Saturday, July 15, 2017

Five ways to deliver info: Exposition, Description, Narrative, Dialogue, Narrative Summary.

There are five ways to deliver information:

Exposition. This is the slowest of all, the straight telling of information. Nothing is happening. You're giving readers data instead of drama.

Description. Almost as slow, but some is necessary. Help readers to use their imaginations. Just don't overdo it.

Narrative. A good way to provide information but it is usually not exciting.

Dialogue. Talking. It’s a fast and forward-moving way to provide information.

Narrative Summary. The fastest form of all. Instead of playing out the information moment by moment as you would in narrative, you summarize it in a single light-speed paragraph.

Any one of those five methods will sink your novel if one is all you use. Better to use all the methods to one degree or another.

Beginners often summarize too much of their novel and write as few scenes as they can. That's because writing in scenes is more difficult than just telling what happened.

Scenes, once they’ve been laced together with logical transitions, make your novel pleasing and fascinating. In scenes, your characters reveal more of themselves and exist in a way, which allows readers to feel that they are alive. Scenes are the vital spark of your story and readers want the scenes to keep on moving forward.

Scenes are events happening in a specific place and time with characters readers will care about. Scenes mean getting to the point, not describing the furniture. Dump readers into action. Think of a series of events, as in a movie. Write those events. Connect them with subtle narrative. Then write more events.

When writing a scene, keep focused
on the scene’s purpose: 
  • Use subtle detail to set the scene.
  • Make sure it happens in chronological order.
  • Make sure the scene is necessary,
  • Begin the scene with action, dialogue.
  • Plunging readers into a conversation between two characters can be immediately compelling.
  • End the scene with a cliffhanger or an epiphany or a bridge to another scene.
  • A character may have a realization, which changes the story from this point forward.
----- (From NOVEL SECRETS available in paperback and Kindle form.)

Lary Crews