03 June 2012

Is there Always a Right Answer? Part 3

One  more entry on this, and someday I’m sure I’ll come back to the concept.

Another question to consider is this, “What do I want to do to this person who has so foolishly attacked me with a knife?”

Does he have friends around?   How many of them vs. how many of you?  How are you going to get away? Or do you plan to hold him in an arm bar with your pinkie finger while you call the cops?

All of these things will help you decide what to do.  If he’s got friends, you should probably take him out quick and hard.  If you don’t want to hurt him (drunk friend of whatever) then disarming would be the way go to with a follow up hold so you can “chat.” 

The same thing applies as you write.  What are you trying to do to your reader and why?  Is this whole scene a set up for something bigger?  Is the deep dark secret of your series revealed here?  Or is this the introduction of the love interest?

You see, you would use totally different tools depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.  What kind of tension are you looking at here, and what is the character conflicted about?  Are you going to hit them below the belt, or fake them out?

I guess I need to go into writing tools after all of this talk about them.  There are about a million, so I won’t get too excited.  And I need to review them as much as ever.  Each new story brings a new set of issues to first mess up and then resolve.  Combinations are important, because one-hit-wonders only work once.

But we’ll go into that some other time.


Imogen said...

I love how you're comparing writing to knife fighting. Maybe, if I try extra hard with my writer's brain, I can imagine it's me that's the black belt. But which would be better, to be a black belt writer, or fighter?

Antiquarian said...

I had a lit prof at Weber that taught Critical approaches to literature - the "this is what the story REALLY means" class.

She taught that you need Grand Poquitos* - Big Pockets. You put your tools in the pockets and only take out those tools you need/want to use and when done put them back. When you fall into using 1 tool all the time you fail.

*yes I know this isn't accurate, but that's how she said it.

-Jo- said...

Thanks, Imogen!

I think my new goal is to find a really, really cool tool belt...for weapons and Shuriken!

Imogen said...

Shuriken is such an awesome word, and, if I'm thinking of the right weapon, it's a great, great weapon too.