A Little Leavening

Posted on July 11, 2009. Filed under: fiction, narrative pacing, practice, rhythm, rule of three, writing craft |

If you’ve ever baked your own bread, you know that it’s important to get the ingredients in proper balance. Too much yeast and the loaf balloons out of its pan. Too little “food” for the yeast, and the bread won’t rise. Wrong temperature liquids (I have killed my yeasty friends accidentally) or incorrect rising times can also result in a heavy, chewy mass you might as well use for a doorstop.
Writing is that way too. Often, new writers assume that if some is good, more must be better. This results in heavy-handed prose that isn’t readable. The right amounts as well as the correct time to introduce a technique, description or action is as crucial as the tools themselves. We all have the same writing ingredients to use. Learning the writing craft is often more about the timing and amount than it is the actual useage.
Writing Tip for Today: Remember the “Rule of Three.” Watch movies to learn how dialogue is delivered. Finally, read many books you love in the genre you are writing in and pay attention to rhythm and pacing. Practice writing scenes with the information you glean. Don’t worry too much about “copying” another well-known author. Chances are, the more you practice the more you will see your own style emerge.

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