Writing Tip of the Month: The Three Elements

Writing in all forms, from poetry to advertising, is made up of three elements: narration; dialogue, and introspection, no more, no less. Understanding each is vital to good writing.  Narration is the backbone.  It is the writer telling the reader what is occurring in the work.  “Once upon a time in a land far away.” Or, “It’s been a long winter,” she said. She said is narration. It drives the story. Dialogue speeds it. Each time a different character speaks, it means a new paragraph. It leaves a lot of white space on the page. It also is a great tool for character development. Each day we judge people more by what they say, and how they say it, than by what they do. Introspection is even a more powerful tool. It is the internal thoughts, opinions, hopes, etc. of the character, and a character’s thoughts are far more revealing than his words. The problem with introspection is, it slows. Beware of great blocks of introspection near the beginning of a story. It may slow the work to a stop.

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