Wishing all of our members a
Happy New Year
Looking forward to a great and exciting 2012
|Queensland author Estelle Pinney opened the launch.|
|Sophie Overett from Queensland Writers Centre.|
|Jennifer Nosovich mingling with the crowd..|
|Lou Bromley and Findlay McKenchie selling the book.|
|Jennifer Nosovich signing books.|
|Helga Parl with her readers.|
|Estelle Pinney enjoying the book.|
|Maarten Wijnberg taking a moment to sign a book.|
|Lorraine Cobcroft and Anna Arnold,all smiles at a wonderful day!|
|Working With Words|
Tells (reports) facts in a direct, un-emotive manner.
Reveals information through the gradual unfolding of scenes in which dialog, description of reactions (and sometimes emotions) and events expose information.
Events usually related either in time sequence or sequenced to support the order of stated premises.
Events may be related in somewhat random order to maximize suspense
Leaves nothing relevant out, nor delays exposure of relevant data to confuse or create suspense
Writer deliberately selects what to include and what to leave out based on the effect desired. Delays exposure of information to maximize suspense and tension. Rearranges events so that the time sequence is incorrect but interest is maximized.
Forms and states judgments and conclusions (which must be backed up by argument and factual reporting
Leaves the reader to form judgments and conclusions. Does not tell them how to feel or respond.
Facts stated rather blandly and only as far as they are specifically relevant. Eg. The weather is generally not mentioned unless it has a bearing on the conclusions in the report.
The writer seeks to paint a scene, so may comment on anything that is visible or can be sensed – even though it may be of minimal or no real importance.
Writer draws only on the senses that detect relevant data.
Writer draws on all senses – tells what the characters saw, smelled, heard, felt – what was happening in the background, described so the reader sees it, hears it, smells it, feels it.
Writer tells what happened. Feelings and emotions are reported only where specifically relevant and usually only to the extent that one or more subjects of the report stated their feelings or emotions.
Writer aims for maximum objectivity.
Writer unveils feelings and emotions un-objectively – unapologetically seeking to evoke specific responses in the reader, but never telling the reader how to respond.
The description must put the reader in the scene and MAKE them feel a certain way – without ever telling them to!
The reader wants to SEE the character turning white or shaking with rage; smell the coffee and toast; hear the clock ticking or the door slamming; feel the shiver running down the character’s spine. Don’t TELL them about it. Make them experience it!
Writer tells rather than shows.
e.g. Mrs Jones appeared to be frightened.
Writer shows rather than tells e.g.
He watched as the colour drained from Mrs. Jones’ face, her eyes bulged, and she began to tremble violently.
(Note, we don’t want to tell the reader she was frightened, or that he thought she looked frightened. We want the readers to see her reaction and make their own judgment.)
Be clear and direct. No surprises or confusion please.
Surprises and shock endings are good! Shake the reader up a bit. May them say…”Oh my goodness! I didn’t see that coming.”
Suspense is not usually desirable
Suspense is essential. Make the reader tense up, fearing what’s coming. Make him wonder! Keep him guessing. Take the tension up, then wind it down, then take it up and wind it down again. Create a roller coaster.
Tell directly. No devices please.
Use devices. Characters discover and read a diary, find and read old letters, receive and read a letter, write a letter, hear a radio or TV announcement, see a documentary, overhear a conversation, read a newspaper article, discover a mystery friend who remembers long-forgotten events, have a dream, recall something from the past… There are a thousand ways to draw out background information for the reader.
Use filters to make it clear who saw, heard, did, or thought what.
e.g. Mrs Jones ignored the ‘Don’t Walk’ sign and stepped off the kerb. Mr Jones reported that he saw a black car speeding toward the intersection that his wife was crossing. He said that he noted that it was heading directly towards his wife. He said he felt very frightened.
Don’t use filters. Use direct action statements instead.
A black car sped toward the intersection. It was heading right for Mrs Jones, who had stepped recklessly off the kerb against the ‘Don’t Walk’ sign. Mr Jones, who had stopped at the lights, turned white and began to tremble violently.
Be creative. Add some spice. Don’t worry if it’s not quite accurate (if this is a story based on fact). Stories need excitement that goes beyond truth.
Be credible, but understand that truth is stranger than fiction. Often truth is incredible. If something incredible is reported, be very clear and objective and note that although it seems incredible, this is, in fact, what happened
Truth really is stranger than fiction, so often stating the truth makes a story unbelievable. Coincidences that happen in real life just don’t work in fiction. When the character goes to the other side of the world for a holiday and coincidentally runs into her elderly neighbour boarding the plane for home, the reader says ‘What utter nonsense.’ Sure, it happens in real life, but a fiction reader won’t swallow it!
Tell me what happened.
E.g. Sarah took some time to respond to the knock on the door.
When she finally did respond, the caller (a neighbour who later called police) noted that she had a black eye, a lump on her forehead, and a split lower lip.
In her statement, Sarah said that she was embarrassed and frightened that he would report her condition and bring in the authorities to interfere in her life.
She said, “I hoped if I ignored the knock, the caller would go away. I knew if I suffered in silence, Jack would become remorseful and be good to me for a while, but if he was caught out either he would take it out on me, or, if he was sent to prison, we would lose the benefit of his wages coming in and the children and I would suffer more.”
Sarah confessed openly to Sergeant Bryce that while she hesitated that morning, she was formulating her plan to murder her husband by stabbing him while he slept.
Let me (the reader) experience what happened through the character. Let me BE him or her.
Who was it? Why must they come now, of all times?
Sarah waited. “Please make them go away,” whispered to the empty room.
She moved to the mirror and stood there, for a time, staring at that awful reflection --running her fingers over the lump on her forehead, studying the bruising around her eye, gently easing her lower lip down to measure the length of the cut and the extent of the swelling.
She’d made no attempt to apply makeup. What was the use? Anyway, it would hurt too much. She hadn’t even bothered to comb her hair. Her bathrobe – the same one she wore last night – was blood stained around the collar.
Her ribs hurt. She wondered should she seek an X-ray. Could they be broken? They mend themselves anyway – broken ribs. The doctor told her so that time she’d lied and said she fell. He didn’t offer any treatment.
She tried to peek through the window, but she couldn’t see the caller.
The clock counted the minutes… loudly. Tick, tock, tick, tock. It taunted her and dared her to make the caller wait so long he would think her out, and leave. But the lights were on. The radio was blaring. The smell of burnt bacon was wafting through the open kitchen window.
Maybe she should report it herself. What would they do? If they put Jack in jail, how would she feed the kids. If they didn’t, he would beat her again for dobbing him in.
Maybe she wanted the caller to see her… report it… take it out of her hands? But no! That would only make things worse. Jack would blame her. He would drink to drown his anger at being caught out, and then he would beat her. He would withhold housekeeping money. He would be sharp with the children. He would berate her and curse her and refuse her every request for help. It would make it so very much worse. When she suffered silently, he eventually became remorseful and was good to her… for a while.
God, please make this visitor go away!”
And all the while, she plotted.. schemed… planned. She saw how it would all unfold, and she panted with excitement at the prospect freedom… and ultimately, peace.