Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Action in the white space - Part II

This pic has nothing to do with the article.
Yesterday was part one...now part two of communicating a point without actually writing it. Writing between the lines...or not. Here are a few more devices the writer can employ to engage the reader:

1) First, instead of narrating actions or emotions, let the other characters do it. Let them describe, let them notice emotions.
"Are you leaving, Jayne?"
"Ah, Patricia, you scared me."
"That’s ridiculous. How could my coming out of Peter’s room scare you?"
"I never heard you come into the kitchen. Never mind."
"Are you going out, Jayne? You’ve changed your clothes."
"Yeah, thinking about it. Your hair’s wet. Did you you and Peter shower... together?"
2) Do, don't tell. If you have chances in the book, use interactive narrative devices instead of talking to the reader.

Here is an example:  Rather than a character counting to three, the narrator does...thus, the reader counts along with the character.
One-thousand-one, one-thousand-two, one-thousand-three.
He plugged his ears. Any second now. She should see the snake.
One-thousand-four.
She should be screaming by now.
Source: Brainstormer

5 comments:

Mason Canyon said...

Wonderful examples and great tips.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

You've explained this really well, Ann. These are perfect tips on the subject.

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Iapetus999 said...

My problem is that sometimes I say so little that the readers can't follow the story.

Talli Roland said...

Great examples. Thank you!

Ann Elle Altman said...

Thank you, guys and I hope you can find the tips helpful in your story.

ann