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Writing Assignment: Setting.....

This month’s Writing Assignment article is the second in a series of how-to-write-fiction exercises designed to help new writers become more familiar with fiction writing.

Last month the Writing Assignment focused on characterization. In fiction writing, one of the most important elements is characterization. (See www.author-me.com/NewsOctober2000.htm.)

While character is central to a story, the writer must also pay close attention to context. For a character, such as yourself, is undoubtedly going to behave differently in different settings. (For example, how you behave in a courtroom may differ from how you behave in a loud disco.)

In the same way, once you have developed a character, you need to place the character into a setting. And it is the combination of these two -- character and setting -- which set your story on its path to action.

Assignment – For Next Month

So your assignment is to create at least one setting before the end of the month. The hard part -- and this will force you to focus on the setting -- is for you to describe the setting without any reference to the character you plan to plop down into it. 

Good luck!





Internet - Free Voice for Youth

Ask yourself -- what do school administrators do when students use the school newspaper to criticize the school or faculty? What about the school broadcasting station, if one exists?

Take it from us, firsthand. Almost universally, the reaction is 1) censorship, 2) discipline, and 3) denial.

That's where the Internet comes in. In this week's Industry Standard, author Lessley Anderson documents school resistance to student web sites in "High School Confidential -- NOT!" (Industry Standard, 11/6/00.)

It's one thing to critique someone or something on a personal website. But personal websites are seldom indexed by the major search engines.

Check out the writerly websites, if you have a legitimate beef. . Where to look for writer-friendly sites? One useful listing is at dmoz.org (the Open Directory Project). Click on Arts, then On-line Writing and then Writers’ Resources.

Been to church lately?...

If not, check out our new all - immersion Life of Jesus (part 1) from David C. Cook III. Visit www.galleyproof.com/religion.html.


E-Book Update........................

New developments continue to invigorate (and irritate) the fledgling e-book industry.

A sober look at e-book : "Nothing is selling," says John Feldcamp, co-founder and chief executive of online publisher www.xlibris.com. "Do e-books ultimately win?," he asks. "Yes, absolutely. Do they win this year or next year? No This isn't even slightly cooked yet." ("E-Books' Big Future Isn't Likely to Arrive at Any Point Soon," Wall Street Journal, October 2, 2000.)

What about publishing the unpublished? After all, this is the real dream of the e-book for aspiring writers and authors. According to the above article, one company formed just for this purpose is www.lUniverse.com. But it saw the financial writing on the all, and now it's becoming a provider of technology to traditional book publishers instead. 

Another unique e-book opportunity is an effort by Random House to release e-book versions of 100 literary classics. The plan it appears, is to market these on writerly websites which haven't sold books before. See "Random House Fires a Shot In E-Book Feud," Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2000.

Also, it would be remiss of us to ignore the newly emerging opportunity for publishers to print as few as 30 books per author. (This would have been cost prohibitive in the recent past.) 

Publishing New Writers, November, 2000 (no.105)

Editor Bruce L. Cook, P.O. Box 451, Dundee, IL 60118.  Fax (847) 428-8974.

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