Saturday, 20 October 2012

No Fun (can be more fun) - Part 2

In the last post I shared how continually reading writing advice may create some disillusionment when trying to build your own voice and story. However reading Proverbs showed me something valuable. Each verse is writing advice if you know how to apply it to your work. Each verse shows a separate way to raise stakes, boost character profile, and add mystery.

I was in chapter 25 (of Proverbs) and recommend you simply have a read. What if the verses were writing tips to improve plot and structure? What if a new angle could be found that would break writer's block?

Consider the following verses:

v17 - Don’t visit your neighbors too often, or you will wear out your welcome.

Does your story need the enrichment of a meddling busybody? Is one of the characters nosy? Consider the traits of such a person including appearance, idiosyncrasies, and age. What makes them act like this? What is their relationship to your Key Character (KC, otherwise known as a protagonist) and the plot?

v28 - A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.

Could your story use a reckless soul to move it along and provide interest and colour? He might have a hankering for dim-sum-yum or an affinityfor guns - or both.
How might seemingly irreparable brokenness add flavour to your story?

v4 - Remove the impurities from silver, and the sterling will be ready for the silversmith.

Every character needs refining and it's the process that keeps pages turning. We read because we relate and we know that learning the hard way still gets us everytime. How might your KC respond to a furnace situation (that you have been through)?

v9 - When arguing with your neighbor, don’t betray another person’s secret.

It really needs no explanation, for all the danger, excitement and cataclysmic results this can cause in all its various forms. It might be a story told from one child to another (or to her peer), or it could be the of the magnitude of Wikileaks. How characters within the story respond to this information leaves the writing world as your oyster, so use wisely.

v21 - If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink.

What would happen if your antagonist paid a visit to your KC and was suddenly nice to him? Would this get the attention of the KC as well as the reader? What alarm bells would ring and what tone would it set (or change)?

Consider verses 13, 7, and 19. How might a brainstorm on these improve your work? You don't have to kill anybody but you can afford to be a little ruthless. Test ideas and break new ground in your writing life and remember:

1) Writing publications are necessary, yet God is able to show you your own unique voice His way,
2) The Bible is for everyone.

Don't be afraid. Investigate and try new things. Simplicity is wonderful.

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Fais de l’Eternel tes délices, et il te donnera ce que ton cœur désire.

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