Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Is Your "Show" Working? One Quick Trick

Ask someone who knows nothing about your work-in-progress to read a portion, oh, let's say about a thousand words or so. Tell him nothing about the plot, the people involved, the story's premise. Just hand off an excerpt.

Can that person picture the setting and discern the time period? Can he visualize your characters, get a feel for their personalities, their ages, their physical appearances (This one might not be exact depending upon what portion of the story you share, but your reader should be able to make reasonable guesses) and their relationships with each other? 

Yes? Good job!

No? Back to the writing board...


Sue Mydliak said...

I've done this, and so far my writing has been ok. If I can't feel what my character is all about, then how can I even begin to write. No, I don't outline, I'm the type who dives in head first and let my muse take the reins.
As I write, I have each of my characters visibly in my head, their looks, moods, what sets them off, what turns them on. I know them completely, as if, they were my own family, and literally, they are!

Denise M. Baran-Unland said...

What's neat about this tip is that, although we writers know (or should know) our characters and story inside and out, effectively communicating that to our readers with the careful arranging of words takes hard-earned crafted skill. But it's a thrill like no other when the reader actually "sees" what's in our head.