Thursday, May 17, 2012

Creating the lie

I love this writing concept!  Outlined in this article, "creating the lie" is all about that thing that your character believes at the start of the story which isn't true. And, in essence, the entire story is about them going through whatever it is they need to go through so that they no longer believe the lie by the end of the story.

Why do I love this concept? Because it's a great way of tying together the action aspects of the story with the psychological aspects of the story. I often find myself writing critiques to other writers about how their climaxes have become all action and no emotion. Now it's true that I've come to agree to disagree about the amount of description that should be on the page concerning emotional reaction / character feelings / character's internal reaction to stimuli.(I'm a big fan of more! so long as it's engaging, because I want to feel as they feel, agonize as they agonize, pump my fist in the air as they rejoice.) But thinking of your character as "caught in a lie they must overcome" forces you to not let the climax be about action alone.

Yes, the climax is tense. Yes, the climax is action filled.  Yes, you're speeding up the pacing by trimming down exposition. But trimming exposition doesn't mean  you have to trim emotion. Actually, Monica Wood's book on writing called Description has absolutely awesome discussion and examples of just this, so let me say it again: amping up the pacing and cutting exposition does not mean you have to cut character emotion -- it just means delivering it in short bursts relative to the pacing of the action surrounding it.

Highly Recommended