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Linnea Sinclair
Moderator

//Editing because my attempts at creating some kind formatting here failed spectacularly–sorry. //

Okay, Linnea.  You’ve got me a bit frightened of the torture you’re going to put us through as the class continues.  I’m going to do my best…

Be afraid, be very afraid… 🙂

In the Why Are We Wired for Story article, I picked out this section:  Suddenly it wasn’t just about figuring out the physical world, it was about something far trickier: navigating the social realm. In short, we’re wired to turn to story to teach us the way of the world and give us insight into what makes people tick … I write a genre that isn’t for everyone.  It is however for many more than those who would admit to it.  The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and explore something that those in your family might consider forbidden becomes the way to explore a part of you that has remained unrecognized and hidden.  People don’t feel isolated anymore. [\quote]

Linnea sez: 

I know you write erotica and that concept is part of the ‘forbidden,’ but there’s more (speaking to the whole class here and, again, hoping they’re all ‘subscribed’) than just erotica that hits the forbidden/acceptance issue.

Any character (or real person) who steps out of family’s/society’s [current] acceptance works to that very powerful theme. Ancient story-telling abounds with it. Gautama Buddha renounced his aristocratic family for spirituality and ascetism. Abram/Abraham renounced his family’s multi-theism in Mesopotamia and followed the One God. The Robin Hood character turned law-breaking into charity. Essentially, the Seeker (either the Seeker of the Importance/Validation of Self, or the Seeker of the Importance of Others). The Righter Of Wrongs.

Because these kinds of story lines are almost primal, we can use them to hook readers with how we craft everything from our opening chapter and on. They relate to Cron’s brain science because they ARE primal. We instinctively look to (first) please ourselves then, as we mature, look to please others. The brain constantly does a “if this, then that” movement. When your reader steps into your first few pages, her brain resonates to those triggers IF you’ve provided them.

  If I cry as I’m writing, I know the readers are going to love the book.[\quote]

Linnea: Or laugh or giggle or gasp… yeppers.

  In the 7 Ways to Use Brain Science, my eyes fixed on this:  Action, reaction, decision—it’s what drives a story forward. What a simplistic story arc but so powerful.  <snip> I’m a pantser.  My toughest writing segment is the middle.  It’s where I always pause and think, this is garbage.  I’m also stubborn, so I stop and figure out what I need to move to the next stage.  Often that is creating more of a back story to impel the action forward.  I always love the book when it’s finished.  Perhaps, keeping this pattern in mind would help avoid that blah feeling in the middle?  It’s worth a try.

Linnea: I’m also a pantser though–as my usual inmates here know–I’ve become more of a plots-er by necessity (multi-book contracts will do that to you). I’m a leap-frog plotter and no doubt, we’ll touch on that again soon. Pantsers TEND to write more emotionally, so the issue is sometimes less of being sure the emotional issues are felt than watching out that the emotional issues aren’t overloaded to the point of silliness. (TIP: pay attention to your character’s internal conflict structure.)

Back story can be uber-dangerous or uber-helpful. You–writer–MUST know all the backstory. The reader… not so much. Try as much as possible to fold backstory into action.

Backstory inherently slows things down and–as Swain notes–is comprised of a history that no one can change (time-travel notwithstanding). The reader seeks CHANGE (because change is threatening = tension = dopamine).

Gotta pimp that dopamine.

//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//
www.linneasinclair.com

  • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Linnea Sinclair. Reason: the systens doesn't let me break up posts for replies...oy
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