Friday, April 21, 2017

Do you know the 5W tool? by Barbara Edwards

Do you know the 5W tool? by Barbara Edwards

At a recent meeting of Charter Oak Romance writers, we were discussing the difference between experienced writers and the newly minted.  
I mentioned that going over the basics is always useful and a short session we’re planning to add to our meeting.
How about the old 5W?
I was taught this simple tool in elementary school by a wonderful teacher named Hazel Robinson. 
The five Ws are Who, What, Where, When, Why.
These are basic questions to ask about every written article. The example my teacher used was the newspaper. The this day I ask if the article answers the five questions. Recently many news reports lack the When.
To use it for my work is pretty easy.
Who? the hero and Heroine.
What? the basic situation that draws them together.
Where? the local of the story.
When? today, last week, Medieval, Regency, whatever.
Why? This gets tricky. It involves the conflict, background, the characters goals.
The nicest plus is that it makes writing a synopsis easier.

Using an old tool makes my work better.
Do you have a method you use to keep your writing focused? Please share.

Check out Another Love, a historical romance 
Amazon Link:

Some promises are made to be broken.
Caught in a web of political intrigue, graft and threats to a beloved child, Meg Warren and Drew Larkin hunt the men threatening the downfall of President Cleveland and the economic fabric of America. From a poor farm to the ostentatious world of New York’s elite, they sift lies, discover trust and an attraction they cannot resist. The last thing they expect to find is a love worth more than gold.
"Quote." – Pat Potter, award winning author calls Another Love…“A real page turner with wonderful characters and a unique plot. You can’t miss with this one.”

Review from Romantic Times Magazine **** 1/2 (four and one-half stars)

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Amazon Author’s Page


Jannine Gallant said...

I've always found this goal/motivation/conflict exercise useful: Your POV character wants (goal) because (motivation), but (conflict) keeps him/her from attaining that goal.

Barbara Edwards said...

Deb Dixon did a great job explaining Goal, Motivation and Conflict. I have the book in my library.

Diane Burton said...

Ditto on GMC. Another tool I find useful is Vogler's The Writer's Journey, based on Campbell's The Hero's Journey. Whatever method we use it's bound to help make our stories better.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I have a few articles and writing tips that are considered basic. I love to review them before I start a new book and often a couple of times during. Even experienced writers can benefit. Love the blurb, Barbara!

Leah St. James said...

Great tip, Barbara! I especially love the idea of using that as the foundation for the synopsis. Love your blurb!

Leslie Scott said...

I copied this for use for the synopsis. I'm such a pantser when it comes to writing that the most difficult part for me is sitting down and answering those questions. Gah!

Alicia Dean said...

Excellent, Barbara! And, kind of funny, because I used that as the basis of my presentation I gave in Vegas. It was the 5W+H, only for me, I used it as an example of how to fill out the details of a scene, when the words won't flow. I expanded a bit on the 6 questions and added a few more tips. The attendees were quite receptive. It's funny that you use it too! Your book sounds fantastic!