Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I have been writing!

For the past few days I've been doing some exploratory writing on The Serial.

It occurred to me that I need to bring the exotic locale of Awarshawa more vividly into the story from the get-go. I've been reading some period spy mysteries, and yes, often the "exotic location the spies are from" is only mentioned and never visited. Still, I think in a story in a fictional setting - especially one which will NOT be heavy on the exposition and world building - it's important to introduce places and people via vivid example.

It's like the movies. There's an old bit of screenwriter's wisdom that says you should avoid using phone calls in a script as much as possible. Always find a way to get the characters face to face so they can have an interesting interaction. It doesn't need to make sense, it only needs to be vivid.

It goes back to "Show, Don't Tell" - the golden rule of writing.

So the story is going to start with an episode/chapter called "Escape from Awarshawa" in which the hapless Walter Fitzboddle manages to get out of that war torn country with a valuable object... though not with his hat, or cufflinks.


Kay Richardson said...

I used to think the advice was 'slow, don't yell'. I have hearing difficulties. My writing was ... poor.

Unknown said...

That's really cool. You make a good point about phone calls. I'll have to remember that.

Also, I've downloaded your book of short stories and I'm going to feature one story on my Saturday blog.


The Daring Novelist said...

Kay: Well, that's an excuse, anyway!

Clarisa: Thanks! I'll be watching for it.

As for the phonecall thing, it's less of a problem in fiction than in film and drama. An actor's medium requires face-to-face to be effective. (And a movie doesn't have to make sense on little things like WHY someone would drive all the way across town to have a short conversation. They just show up.)