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Improving Your Narratives


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Improving Your Narratives

  2. 2. INJECTING SUSPENSE <ul><li>Developing Suspense </li></ul><ul><li>Who is involved? What is at risk? Where is it taking place? When will it occur? Why is it happening? How will it be resolved? </li></ul><ul><li>As a writer, you should let the reader figure out these elements to create suspense. </li></ul><ul><li>Trying to guess how it’s going to be done can be just as much fun as trying to guess who did it. </li></ul>
  3. 3. INJECTING SUSPENSE <ul><li>Some General Rules </li></ul><ul><li>Conflict leading to confrontation is the basic skeleton of suspense. </li></ul><ul><li>Use strong, active verbs. </li></ul><ul><li>Show, don’t tell—use dialogue and action to convey the story. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t insult the reader with quick, unrealistic or contrived solutions. </li></ul><ul><li>The reader must care about whomever and whatever is at stake. </li></ul><ul><li>Threats can be physical, emotional, or psychological. </li></ul><ul><li>The antagonist should be fascinating, riveting, fun to watch (The pace of suspense is like a roller coaster ride—first the build up, then the exciting plunge, then another build up </li></ul>
  4. 4. INJECTING DIALOGUE <ul><li>Dialogue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dialogue makes your writing seem ‘real’ and more appealing to your reader. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Types of Dialogue </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Normal dialogue which involves response from other characters: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Example: “Baseball is boring.” Scully commented after noticing Mulder reading an article about baseball. “Just like you.” “You just do not know how to appreciate it. Just looking at the scores of the baseball games calm me down.” Mulder rebutted. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interior dialogue is what a character is thinking: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Oh dear that’s not good” he thought </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dramatic dialogue is a character thinking out loud :without response from other characters. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ &quot;Not so brave without your shotguns, eh? Hiding under you mama's bed sheets.“ </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. INJECTING DIALOGUE <ul><ul><li>Dialogue should be used to develop the character or to advance the story. It should not be used for the sake of hearing the characters talk. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beware of the following pitfalls: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unnecessary or repetitive dialogue. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Using too much dialogue can slow down a story. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Characters should not repeat events which have already happened in the story in dialogue. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. INJECTING DIALOGUE <ul><ul><li>The information can be conveyed in simple narration or by having a knowledgeable character explain something to another character. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The form of dialogue should be varied to keep the reader interested. There are many different ways to say ‘said’ – Remember the need to convey emotions. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. INJECTING A TWIST <ul><li>A twist is an unexpected change in the story. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be inserted at any point, normally in the middle to the end of a story. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A ‘bad’ character turns out to be an undercover police officer. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The loyal servant turns betrayer. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Helps to sustain reader interest and helps to inject suspense into a story. </li></ul>
  8. 8. FINAL NOTES ABOUT NARRATIVES <ul><li>A narrative is not simply a recount of events. </li></ul><ul><li>Neither should it be a huge collection of dialogue. </li></ul><ul><li>Make an impact in your introduction and sustain the impact through the use of interesting and impactful dialogue, suspense and a twist. </li></ul><ul><li>You should try to make it as interesting as possible, but at the same time DO NOT overcomplicate things. </li></ul>
  9. 9. TASK <ul><li>Think about your plot and see where you can improve it further. </li></ul><ul><li>Choose one of the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inject suspense into your intended narrative. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inject dialogue into a scene from your plot summary. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inject a twist into your plot. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Submit by tomorrow for comments. </li></ul>