“Read, read, and read some more! Make sure you read a wide variety of stories: fantasy stories teach you about making up completely new worlds, crime-solving stories teach you about handling a complicated plot, stories with lots of characters teach you how to describe relationships. Also, write as many stories as you can, even if no one else reads them. And remember that the best inspiration comes from what’s around you.” —Erin Hunter
Tag Archives: plot
A book talk in the broadest terms is what is spoken with the intent to convince someone to read a book. Book talks are traditionally conducted in a classroom setting for students; however, book talks can be performed outside a school setting and with a variety of age groups as well. It is not a book review, a book report, or a book analysis.
The book talker gives the audience a glimpse of the setting, the characters, and/or the major conflict without providing the resolution or denouement. Book talks make listeners care enough about the content of the book to want to read it. A long book talk is usually about five to seven minutes long and a short book talk is generally less than a minute long.
On the other hand, a book review is a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style, and merit. A book review can be a primary source opinion piece, summary review or scholarly review. Books can be reviewed for printed periodicals, magazines and newspapers, as schoolwork, or for book web sites on the Internet. A book review’s length may vary from a single paragraph to a substantial essays. Such a review may evaluate the book on the basis of personal taste. Reviewers may use the occasion of a book review for a display of learning or to promulgate their own ideas on the topic of a fiction or non-fiction work.
There are two approaches to book reviewing:
• Descriptive reviews give the essential information about a book. This is done with description and exposition, by stating the perceived aims and purposes of the author, and by quoting striking passages from the text.
• Critical reviews describe and evaluate the book, in terms of accepted literary and historical standards, and supports this evaluation with evidence from the text. The following pointers are meant to be suggestions for writing a critical review.
I keep hearing this term “denouement” pop up in some of the writing materials I’ve been reading. What exactly is a denouement?
Denouement is a hard word to pronounce (and a harder word to spell for some of us, especially me—it’s one of my Achilles’ heels for some reason). But the role of the denouement in literature is not hard to comprehend and, once you understand it’s definition, you’ll be to spot it quite easily in most novels.
The denouement is the final outcome of the story, generally occurring after the climax of the plot. Often it’s where all the secrets (if there are any) are revealed and loose ends are tied up. For example, the denouement of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet comes just after the Romeo and Juliet take their own lives. When the families find their dead bodies, Escalus explains that their deaths are a result of the family feud, leaving members of both sides to feel guilty. That is the denouement.
As a writer, it’s important to keep this in mind when crafting your own story. While you want to give away bits of information about your plot (and subplots) throughout, you want to save the juiciest revelations for the end, rewarding readers for staying the course. That’s the ultimate goal of any good denouement