Overall Goal: Figure out my writing process
1. Read more books in my genre.
2. Read more books on craft and apply the lessons to my writing.
This week I continued reading Techniques of the $elling Writer by Dwight V. Swain. I tend to read craft slower than fiction, so it’s nice to have ROW’s accountability to motivate me to read this more.
I’m in the section on expressing character emotion. It’s fairly large and covers a lot. One of the big eye openers for me was the emphasis on breaking up the actions of characters.
In real life, it’s rare for a person to do one thing at a time. You could have a conversation as you take a drink while rubbing your temple. But in writing, “as” and “while” can make an obstacle course out of your sentences the reader won’t appreciate.
Instead of having your character take a drink while rubbing his temple, the author wants you to break up these actions and give them separate motivators. So in one line of dialogue, the character’s best friend tells him his wife is cheating on him and he rubs his temple. Then he finds out its with his best friend’s wife (We’re going to assume he’s the type of guy not excited by this.) and he takes that drink.
The point is to keep it simple. One motivation to one reaction.
Of course if you look for examples of how this doesn’t apply, you’ll find them. But I suspect every one of them was done by an author with enough experience to break the rule while still adhering to it. For little old rookie me, I’m sticking with one motivation to one reaction until it’s second nature.
I did some writing and outlining too, but blah, nothing interesting to say about that. Maybe by Wednesday.