Tag Archive for ‘form & technique’
According to Strawson, life is experienced in a “diachronic” or “episodic” kind of way: the former is compatible with psychological narrativity, the latter not.
Dramatic conflict in science fiction connects to advanced aspects of a future society. With our accelerating technological progress, this is becoming difficult.
Travesty is a powerful form of storytelling not despite, but because we know what’s going to happen. We’re already on the lookout for what’s different.
Flashbacks are a powerful storytelling device, especially when used for missed turns and missed junctions-as-junctures.
Diegesis is a technical term literature can do without. Mimesis too, but we should keep that one simmering on the back of the stove for historical reasons.
We’ve become so used to Kübler-Ross’s “Five Psychological States of Grief” that we never stop and ask if it might be more complex, in reality and writing.
Sometimes storylines can be evoked by form rather than developed by content, and the results can be quite astonishing.
While there certainly are differences between a tale and a story, they’re not necessarily what James Hull makes them out to be.
If characters are overstuffed with mannerisms, they’re gaining in quirks while losing in depth. Quirks and idiosyncrasies, moreover, should have a function.
While the movie “The Da Vinci Code” did a pretty good job, Dan Brown’s book turned out to be rather awful. Geoff Pullum from Language Log gave it a (buck-)shot.
Two foreboding techniques tested in (pen & paper) roleplaying storytelling that were supposed to raise suspense and broaden the picture, but failed miserably.
The very first paragraph of George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four tells attentive readers quite a lot about the setting without explaining anything.
To raise suspense early on before readers can identify with the characters, some use foreboding techniques in form of digressions. This has some drawbacks.
Watch Harold Robbins not being aware of (or not giving a shit about) even the most basic writing techniques with respect to exposition and voice.
The exposition of Stephen King’s It is a great example how to switch from summarizing to real-time action and back again to create suspense by superior pacing.
Aspiring writers often adopt tje first-person perspective for their narrative voice because it looks more simple & natural than the alternatives. They’re wrong.
For the exposition, it is extra hard to resist the Urge to Explain. But try! The greatest story idea is worthless if you hack it to death right at the start.
Writers never show, they tell—but often fall for the cinematography metaphor of fiction writing. Good pacing consists of both narration and summarization.
Suspension of disbelief: from the viewpoint of the observer, everything that had to happen indeed happened—in order to secure the observer’s existence.