Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Trekking (And My Three Principles)

The best principles come in threes. My blue-collar father raised me on three I still live by, one of which could be used in any circumstance.
  • You're living a good life
  • You're holding your mouth wrong
  • You're using the wrong tool
Because this discussion isn't about life, I won't go into the minutiae the circumstances these explain, but writing also has three precious principles.
  • Setting
  • Character
  • Story
You must judge every sentence you write against the need to satisfy these elements. 1) Does it generate vision and sensual stimuli to place the reader where your action is occurring? 2) Does it contribute to the reader's empathy or otherwise build upon the reader's emotions? 3) Does it propel the plot forward?

My trilogy of writing requirements explained, I'll finally get to the topic. Trekking.

Does your character's movements add to setting, character or story? I'm presently beta reading a wonderfully skilled writer, who I know will one day publish. His best skill is his humor, and ability to twist a situation so the mundane is entertaining.

His current novel in-development entails a main character on a search. I complain about scenes not propelling the story. Yes, there is humor, and the technical elements of the craft are applied well. But I don't find the thread adding to any of the three requirements of setting, character, or story.

When I die, I may go to hell for admitting it, but the trekking in Tolkien's works bored me to tears. (Anne McCaffrey sold me on the genre for life.)

I ask you, how many of you read for the journey? How many read for the story?

Write Every Day!


1 comment:

  1. Good thoughts. I think that's very true. Those three elements are essential.