.

Yearning – Those conscious and/or unconscious desires that propel primary characters toward the possibility of change.

Conflict – The opposition of characters, forces, and/or worlds that is vital to narrative. Conflict may be subtle or extreme, but it must be meaningful.

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