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 clich├ęs
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!