Friday, June 25, 2010

Building Blocks

I attended a Margie Lawson workshop in Orlando in 2007. One of my takeaways was her concept of literary building blocks. I went home and created the visual on the left to keep it in my mind. Margie set no rules on how much of any element was required. I believe it would depend upon the genre and the level of intensity the writer wishes to create—ultimately the style of your writing. Note, the pyramid isn't a Lawson application. I applied it to stress the importance of emotion. But remember, setting, description, action, body language and senses are important—they make up the base of the pyramid.

1. Emotion
• Visceral Responses: accelerated heart rate, sweaty palms, dry mouth, tight chest, clenched stomach, weak knees, blood rushing, tight chest, red cheeks, hard face, adrenaline…heart pumping… "Fresh" prose versus clichés
2. Dialogue
3. Internalization
• Turn simple explanations into "fresh" description
• Narrative, exposition, backstory, flashbacks, omniscient narrator
• "Readers have a tendency to skim blocks of internalization. Agents and editors do too. Or worse, they quit reading
4. Tension-Conflict – turn a phrase; fresh language, not black and white explanation
5. Setting-Description – make "fresh"
6. "DABS"
• Dialogue Cues
• Action
• Body Language
• Senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch, intuition) – double dip

Write Every Day!

1 comment:

  1. That's a terrific pyramid. I may have to print that off for myself!