Blog Archive

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Shaping a Text: A bit more work for Week 10
Around, inside, behind, beyond, beside the content

We need to think about more than just WHAT is said.  So often people, characters, narrators, singers, say one thing and mean something more, or something else.

It’s a good idea to think about this by trying to avoid adverbial summaries like ‘angrily’,  ‘tactfully’,  ‘thoughtfully’, or descriptions.   It’s also a good idea to try to suggestion what a character or narrator is think  in ways other than summarising an ‘internal monologue’ with  ‘he/she thought/considered/wondered/hoped.

NOT that there’s anything wrong with internal monologues as such,  or adverbs like ‘angrily’,  but trying to write without these is a good way of increasing the impact and authenticity of your writing.   This is a variation on the show not say dictum, or giving a significant detail rather than listing the components of a scene, or someone’s clothes.

Work for next time:  Tending the Grave
Two people are visiting the grave of a friend or relative who has died quite recently.   They talk about what needs to be weeded,  where the flowers need to go, cleaning the gravestone, things needed, the tree,  the grass,  the birds -  all sorts of things except their feelings.  Somehow you have to make their love and loss ‘come through’ although they don’t talk about about it directly.

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