Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Mon, Apr 09 2018

Bap! Your rabbit really needs this new hairspray. Zap! Ouch!

I did some research online earlier today and I landed on a page that tried to render an article onscreen, interrupting itself several times to display ads, almost all of which required me to either click on the ad or click a tiny X in the upper right corner of the ad in order to continue reading the article. Six interruptions later, I finally closed that window and moved on. It wasn't click bait. It was just badly designed and annoying. I sat and thought about it, wondering how the person who designed the page could not have known that most people lose interest in a web page after a few seconds if they don't get any of the real content they're seeking.

Do we do this with our fiction writing at times? An opening scene in a novel might include a little dialogue and some action. It probably includes some description in order to get our reader to picture the context and setting of the dialogue and action they're reading. But if we interrupt an argument or a chase scene in our fiction every other paragraph to insert six paragraphs of description, our reader might completely forget what the argument or chase was about in the first place.

Someimes it's a stealthy move to slow down a scene with a little description or a flicker of flashback. But if we overuse that technique we can leave the reader with the feeling of having been tied and dragged behind a truck for three-quarters of a mile while someone off to the side is quietly giving them the 50-year history of the company that built the rope.



posted at: 13:07 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry



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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!