Selasa, 05 Juni 2012

Narrative Bloats Text and Inhibits Pacing

Eschew What's Obvious to the Reader

I read a novel by a popular author who decided his readers needed to know when his protagonists went to the bathroom. I'm eternally thankful he spared us a discussion of the actual event, but we still received an account of each trip behind a bush. I'm not making this up, and I can only assume this writer was trying to make a sideways stab at humor, but because of the serious nature of his material otherwise, it didn't work for me.

Likewise, Don't Write About Issues That Have Nothing To Do With the Scene

Readers can assume a garage door was shut before the hero or heroine entered the house, as well as that the kitchen lights were turned off as a character leaves to enter another room. This is no different from answering the phone. Someone can simply write that "John answered the phone" and move on to the actual conversation.

Or the same activity could read like this: "John heard the harsh cacophony of the ringer inside the old, white, oblong phone hanging on the wall in his kitchen. He pushed himself up from his lounge chair in the living room and walked briskly to the grab the receiver, noting the location of the furniture along the way so he wouldn't bump into anything. As soon as he reached the phone, he placed his right hand firmly on the handset and removed it from the cradle, pulling upward and outward in one swift motion. He swallowed hard and took a deep breath, holding the speaker section directly below his mouth, but not so close that his chin would touch it. He wasn't at all concerned with whomever was on the line, so in a pleasant tone he said, "Hello."

Some Things Can and Should Be Taken for Granted

The same sort of laborious writing describing answering a phone can apply to almost any normal activity. I read a paragraph in a novel recently that was as silly as the one I just wrote, but in that instance it depicted a person entering a car. Instead of the character driving away from the scene of the crime, I was told how he got in the driver's-side door, placed the key in the ignition, started the engine, shifted the transmission in gear, and then pressed the accelerator. That really was more information than I needed to know, although I appreciated the tutorial, as I'm getting old and tend to forget how to get my own car going.

Jumat, 14 Oktober 2011

Intrigue Your Audiences

Because when you enrapture everyone by something you do, you produce involuntary (and positive) feelings. You thus allow your message to sink in to the consciousness of those before you.

For example, yesterday I was in an audience of speakers in Las Vegas. I watched Dan Thurman, one of the world's great speakers, do this with his gymnastic and juggling talents. While balancing himself precariously on top of a 7 foot high unicycle, he juggled a sword, a machete and an axe. Every eye was glued to him. Few folks have these talents. So what do you do: You use the talent you have.

Here's one simple process I find myself doing intuitively. It takes no talent. It works for me. I'll bet it'll work for you, too:


For your time at the head of the room, remember it is YOUR room and you, like the Captain of a ship, are in command.


Know your subject backward and forward, upside down, inside out. Why? So you can concentrate on the theatrics of what you are about to do.


Look around the room before you say your first word. Identify a few friendly faces. You are going to speak directly to one person at a time.

Jumat, 19 Agustus 2011

Letter Writing Defined

The individual needs to effectively confront and respond to that letter. He needs a well-written persuasive letter that forcefully confronts that party with his own position and attempts to persuade that party to either moderate, post-pone or abandon the demand.

The Second Situation: An individual has a serious situation or problem and wants to confront and persuade a 3rd party - another individual, the government, regulator/authority, a lawyer, a bank, a corporation, an institution etc. to do something - to agree to his request for some sort of action or forbearance.

In order to accomplish this goal the individual needs a well-written persuasive letter that persuades the recipient to agree to his request.

These letters are confrontational letters. Letters that confront a serious problematic situation and attempts to resolve the problem exclusively through the use of letters.

To be effective this form of letter writing must usually be restricted exclusively to letter writing and not be augmented by verbal confrontation. This is because in many instances verbal confrontation gives a distinct and unfair advantage to the recipient of the letter.