Tools in your Writing Toolbox

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
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Ermo
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Tools in your Writing Toolbox

Post by Ermo » May 4th, 2010, 12:12 pm

I don't know about you guys but whenever I pick up a new author, I almost always learn a new way to write. I try and make a mental note of the tool they used. What are some of your favorite tools? Mine:

Internal Dialogue (Did he just wink at me? I think he winked at me.)
Flashback (His brother hated holidays too. On one especially cold Christmas...)
Imagine (He imagined that the birds held secret meetings plotting their defecation strategies. They'd plot a map...)

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karenbb
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Re: Tools in your Writing Toolbox

Post by karenbb » May 4th, 2010, 1:14 pm

I tend to pick up on things like transition and expression of time, because those are things I struggle with.

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polymath
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Re: Tools in your Writing Toolbox

Post by polymath » May 4th, 2010, 1:27 pm

The many flavors of irony. A recent read had an exquisite use of overstatement to express emotion. I don't mean the simple overstatement of unconditional function word adverbs, like always, never, must, and so on. I mean the stringing together of adjectives and adverbs and nouns and verbs into overstated commentary.

Grammar checking applications tend to condemn long strings of modifying clauses. Like, you know, as if software engineers are the foremost arbiters of creative writing principles. I mean, as if, you know. I take great delight from controvening grammar checker hits by recasting sentences and clauses so the software doesn't point them out and without excising a single word. Oh! the mighty workhorses the comma and conjunction words in polysyndeton, conjunction words altogether missing in asyndeton.

The groupthink popularity pageantry of unoriginal lockstep conformity emerging from writing principle consensuses dissenting over the necessariness, awkwardness, dullness, plain old weakness of modifiers remains, providentially, unresolvably unresolved.
Spread the love of written word.

GeeGee55
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Re: Tools in your Writing Toolbox

Post by GeeGee55 » May 4th, 2010, 6:13 pm

Raymond Carver uses a device in the dialogue of "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love."

One character mentions something in conversation that sparks another character to go off on a tangent. After a time, the first character says, " well anyway, about...whatever he was originally talking about". It makes it possible for Carver to introduce different themes and metaphors within the story which takes place mostly in the dialogue. I used the trick in one of my own short stories.

daringnovelist
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Re: Tools in your Writing Toolbox

Post by daringnovelist » May 4th, 2010, 11:33 pm

I've been thinking a lot about red herrings lately. They aren't just for mystery writers (although, since I'm writing a mystery, I'm thinking about them in that context too). Leading the protagonist - and audience - astray through misunderstandings can be a great way to lead to unexpected truths.

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Ermo
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Re: Tools in your Writing Toolbox

Post by Ermo » May 5th, 2010, 11:24 am

GeeGee55 wrote:Raymond Carver uses a device in the dialogue of "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love."

One character mentions something in conversation that sparks another character to go off on a tangent. After a time, the first character says, " well anyway, about...whatever he was originally talking about". It makes it possible for Carver to introduce different themes and metaphors within the story which takes place mostly in the dialogue. I used the trick in one of my own short stories.
Lots of good stuff so far in this thread and I really would like this one. I'm going to use it.

SarahEMC2
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Re: Tools in your Writing Toolbox

Post by SarahEMC2 » May 5th, 2010, 4:42 pm

Verbs! When I encounter a particularly good one, I put it on a list I keep, because one can never have too many really wonderful verbs!

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