Today, I #AMWRITING Unity

I’m very pleased to be part of the Twitter-based #amwriting community, writers who use the Twitter hashtag #amwriting to organize conversations on current projects, the writing life and the writing process. If you aren’t on Twitter, you can join the fun at the #amwriting blog/website,

The post there for today is on Unity–pulling all your elements together so the story or book or article feels like a seamless piece, not like lumps of things tossed together. Here is part of the post, with a link to the rest:

Writer R. V. Cassill, in his wonderful book WRITING FICTION, says that Unity “…is the conception that tells the writer

*  What to include
*  What to leave out
*  Where to start
*  When to round out his conclusion.

It must guide him in the selection and manipulation of all the elements of fiction from which he hopes to fashion a story.”
Unity is the shape the writer imposes on raw material, in order to produce the impression of a satisfying whole. Dialogue and character and tone and plot must all work together – that’s unity. In Real Life, all your stories are mixed up with each other: the story of what you cooked for your family’s meals, the story of all the jobs you’ve had, the story of your relationship with your mother, the story of a car wreck you had and your recovery…. Writing an article or a piece of fiction or a poem imposes some kind of focus or order on all your experience or all your possible imagined experiences.

Like a spoked wheel, all the elements in your piece will be centered around a unifying core; what that core is, will guide your all your other choices, and the end result will be a smooth and convincing piece of work.

WRITING PROMPT: Think of a story you tell about something that happened to you. How do you isolate that as “a story about” this or that and not as just a part of the endless (so far) narrative of your life? What organizes what you tell into “a story”, with a beginning, a middle, a climax and an end?



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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