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This post is not about the 'showing vs telling' debate, this is about how to make your story un-put-down-able. I'm writing this as much for myself as anyone else as I wrestle with the premise/chapter one of my third NaNo novel. This post looks at cause and effect in our writing.
"I just couldn't put that book down. You must read it!"
Now wouldn't we like readers to say that about our stories? If they do it probably means:
- the story followed logically - it moved forward naturally - cause and effect was in place.
- When writing scenes, especially complex scenes, realizations and discoveries happen after actions, not before.
- Always build on what has been said or done, rather than laying the foundation after the idea is built.
- Continually move the story forward, rather than flip-flopping around with cause and effect.
- Each event should cause the one that follows it.
- Show your reader what is happening as it happens rather than explain what just happened, or what happened several sentences ago.
- can you suggest any other exceptions to the rule of cause and effect? Please share...
- I know I like to be mysterious when I write and often blow the cause and effect rule. It's hard to know what works best. Interested in what you think...