Follow by Email

Saturday, April 23, 2016

DAMNING UP YOUR WRITING FLOW

The most important part of story telling, in my not quite so humble opinion, is that story telling should be organic.  It should flow from one scene to the other, and not come to a screeching halt.  Making your readers have to reread portions to follow the story, or damning it up, is never a good idea.

A couple of published novels I've read (one which I did a review on this blog see http://velvetdelenn.blogspot.com/2015/01/book-review-noru-blue-rose-noru-series.html), had many issues, the most important was data dumping.

Image result for data dumping


Data dumping is giving every little detail about a character, and their background given to us all at once.  In Noru Blue Rose, the writer let a major character basically hang over a ledge while she described every other character that came in right after they were introduced in the scene.  Down to their designer clothes.  I felt as bad for the character who was quite literally dangling for like 5 pages while the author did this. I almost  had to restrain myself physically from reaching through the computer and smacking her.  That or facepalm repeatedly.

The sad part was this happened more than once.  When she changed to another character POV after being with the one pretty much all throughout the book, that's when I also had a problem. Note: If you do this, please do it throughout the story.  If at all.  BUT The final nail for me (as if there weren't many others that I had to choose from) was the *Over 18* section...in a young adult novel... like that is going to stop them from reading... but I digress.

The other thing that really stops flow, is repetition.  Words or phrases being repeated multiple times.  In the one I'm reading right now, this one word is repeated 5 times in just one paragraph.  Repetition can be effective in some circumstances, but words should really be used sparingly.

The two examples that I've used above, should never have been  published in that form.  In the dog eat dog world of publishing (be it online, independent, and/or traditional), you have to put your best foot forward.  Professionalism is key; by putting out work that looks like it is almost a first draft, (or even a first draft), is ill advised.

I suggest that you first polish your work, then you need to have what are called Beta readers (if possible).  Ones who are not relatives or friends (unless they are willing to objectively look at your work and whom don't  just say, "It's great, I love it.") are best.  While this is good ego boost, it doesn't help with the story.  You need someone who is willing to give an unbiased opinion on what they felt did not work for them, where you could improve something, or merely make a suggestion.   A writers group, or an online writers group (i,e. on Facebook), is the best way to go to.  

If you are like me, I have a vision of how I want the story to be, that I want to have it match as closely as I can.  But sometimes, that just doesn't work.  Which is where a Beta Reader comes in.  See my blog re: Beta Reading.  Actually it is on Critiquing, but the same rules apply when I ask for a Beta reader.  http://velvetdelenn.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-etiquette-of-critique-or-critique.html

After you get the critique/beta read back, then take the time to go over the suggestions.  I always say, if someone is saying something about my work, I haven't done my job as a writer.

Also having someone beta for you, helps because you never know what you might miss, we don't look at our own work critically enough.  Case in point.  I gave my prologue to a writer friend, it had been polished and rewritten 19 times (at least).  And I still missed one thing..."What happened to the rain?"  I felt really stupid, but as I thought about it, I felt better as that was the only thing she found wrong.

To recap:


  • A good story can be ruined by using the flaws as outlined above.
  • You always need to put your best foot forward.
  • #professionalismiskey

(Because this needs to be a thing) 

Image result for data dumping

No comments:

Post a Comment