Thursday, July 23, 2009
Even though this talks about literary fiction, I think the concept should be applied to any kind of fiction. Sorry, I can't take credit for this.
By tradition, literary fiction tends to be serious—and static. A valuable area of improvement for literary writers is making their writing vibrant with motion—full of energy that is transferred from page to reader. Action! And all this action in writing comes from word choice, well-constructed sentences and paragraphs, and from clear transfer of ideas that avoids obscurity. Then a story has action in all its elements, and momentum overall.
Overall, everything should move forward in a story. A story is a tidal wave that carries water fowl, trees and plants, and man-made elements broken and mangled; and when it encounters obstacles it engulfs them and dislodges them inexorably. Stories cannot be stagnant puddles waiting for an occasional shower to maintain their existence. It is the author’s challenge, if not duty, to create a tidal wave. It is a quest not accomplished in a few sittings before a computer screen. Learning to write with story momentum is a lifelong dedication