Class Notes, or the Writer's Toolkit

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« on: June 02, 2013, 01:10:07 am »
Quote from: Madness
The class was over a couple months and the four weeks of paragraphs do not encompass all the writing we did, as some of it was condensation of the prof's own writing, writing non-fiction paragraphs.

A sort of culmination for me was this list of notes from the class, a list the prof recommend everyone have wherever they write. It should reflect things you are trying to remember, to take into account while you are writing. With enough practice, maybe keeping them in mind will happen naturally, and you'll find your moments writing more quality quantity.

Value Attribution: What an author thinks is important and obvious is not a good indicator of what the reader is going to find important and obvious.
- Authority Gradient: The more an author is perceived as having authority or expertise in his craft, the less critical a reader is.

Sender/Receiver Circuit: Author's function as senders, readers as receivers. If a piece of writing is code, then its readers are experiences of different interactions, different readings, between a code and multiple receivers.
- Trust & Coherence: Reflects consistency in writing - to gain a readership, ultimately defines a set of expectations of the author. Break that trust or your coherence, lose your market base.

Narrative Condensation:
- Different mediums of writing style - think of how Tolkien throws in lyric and poetry.
- Anecdotal asides within the narrative.
- Dialogue closers - ending passages with dialogue.

Time (Listed before in the Time thread): Dream time, emo time, chronological time, historical time, iterative time, symbolic timekeepers.

The Paragraph:

- One Thing At A Time: I suffer from trying to do to many things with one paragraph. Once you start parsing your writing by utility, it casts a strange distortion on internalizing your writing. I spend much time woolgathering for no apparent reason - certainly, none character or plot driven.
- Transitional Paragraphs
- Start with endings: Use your strong sentences for endings, not beginnings. Work towards, not away.
- Write readings, experiences, not books - remember the sender/receiver circuit. Any artifact, code, of writing will have as many different manifestations as it does readers. Only in writing the code can you consciously affect consensual experiences.
- The Rule of Three (Triple Threat, I need to find the note on this one).
- Ambiguous Openings
- Deny, then provide context
- Crystallizing a scene - emotional, personal - simple or complex, epic
- Every Other Rule - Describe every other noun, if you find yourself using too many adjectives -  The sun shone brightly over the myriad of red heraldry (vs.) The sun shone over the myriad of red heraldry.
- Reduce Redundancy
- Reduce "to be," the most common verb
- Bait & Switch - A real good example in class was one girl used highly sexual imagery to describe a woman touching her own body, which becomes a whole lot less sexual when you realize she's pregnant in the Reveal.
- Round/Flat Characters
- Context Changing Revelations (greater form of Bait & Switch)
- Everything is Judged by Utility
- Seeding (using the same sentence throughout an extended passage). In many cases, with more or less repetition, it provides the reader with unique "aha!" moments, conscious or unconscious.
- Recognizing and using cliches as tools.

I'm sure the writer's group developing here will be interested in exploring these.