Monday, July 12, 2010

Breaking the Flow

One of the subtle things I find in pieces I critique, which ruins the setting for me, is a disruption in the flow of thoughts. Some examples:
  1. Mentioning story elements A, B, C, D, returning to A—while we may think in fragments, we don't want our writing "all over the place."
  2. Detail that doesn't help the reader fit into the scene. Did we need props B and C at all?
  3. Showing action getting your POVC to X, then missing Y and describing Z.
  4. Too much detail in moving your character forward can be onerous. Detail, intended to place your reader in the scene, can just as easily take them out of it.
  5. Description that reads omnisciently—isn't something the POVC would notice.
  6. Raising an emotion in your character without the reader understanding the backdrop which incites the emotion. If you subsequently explain (telling), you pull the reader away from the emotion and conflict.
  7. Multiple characters can add emotion and action in a scene, but requires very delicate use of pronouns. If the reader has to slow down to figure out who "he" or "she" is a single time, you've impacted the power of your scene.
  8. Crescendo of elements that end up having nothing to do with climax.
What would you add?

Write Every Day!



  1. Good list. I would add spending a long time building something up, and then the climax turns out to be too easy or disappointing in some other way.

  2. Thanks -- added that as item number eight :O)