Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Wednesday's Writing Tip - Strategy - Patterns
Because I've been reading in different genres for years I've noticed there are patterns in each genre and there are patterns that are broken. Most times this works but sometimes the broken pattern fails. I've also come to the conclusion that there are only two plots with many variations. There is the plot that ends in happiness and the one that ends in an unhappy ending. Now there are many variations of these two general plots. But that's not what I'm talking about here. It's about patterns in prose.
Once a writer knows what the pattern consists of there are many ways to make this work, One is giving the reader what he expects but this means a lack of originality. We've all read stories and said I've read this before. It's the little twists and turns that keep a reader wanting more, though there are many readers who enjoy the familiar. A writer has to know how to twist the familiar just a bit.
A writer could give the reader what they don't expect. Might work and might not. The story could come out confusing the reader. No writer wants to do this. The problem here is that the story could become outrageous and one that confuses the reader.
What the writer wants to do is hit a happy medium bu giving the reader a familiar story but not the way they expect the story to take. Combining both methods.
To do this the end goal should be kept in mind but shouldn't be the only part of the story to engage the reader. Be aware of the different patterns of prose when you're writing and use what you know to make your story unique. Make sure to tie up all loose ends. Nothing can irritate a reader more than to finish the story and wonder what happened to character X, even though he's only a minor character. Don't leave them wondering why the gun or knife you showed in the opening scene wasn't used.