Tags: narrative

BrainUnderRepair

Writing Excuses 12.14: Controlling Pacing With Structure

Writing Excuses 12.14: Controlling Pacing With Structure

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2017/04/03/12-14-controlling-pacing-with-structure/

Key Points: Pacing can be having more stuff happen, fulfilling promises more quickly. But it can also be structural, the form of the sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. Punctuation and paragraphing. Shape. Things. Comma, 1, period, 2, paragraph, 3. Pause. Lots of short sentences, faster breathing. No punctuation just running away -- a different kind of excitement. But sometimes, a long sentence will read faster than a bunch of short ones. Length of sentence. Paragraphing. Be careful of overuse, but a one sentence paragraph can drive a point home. Pacing reflects the character's experience. Watch the transitions between dialogue and narrative, which have their own pacing. Dialogue often embodies conflict. Beware overusing character beats -- trust the dialogue to be the focus. Sometimes what you don't say is more important than the dialogue. Let the readers fill in. Often we start a dialogue section with a quick zoom in, a little specific detail that tunes us in.
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[Brandon] We are out of time for this podcast. Turned out to be super interesting. I'm going to give you some homework. I want you to take a piece of your writing, and I want you to revise it without changing a word. I want you to change the punctuation in the paragraphing, only. I want you to try to go both ways. Make things shorter, make things longer. Play with it. See what it does to have a whole bunch of single sentence paragraphs. See what it does to mash it all together. See what happens if you split some of your sentences into fragments, and put the other fragments later on… Or not later on, but on the next paragraph. Things like that. See what it does. Play with this. Learn to master this tool. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.
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  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 9.3: Character Perception vs. Narrative Perception with Nancy Fulda

Writing Excuses 9.3: Character Perception vs. Narrative Perception with Nancy Fulda

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2014/01/19/writing-excuses-9-3-character-perception-vs-narrative-perception-with-nancy-fulda/

Key points: Characters and the narrative do not always agree. For example, historical characters may have biases that modern readers and narrators disagree with. Be careful about sliding into didactic storytelling. One approach is to make sure the story is not about the bias. Sometimes it's just that characters have pieces of information that are wrong. You can use this to indicate what the characters don't know, but often you need to hang a flag on this. Author's notes, footnotes, and afterwords do not mean you don't need to be careful in the writing. Listen to feedback.
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[Brandon] Exactly. We are out of time. This is a very useful podcast. But I'm going to require... Howard! You're grimacing. Give us a writing prompt.
[Laughter]
[Howard] Okay. Take something that you believe to be false. That you completely understand to be false. Write a character who has the absolute opposite belief. Do it in such a way that you take actual umbrage at the idiocy of your character. Now find ways to hang flags on that so that you're not mad at yourself as an author.
[Brandon] All right.
[Nancy] Also, make it so that at the end of the book, you almost understand why your character believes that.
[Howard] So Nancy wants you to actually write a whole book with this prompt. It's on. She has thrown it down.
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses, now go write.