Writing: Shaping Your Story

I felt I was in real need of this. I did participate in NaNoWriMo 2016 and I wanted some directions to edit my novel. My plan is to finish this course and apply the same to my novel edits. This course from WordPress, Writing: Shaping Your Story, spans for four weeks. This page links up all the assignments done for the course.


Week One: What’s Your Angle?
In week one, we try to develop a new unique angle to describe the plot.

“…every story has already been told. [T]here is really no reason to ever write another novel. Except that each writer brings to the table, if she will let herself, something that no one else in the history of time has ever had.”
— Anna Quindlen

These questions did help in coming up with a new angle:

  • What unique perspective do you bring?
  • Where are the truly original details in your story?
  • Which elements of your experience couldn’t be in anyone else’s story?

Though there is no compulsory assignment to be done for this week, I have made this post:

Li(f)e Principles for the Sake of it!

My angle to describe the post: Associating an object, event, example to every point I try to make, mostly picked from daily life scenarios. It took a lot of time and edits, but totally worth it!

Week Two: Intros and Hooks
In week two, we learn to write a catchy intro. The aim is to make an awesome first impression.

The questions to ask are:

  • What’s the question I’m trying to answer with this piece of writing?
  • Is my angle evident in the introduction?
  • Have I buried the real point of the story?
  • Am I giving away too much of what’s to come?

I personally loved this example that was stated:

All this happened, more or less.

— Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

My post for week 2 is:

The Poops and the Presentation

Week Three: Finding Your Key Moment
In week three, we detail out and zoom in our key moments.

The questions to ask are:

  • Is there a detail I have — something specific and unique to me — that is an example of my larger point?
  • Does my story center on a universal experience, like losing a loved one or reaching a goal, that lets me describe my particular emotions?
  • If my story was a movie, what would the scenes be? The exciting bits?

For this week, I decided to write a post by including all the three week lessons. I have picked up ‘eye’ as my story narrator and by including an interesting opening statement. Then I have zoomed in over some life lessons of an eye. The post is here:

The Habitual Eye for I

Week Four: Crafting a Scene
In week four, we learn to craft a scene.

The questions to ask are:

  • Character(s). At the heart of every scene is a human drama.
  • Setting. Make sure your characters are rooted in a place, any place.
  • Action. Something always happens in a scene.
  • Duration. Your readers should know when your scene has started and ended.

For this week, I have combined the lessons of all four weeks and drafted this post:

We Never Really Grow Up

The major take away from the course is:

“Show, Don’t tell”

Thank you WordPress for this helpful course.


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