This week at the Round Table, Alida, Kathryn, and Robert continue their conversation about writing great sentences in novels of any genres. How many types of sentences are there? Do sentences need to be grammatically correct to be great? Do they need to be lyrical to be great? No. The sentences we craft serve a variety of purposes in our prose.
What did we find when we set out to find great sentences? Is it all about the grammar? We talk about the categories a sentence can fit into, and why looking at the paragraph and sentence level is so important in your writing. We look at a couple of sentences from The Passion and Unaccustomed Earth. FInally, we talk about long sentences, poetic sentences, and use of metaphorical sentences to spice up your writing!
Writing groups, are they helpful? If you are a part of a writing group, how do you give helpful feedback to your writing partners? We cover etiquette, how to mark manuscripts, and the time and effort you should put into being a good critique partner. Even as you critique you are learning as a writer, so have fun and grow together!
What details about our story do we miss in first draft? And what can we do to solve them? Is it possible to know everything before you start drafting? And what should your attitude be toward those missing pieces? We dive into how to revise those scenes that you love, and how to use rewriting in your revision process. In the end, it’s all writing! So be excited about making your story the best it can be.
Kathryn explains an exercise in pre-writing she has been using to deepen her character arcs and relationships within her novel. We explore how it would affect sub-plots, character relationships, and arcs. What problems could this help you avoid? And how could you use it to develop your antagonist as well? We talk about how Kathryn got into this kind of development, and whether or not it would work for every kind of story!
What do we mean by “do bad”? And when should you let your characters make these morally reprehensible decisions? We talk about how to use the emotional bank account, and the motivation of your character to keep readers from losing their sympathy for the protagonist. And what about those snapped moments? Or when your character is acting out of character? Ultimately we decide it’s a powerful tool, so use it wisely!