Posts Tagged ‘protagonist as a stranger’

04 November 2011

Manuscript Consultant/Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan here, visiting dear pal Karyn in Australia . . .

I wish to remind all writers to please reward your work with authentic details. Your story deserves thorough research (yes, even for memoirs).

Example: The first time I stepped off the sidewalk to cross a street in Sydney, I was “reminded” by a moving-vehicle where I was (my setting). You see . . . folks here in Australia drive on the left side of the road (What does that mean for pedestrians? What does that mean for other drivers?).

What else about “left” ?  Walk on the left side when possible; on escalators, stand to the left and pass to the right.

Utensils:  fork in the left hand and knife in the right while eating.

What’s the big deal?  It’s a big deal if you have your protagonist as a stranger in Australia or if you set your story in the U.S.A. but your character is Australian (then the U.S.A. would be foreign territory for her/him).

I encourage everyone to conduct research and get proofreaders for your manuscript (yes, even for memoirs). Authentic details hook readers.

* * * * * * *

06 November, 2011 I’m back in California. As I think about the messages in this post,  I remember when Luisa, Martha and I conducted:

“Write Your Compelling Story—the Power of Authentic Details”

with Luisa Adams, Martha Alderson, Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Luisa’s memoir Woven of Water is a beautiful example of employing authentic details and plotting nonfiction.

By the way, please check out Martha’s new book The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master


Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams!”

Writing Career Coach/Manuscript Consultant

Author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (print edition & eBook edition)
Author of the novel Love Made of Heart (inspires adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families)

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