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Showing posts from June, 2017

Dramatic Irony

It’s a common question writers ask. What is dramatic irony and what does it mean? Is it useful for authors? Many writers mistake dramatic irony with creating some sort of drama with an ironic twist, but it’s nothing really much to do with actual drama, but rather the effect it creates. When we refer to dramatic irony, it means the reader knows something that the characters don’t. Why include this in our writing? It’s a way for the writer to involve the reader – they know what’s about to happen, especially if it embroils the main character, but they can’t do anything about it except read on. It’s like scuba diving – you can see the dark menace lurking behind your diving buddy, but he’s completely unaware of the imminent danger. This literary device helps the reader to experience what’s happening on a much deeper level than just reading about Character A going about his business with Characters B and C. By allowing the reader in on what will happen – rather like sharing a secret – they b…

Is Style the Same As Voice?

Beginners often confuse the two, thinking they’re the same, but they’re not the same. They may sound similar in what they do, but there are differences. Voice When we talk about voice, we’re describing the writer’s personal voice; his or her personality. It’s a highly particular and distinctive tone, a developed way of writing that is unique to the writer, formed from their personality and the way they construct their words, sentences and paragraphs. Voice is, and should be, as individual as a fingerprint. And it’s that fingerprint that readers come to recognise. Think of someone’s voice – how different it is from others. It might be deep and velvety or it could be raspy and sexy. Or perhaps it’s helium like. Everyone’s actual voice is different and unique, and a writer’s voice works in much the same way, so voice is distinguished because of the way something is written, how it’s written and the tone of the writing. The thing with voice is that is doesn’t happen overnight. It certainly do…

How to Use Kinesics (Body Language) to Characterise

We all know that description plays a major part in fiction writing, which is used to balance the narrative and dialogue, but there is another essential element of it that uses non-verbal movement – body language and gestures. This is also known as kinesics. It’s said that 93% of conversation is non-verbal (Albert Mehrabrian, Silent Messages, published 1971), and that is because we often use our body to communicate, even when there are no words being spoken, such as facial, movements and hand gestures that show sentiment or feeling. Expressions – and their associated movements - often convey a person’s emotions. Body postures can also show the inner feelings of someone – whether they are stiff and awkward, or relaxed and happy. This kind of description is overlooked by many writers and that’s because it’s something they don’t really think too much about. But writing isn’t just about writing – it’s about observation. So when you see people engaged in conversation, there is more going on …

Getting Into Your Character's Head/Mindset

Characterisation is important if you want to create believable characters, and character development is a way for writers to achieve this. The phrase ‘getting into your character’s head’ means the writer needs to have a fundamental understanding of the main character’s background, motivation, beliefs and goals – the very things that can influence the what the character does in the story, how they behave and how they act and react. It means that everything is written instinctively. In other words, you don’t ponder how your character will act in one situation or what he would say. Instead you just write it, because you automatically know exactly what the character will do and say. The reality is that the character is in your head; your creation, but the strength of characterisation is such that you can get into his or her mind at any moment, without losing focus, to feel his or her emotions, thoughts and feelings. How do we do it? Firstly, ask yourself how well you know your main character…