I forgot something. It relates to the Below the Belt post yesterday.
Not only is hitting below the belt a great way to command someone's attention, but it pretty much works every time.
Not 100% of the time, but probably 99.9%. And if you boys are feeling picked on (sorry, I promise to use a less delicate area of comparison next time) girls react the same way. They may recover faster, but it's a pressure point in the human body—male or female. Yes, I know this because it's happened to me. Grappling is brutal, and girls are way meaner than boys. Way meaner.
The point of a good hit to the groin is to make your opponent (or attacker) feel excruciating pain and to double them over. This leaves them open for further offensive on your part. For me that means I can now kick them in the head—normally out of reach.
So think about this; when you write, what reaction are you trying to induce? When you get that in your mind, figure out which of your writing tools will work to get that reaction.
Or, if that's too broad, which of your tricks in writing work every time?
A good hook will make people react the same way—I want to read more!!! What's going on? Tell me, tell me!!! They might become enraged at their co-workers or family if they're interrupted before they finish this one last chapter.
What other reactions do we, as authors, try to get out of our readers; laughter, shock, tears, a scream, a gasp, a giggle? Each one of these things requires a set up. A punch in the right place, so to speak.
The part of writing a story that is my most powerful weapon is usually dialogue. It can lead to almost all of the above. Shocking revelations, tear jerking confessions, belly aching laughter and maybe even a scream of protest or fear. I turn to dialogue when I need something done right. It's my #1 go to writing tool.
I need to work on a bundle of other tools, but I think I'll always be a dialogue girl. It's one of my best kicks to the . . . well, you know.
Anyone else have a go to tool?