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Fairfield, Queensland, Australia
Fairfield Writers Group is a mix of beginner and experienced writers who meet the second and fourth Saturdays of the month at the Brisbane City Council Library in Fairfield Gardens Shopping Centre, Fairfield road, Fairfield, Queensland. Our passion is writing and we work hard at our craft. Our aim is to encourage, support and help each other to reach new heights in our writing. New members are always made welcome and usually whisked off to the local coffee shop at the end of meetings for sustenance and socialisation with the rest of the crew.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009


'EFFECT FROM WHAT CAUSE?' EXERCISE Cause and effect have teleological* dependence, summed up in these axioms: 1. Logically, cause takes place before effect. 2. Each effect has a chain of previous causes (*the first in nature) with intervening effects. 3. Each effect can cause further effects. 4. An effect may have more than one cause, so the actual cause is unknown, uncertain, subject to a chain of probabilities or has been determined mysteriously by something that has since disappeared. 5. An effect presumes or is uncertain of a cause, whereas a possible cause does not presume an effect. In non-fiction, especially technical writing, it is normal to develop an argument from cause to effect, to reveal the deterministic mechanism and for clarity of exposition. C1à E1àC2 àE2àC3àE3àC4àE4àC5àE5 Example. If you create a short circuit (C1), much current will flow through it (E1=C2), resulting in the circuit breaker popping(E2=C3), which opens the circuit(E3=C4), stopping current from flowing (E4=C5)and stopping the use of all appliances in that circuit(E5). In fiction, it can be more entertaining to proceed from effect to cause, to create tension in the narrative. If you are told the effect first, you may be enticed to predict the cause and read on to see if you are correct. You are able to realize the further effects and significance of the situation earlier and will be more interested to know the cause, creating tension. E3ßC3ßE2ßC2ßE1ßC1 Writing from left to right, this is the exact reverse of the technical sequence further up the page. For example: "My God," Ellie said softly. They were all staring at the animal above the trees.(E3) "My God." Her first thought was that the dinosaur was extraordinarily beautiful. Books portrayed them as oversize, dumpy creatures, but this long-necked animal had a gracefulness, almost a dignity, about its movements. And it was quick - there was nothing lumbering or dull in its behaviour. The sauropod peered alertly at them, and made a low trumpeting sound, rather like an elephant. A moment later, a second head rose above the foliage, and then a third, and a fourth. "My God," Ellie said again. Gennaro was speechless. He had known all along what to expect - he had known about it for years - but he had somehow never believed it would happen, and now, he was shocked into silence. The awesome power of the new genetic technology(C3), which he had formerly considered to be just so many words in an overwrought sales pitch - the power suddenly became clear to him. These animals were so big! They were enormous! Big as a house! And so many of them! Actual damned dinosaurs! Just as real as you could want. Gennaro thought: We are going to make a fortune on this place. A fortune. He hoped to God the island was safe." Crichton, Michael, Jurassic Park, Arrow,1991 YOUR TASK Write (or quote) a piece with a dramatic and puzzling effect that is later attributed to an unexpected cause. This could be the start, initial action or finish to a short story, or an excerpt from a longer narrative. Two sides maximum, please.

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