Reply To: Lesson 6

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Linnea Sinclair

Also, I’ve been to book conventions and miniatures conventions, so these may be a different set-up than a booth, but there you have a table and no back table so people have to eat lunch on lap or on little side tables that they’ve brought or the plastic boxes that they’ve stored their wares in that now can serve as a table on the side. If they have a back table, do they have to clear it to make space? Are they storing additional games there? Because the front table is used to show how to play the game?

Good point. As I mentioned in the lesson, you not only have to get setting (and the Gulf of Mexico) in the correct location, you also have to remember that everyone’s experience with anything physical is somewhat UNIQUE. So what I love and see and smell and sense about walking the beach in St Pete Beach is similar but NOT exactly the same as what someone else loves (and sees and smells). In spite of the old ad slogan, everyone does NOT like Sara Lee’s.

Here’s how Dwight Swain puts it (copied from my World Weaving class):

The Most Important Thing About Your Story World

according to Dwight V Swain, Techniques of the Selling Writer

a. Your reader has never been there.

b. It’s a sensory world.

c. It’s a subjective world

Look at (a). Your reader has never been there. No, she hasn’t. I don’t care if she’s your twin sister, she doesn’t experience LIFE (and all of life’s components) in an identical manner that you do.

So it’s really tricky when you use setting, especially in an opener (and remember what I said about meeting the genre’s checklist: moat, check; dragon, check…). You have to give those details someone familiar with cons would resonate to, and yet also give those details to let the newbie see it clearly.

Again, I go back to  my method of Compare and Contrast. IE: This wasn’t the biggest con she’d ever been to, but it was (the busiest, the noisiest, the quietest, whatever)… then give a specific. This kind of stuff gets the reader who knows gaming cons (and that’s my assumption since it wasn’t overly clear to me, either) nodding in agreement, and yet also gives someone who’s never been to a gaming con something to visualize, to anchor to.

This same kind of information could be done in dialogue between Cecelia and Amber. Maybe this con reminds Amber of one they did together three years ago. Maybe this con reminds Amber of one Cecelia didn’t attend. Specific emerge naturally from that. It’s NOT an “As you know, Bob” where one character tells already known facts to another (info dump). It’s natural and YET informative.


//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//

  • This reply was modified 4 months ago by Linnea Sinclair. Reason: html shhhhtuff

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