My first thought is science is cool. One of the guys in my local writer’s group is a PhD neuroscientist. He has talked about brain science some with us but usually more in terms of writing AI characters. I’m going to ask him if he’s read Lisa Cron’s books.
Let us know what he says! COOL!
In thinking about openings I don’t mind being a bit overwhelmed and a little confused with a big action opening but my daughter (14 years old) likes a slower opening that sets the scene before getting into a conflict. In terms of brain wiring I gather there is something essential that is the same in these two styles. She’s getting a dopamine fix from something I might find dull, for example. My Ah Ha moment is to give myself a break in that my first instinct is to plot. My first drafts seem to have a ton of plot and some dialog. When submitting these to my writing critique group I hear “too much plot” or “slow down”. Maybe it’s not that I’m wrong it is just I need more passes to build up the story. It is like the armature of a clay sculpture, absolutely necessary to hold the thing together but not inviting on its own.
On the fourteen-year-old– kiddy-lit and MG isn’t structured the same as adult (or YA, to some extent) because, yes, kids aren’t adults. Now, if she’s reading adult fiction and doesn’t cotton to some of the structure it’s because… kids aren’t adults. Our brains evolve in processing things and we don’t all evolve at the identical pace.
Then there are personal preferences which we as writers need to fully understand we CANNOT serve. Any one reader can and will hate any one thing an author does. This is why–first–we all need a thorough understanding of whatever genre we’re crafting. Get to know the triggers of THAT genre, start THERE, and then customize to your own style.
This is crucial in OPENERS because–and, yay! we will have an entire lesson on that–openings are genre-specific. If you haven’t read extensively in the genre in which you want to write, you’re not going to absorb the needed triggers.
This is also why lots of readers love one genre and hate another. The genre they love is familiar, comfortable, and provides the expected triggers. Going back to my earlier comment on SF/Regency readers (or historical), there are world-building patterns in both genres that are very very similar and the SF or the Historical reader-brain goes “Ah-hah! My favorite flavor!” even if there are other things that are unfamiliar.
//My Ah Ha moment is to give myself a break in that my first instinct is to plot. My first drafts seem to have a ton of plot and some dialog. When submitting these to my writing critique group I hear “too much plot” or “slow down”. //
Yes, of course, stories are layered as we craft them, but I’m a bit confused on “too much plot.” Fiction isn’t plot vs dialogue. Do they mean you have too much narrative? Too much telling and not enough showing? You’re synopsizing rather than letting the reader experience things?
//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//