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Speaking to the new writer

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by BWFoster78, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    If, as a new writer, you are reading over your work and feeling that it falls way short of where you want it to be, I suggest learning three techniques:

    1. Showing. Your reader wants to experience your story, and, often, the beginning writer wants to get all the character development details out of the way in a hurry. You have this great character in mind who is strong in some areas and flawed in others. Your tendency is to write: John is a great swordsman and all the women love his good looks and sparkling charisma. He's wounded, though, by the loss of his great love and spends a lot of time brooding.

    Great. Now the reader knows all this, and we can get on with the story.

    No! To begin with, how does the reader know any of this is true? Second, you missed the opportunity to let the reader truly get to know your character. Learn to show the reader these great character traits.

    2. Adding Tension. I can't tell you how many scenes I've read from new writers where I got to the end and thought "why the crap did the author choose to include this?" The answer, of course, is simple. The scene portrayed crucial plot information. It did so, however, in a straight info dump. The scene had no tension as it was purely informative. Learn to incorporate plot details inside a tense situation. Give your character a goal and opposition to that goal.

    3. Adding Emotion. This, for me, is the toughest area. If you go too far with showing, you're still not too bad off. If you go too far with tension, you can stress your reader. If you go too far with emotion, your work becomes laughable. But, without emotion, you're not going to engage your audience.

    The craft of writing includes many more techniques than this, and we haven't even touched on the art of storytelling. If you want fast results that you can see, however, research these three aspects of writing and master them. You'll find that you like your work much better.

    Hope this helps!
    Chilari, Rikilamaro and Lorna like this.
  2. gavintonks

    gavintonks Maester

    good one and add a plan that the action will follow so there is a story and not just a description or a statement of events
    BWFoster78 likes this.
  3. The other main point of showing the character is that if you expect the reader to gain a form of connection with that character, then the fastest way to get that is by having the reader feel what they feel and get a chance to live in their skin. Telling me about someone doesn't usually anything beyond pity. The best stories I have read all involve me caring about and for the character. Also, don't forget the value of character interactions with other characters, that is another way to bring the reader in.
  4. Lorna

    Lorna Inkling

    Agreed, but I do things the other way up. The changing emotions of the characters form the core of the story. That's what creates the tension. Then it's our job as writers to do justice to the characters' feelings by showing.
  5. Rikilamaro

    Rikilamaro Inkling

    Good advice, BW. Thanks for that.

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