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Showing posts from June, 2016

Getting to Grips with Subtext

Subtext is a clever literary device that isn’t often thought about by writers, but it’s quite effective when used properly. The wonderful thing about subtext is that it’s something that isn’t seen, but the reader knows it’s there and, hopefully, they understand it.
Knowing what subtext is and what it does is different to getting to grips with it, but subtext isn’t difficult to achieve; often it happens subconsciously by the writer. But subtext comes down to having a complete awareness of the characters and the story; it’s the very undercurrent beneath the words. It’s hidden from view, to become visible at the right moment. It has the power to create mood and atmosphere, emotion and conflict in very subtle and unobtrusive ways.
Subtext is about how it’s done- the art of revelation. But why use it? Why go to all that trouble of suggestion when the writer could simply just say it in the narrative?
The answer lies in how fiction is constructed. Remember, every novel is written for the reade…

Creating Plot Twists

Creating a plot twist isn’t too hard if you understand how they work and why they’re used. Many writers fail to grasp the importance of a plot twist or indeed just how they affect the story arc. If you don’t understand what a plot twist does, then there’s every chance you’ll find it hard to get right. Why use them? Writers use a plot twist as a way to change the direction of the story, to ‘twist’ in another direction, usually one that is a complete surprise to the reader. In other words, the reader doesn’t see it coming. You can have one twist, perhaps at the end of the story, or you can have more, throughout the story, as a way to keep the reader enthralled. The beauty of the plot twist is that it can be like a sonic boom – wham, a shock revelation. Or it can be foreshadowed and revealed at the right moment. Either way, it’s a surprise twist for the reader. So whether you foreshadow them or whether it really is a bolt from the blue, they have to be executed cleverly and perfectly for th…

Better Writing - Dealing with Exposition

Exposition is a word writers use all the time, but what do we mean when we talk about exposition? It’s a term used to provide the reader with certain information about characters, events, actions, settings or the background. It’s a necessary component of any story, but it’s how exposition is delivered that makes the difference. It can be done correctly or incorrectly. Despite the amount of information on the internet telling you there are umpteen different types of exposition, for creative writing there are only two types of exposition that matter: Direct and indirect exposition. Direct Exposition The title tells you all you need to know. The information being provided is direct. It’s telling the reader all the important stuff, but it tends to end up as info dumps because the writer hasn’t handled it very well, for example: John had lived in the town all his life and still lived in the house that his grandparents owned. He felt a strong bond with the place and couldn’t entertain the thoug…