December 21st, 2007

Alphabet Soup Two

From Bird by Bird, by Annie Lamott
“Alice Adams gave a lecture on the short story … she uses a formula when writing a short story, which goes ABDCE for Action, Background, Development, Climax, Ending. You being with an action that is compelling enough to draw us, make us want to know more. Background is where you let us see and how who these people are, how they’ve come to be together, and what was going on before the opening of the story. Then you develop the these people, so that we learn what they care most about. The plot – the drama, the actions, the tension – will grow out of that. You move them along until everything comes together in the climax, after which things are different for the main characters, different in some real way. And then there is the ending: what is our sense of who these people are now, what are they left with, what happened, and what did it mean?”

[Full disclosure: I love what Annie Lamott herself has to say about writing in this book.]

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