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12:20 pm: Wright's Writing Corner -- Writing Tips

Hello All!


After basically a break of two years, I am starting up my Wright's Writing Corner again. I will pick up where I left off with the Great Ideas, but first, I am reposting my Writing Tips. Each tip has a link to the post I wrote on that topic.


Enjoy!





Writing Tips



Two Strings:             Two separate issues need to be going in each scene


The Trick:         Raising expectations in one direction but having the story go in the opposite direction. It sounds simple, but it may be the most useful writing technique of all…the book Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is just the trick over and over again. 


The Foil:           The trick applied to people.  Use other characters to showcase the strengths of your main characters and to make them seem extraordinary.  Example:  Nausicaa’s guys


Senses:             Add three to five senses to every description




Interior Dialogue:  Readers don’t trust dialogue.  Have your characters think, and have what they think be juxtaposed to the dialogue, showing a new angle


Open active:     Start scene changes underway and then explain how you got there…unless change significant


Measurements by example:  Tall as a man, rather than six feet high, where applicable


Romantic Tension: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 nbsp;     To make a character seem attractive to another character (at least to women) list a character trait of character A and an emotional reaction to this trait from character B).  (example: she had an air of mystery that intrigued him. Or, her shy retiring manner made him wish he could protect her.


Payload:  Part 1, Part 2 nbsp;     Every scene/fight/sex scene should have some moment that moves the plot along or heightens awareness, drawing the reader into something greater. Villains should reveal something important during a fight, and romantic partners should learn more about each other or reveal secrets


nbsp;                      Also, every character should have at least one paragraph/scene where the inner motivation of that character is revealed


Dicken’s Trick: Using action in description: “There is not just a kettle on the fire, it is boiling over.” “Horses at the cab stands are steaming in the cold and stamping. When people enter a room they are sneezing or hiding something in their pockets.&rdquo


Ping Pong Dialogue: Have some dialogue go back and forth quickly, taking less than one line on the page – leaving white space – to increase readability


Pink passages: Add visceral reactions – physical involuntary reactions – to heighten connection with reader…but not too much


Character dynamics:  To make a character come to life, give him two conflicting goals. Also, add a scene where he shows a trait at odds with his main traits—this has the same effect in print that shading does in an illustration. It adds a sense of three-dimensionality


Checklist – To check every scene


What does it look like


Senses…what does it smell/sound/feel/taste like


What is the character feeling


What is the character doing to express this? — nonverbal reaction


What Visceral reaction can the character have?








Comments

[User Picture]
From:houseboatonstyx
Date:January 16th, 2013 06:52 pm (UTC)
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Ping Pong Dialogue: Have some dialogue go back and forth quickly, taking less than one line on the page – leaving white space – to increase readability.

I think this is very important! Not just the ping-pong bit, but the shape of the paragraphs leading down to it, the shape of the whole scene on the page/s.

Steven King talks about this in ON WRITING. He calls the shape of the paragraphs and white space a 'map of intent'.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:January 16th, 2013 07:00 pm (UTC)
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Exactly!

It is hard, though! Not only am I not that good at it, but the published version looks different from the manuscript, so you don't really know what you are going to end up with.

Still...worth it if you can figure it out.
[User Picture]
From:houseboatonstyx
Date:January 16th, 2013 07:29 pm (UTC)
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Well, a wine glass shape is a wine glass shape, whether it's tall and skinny or short and squat. Depending on the page breaks. ;-)

Trouble is, this fits better for conversation than for action. Long paragraph for establishing setting and introducing the characters, medium sized for dialog with lots of stage business, then shorter, then ping pong!

But if they draw their swords, then the sentences get longer, unless you go for Bam! POW!
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:January 16th, 2013 07:43 pm (UTC)
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Very true.
[User Picture]
From:bojojoti
Date:January 17th, 2013 12:46 am (UTC)
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Egads, two years just passed!
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:January 17th, 2013 01:48 am (UTC)
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I posted a bit during the two years, but it was two years ago that I stopped doing it regularly.

Watched 13 episodes of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries today. Sigh.
[User Picture]
From:bojojoti
Date:January 17th, 2013 07:43 am (UTC)
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I watched them all in about three days!
[User Picture]
From:aegd
Date:January 18th, 2013 03:32 am (UTC)

Wrong Link

(Link)
Hi, Mrs. Wright/Lamplighter (which do you prefer here?)

It seems your links for the three-part bit on romantic tension part 1, 2, and 3 go to 1, 1, and 2 respectively. I look forward to absorbing your wisdom!

David
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:January 18th, 2013 01:26 pm (UTC)

Re: Wrong Link

(Link)
Gah! That is going to be annoying to fix. I'll do my best. At the very least, I will go fix this on the original, which is posted on my website.

Thanks!

As to names. Either Mrs. Wright or Ms. Lamplighter is fine, but if you go with Lamplighter, my husband will have a conniption. So, I would avoid that (unless you consider connipting husbands a plus.)

Since you have introduced yourself by name, please feel free to call my Jagi (J-short a like cat-j-long E like Jackie.)
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:January 18th, 2013 01:45 pm (UTC)

Re: Wrong Link

(Link)
Woohoo! I got it fixed! It had actually been 2, 2, and 3...but three is part Two of 2, so...a bit confusing.

It should be correct now.
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