Tuesday, June 21, 2022

3T Writing Tidbit

How to tell a story. 

There's an infinity in a nutshell, lol. There are countless books and people and articles and posts about how to tell a story. It's a little like explaining how to assemble a person. Do you start at the system or cell level? Describe generic features or that one set of green eyes that haunt you to this day?

So I'm just going to give you my advice on putting together the sequence of the story's events.

First, lay them all out chronologically. This will be the most understandable for everyone, author, reader, editor.

Now if you move chunks of the story out of order, do it to make the most emotional impact.

I've seen stories that reorder scenes to create mystery, and you can do that too. But you run the risk there of leaving the reader feeling tricked. To see that particular feat done right, check out Leverage, which often shows a scene as the bad guy thinks it's playing out, right until the reversal -- which is then explained by going back and showing the same scene with the effort our heroes are putting in.

 But reordering so the reader can have more feels? Generally much more satisfying and better accepted.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.   

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