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DIY MFA by Jacquelyn Mitchard, Gabriela Pereira

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Chapter 15

Weave Your Story’s World

Until now we’ve discussed the overarching aspects of a story: character, plot, voice, and point of view. In this chapter and the next, we dive into craft elements that play a role at the scene level. Remember John Gardner’s “narrative dream”? Like a dream, when you’re reading a story, you’re not aware that you’re reading it—you’re just hanging out with the characters. Scenes are where that story unfolds. They carry the narrative dream forward.

Scenes are built from three fundamental elements: exposition, description, and dialogue. This chapter focuses on exposition and description, since these elements exist at the narration level of the story. Dialogue, covered in the next chapter, adds an extra layer by weaving ...

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