Have you ever heard it said of someone, “Boy, that guy can really tell a joke!” While another person can repeat the same funny story and nobody laughs. What is the difference?
George Carlin was a fantastic comedian who used everyday topics as his material and if you were ever fortunate enough to see him perform he was hilarious. After he died, I read a book of his and even though he wrote some of the same material I had to quit reading because it was just not funny. Why? Because the humor WAS IN THE PERFORMANCE.
The same is true for writing. If you have been writing for some years you have heard it said that there are only eleven, or maybe five, or even only three PLOTS. It really doesn’t matter how many basic plots there really are, there are three things that make the difference between a good fiction novel and one that is just so so, or even bad.
The three conditions that must be met for a piece of fiction to be interesting and hold the attention of the reader are these:
Man against man,
Man against nature,
Man against himself.
Of course, I am using MAN editorially; I could have just substituted WOMAN and the meaning would be the same. What I am trying to explain is that IT IS THE WAY YOU PUT THESE ELEMENTS TOGETHER (The performance) that makes a page-turner of a fiction novel, or a dud. If you look at the best sellers they all are based around this concept. A good story WILL follow this pattern.
When I die, if anyone remembers, I hope that I will be recalled not as a good writer but as a good STORY teller in the written form.
Now, I’ve got to get away from this blog for some time and get to writing. Nobody reads it anyway except me, but I enjoy writing it and it does give me an excuse to avoid the hard work of writing fiction. Au-Revoir! (For those of you in Ludiwici, that means – I’m outta here!)