Reply To: Student: Ellen Gilman Homework Thread

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Linnea Sinclair

6) motivate some character to pay attention to anything you want your reader to notice.

“Anything you describe in detail, the reader will remember.” -Jack Bickham.

I know you’ve heard the above before from me, Ellen, but as you continue writing, certain craft tips just JUMP OUT at you as useful NOW. So, yeah, if in your story you feature the theft of an antique gold pocket watch, then, yes, the watch needs to have a bit more “screen time” (or stage time) than other items, and/or we need to see certain other (nefarious) characters perhaps casting longing glances at said watch (and said nefarious characters might not even be the actual thieves…).

And if a character has a certain habit or emotional reaction (which originated in his backstory), then we need to see that habit, that annoying thumb twiddling or slightly odd constant glancing at his cellphone…  to make the reader go, Hmmm. But only if those things are clues to a backstory issue that will become a current ON THE PAGE issue.

Clear as mud?



//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//


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