Arnoud Fioole responds to a recent article in The New Yorker outlining fiction writing tips, advice he uses in his writing programs.
PHILADELPHIA, PA, July 01, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- While a good writing community is full of a diverse range of talent, a current article in The New Yorker highlights eight crucial tips fiction writers should embody, advice widely encouraged by writing teacher Arnoud Fioole. The piece suggests some of the most important ideas to abide by to improve any work of fiction, pertaining to an extensive list of sci-fi writers, romantic novelists, dense fantasy writers and much more.
The article starts out highlighting an elementary school favorite, show-and-tell. As an afterschool fifth grade writing teacher, Arnoud Fioole comments that there's much to learn as a writer by going back to the basics. "The same rules apply to all ages. They teach me just as much as I teach them," he said. The article continues to dwell on the young idea of show-and-tell and the "lessons about storytelling it imparted." This leads to the first rule of writing fiction, which is to show - not tell. Don't simply report to the reader what is happening, but show them through powerful descriptions.
Another rule The New Yorker encourages fiction writers to apply is the creation of three-dimensional characters. Arnoud Fioole responds to this idea by pointing out how important character development is. "Running an afterschool writing program isn't easy, especially because so many of the young writers don't know how creative they really are. You have to have patience and foster passion early-on, igniting their imaginations through character development," he said. "When characters come alive to them, they really start to hone their skills as writers. Learning the craft of writing is something all people can benefit from."
The next piece of fiction writing advice outlined in the article is the need to choose a point of view that "makes the most sense for your story." Arnoud Fioole also points out the importance of teaching this concept in his afterschool workshop, especially because reading a story from several different perspectives can generate a wide array of responses. He also comments on the need to give characters a believable motivation. "I always ask my kids, 'what does your character want most?' to inspire them to create complex, motivated characters. It helps move the plot along, fleshing them out so they are trustworthy narrators or characters."
The article also urges writers to remember the old maxim, "Write what you know." Arnoud Fioole comments thoughtfully on this idea. "I believe the advice has merit, but I wonder if it is really the whole truth. I think we must write - and encourage others to write - what ignites out interests. The fictional version of ourselves may be the whole story or just a piece of the story, but I strive to teach kids that we can observe things outside of ourselves as story-tellers. There's really a beauty that shows when we write about the secret lives of those we don't fully know."
Arnoud Fioole is an electronics salesmen with many interests and hobbies, including his teaching position as an afterschool fifth grade writing teacher. Through his career at B-Side Electronics, he works with a variety of charities, including Alternatives for Youth, Longmont Human Society, TRAILS and others. He is also an avid mountain biker and rock climber.
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