Friday, 30 January 2015

Which is best?

Advice needed! I had a scene written, where fragments were separated by blank lines to indicate passage of time. I also worked it so that each section could be read as connected to the previous, even though in reality the two parts of a sentence referred to different things. Some people said this was confusing, so I need some more feedback. I don't want to use a style that pulls people out of the story.

I just wondered which of the options below people preferred, or found easiest to read? Let me know by email or in the comments (or via Facebook).

Note that it is only the transitions between sections that I am talking about (and those transitions are the only thing I changed between the three options). No need to read the whole thing three times!

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2 comments:

  1. Woop. So I didn't like the last one. 'Later' seems too odd as a sentence on its own.

    I am guessing a lot of the choice will be down to context and how it sits with the story. Have we already been in Mark's POV? How long? Does the rest of the book have similar brakes in time?

    Option 1 read as clever but confusing – maybe gave small feel of contrivance?

    So option 2 was my fav. The brake is useful indicator of time passing but…

    I was left wondering if that was all one night, of several nights over the course of a couple of week? Every Saturday once mount? Because I was trying to work it out, I was kinda pulled out of the story…
    What about a signpost to set it up: ‘The weeks passed in a blur and every evening Mark…’ Or ‘Friday gig nights became the one and only highlight of Marks week…” Or some other ‘tell’ so we get an indication of how much time is passing in the brakes? Or you could do it with a show at the beginning of each, but maybe harder? ‘Mark could hardly move the place was so packed. Typical Tuesday, meant it was also hot as hell too…”

    It’s a tricky one – it’s essentially a training montage right? So in films it has the music and stuff to indicate… Writing is hard.

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  2. Hi Bongo,

    I think you are right in all that you say! In the end I went for option 2 with fewer breaks. Your comments on option 1 matched others - it shows the importance of getting feedback, because I couldn't see it myself.

    Just for info, we are in Mark's POV for half of the book; this event is a single night, but I liked your idea of it being a repeated event, and if the plot didn't have such a tight timeframe I would have changed it to fit that. It would have been a nice way round the problem.

    You're right, writing is hard - what to include, what to exclude, and how to present it. Hundreds of choices every paragraph. That's why I am so slow! :-)

    Thanks for the feedback,
    Karl

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