In ‘Selecting the right slice of life’ by Cate Kennedy, Kennedy talks about finding stories in fragments of ordinary life. It is a concept that is very familiar to me. I write to explore and discover my own meaning; I write to work life out. I have always written fragments: snippets pondered over or hastily scrawled. Kennedy says “…stories give our experiences coherence.” Snippets, I find, are quick to write ‘on the go’, they sit waiting to be developed further, or incorporated into some other piece of writing, or are simply left as they are: fragmentary, a complete moment.
Introducing conflict and tension into your writing doesn’t have to mean guns and fights or anything that overly dramatic. Tension can seethe just below the surface, brewing but contained. Whatever form your conflict comes in, it is imperative to your plot that there is conflict. Conflict brings change; change brings conflict – both are important to keep your story moving, to trigger the events that form your plot. Louise Doughty says, “A plot is about things happening. It is about change, drama, conflict.”
Travel writers can effectively borrow from fiction, using narrative techniques and literary devices to improve their non-fiction writing. Creative non-fiction is engaging as well as informative. In my critique of ‘The Year We Seized the Day’ by Elizabeth Best and Colin Bowles, I examine the techniques these authors use to sweep readers up in the story of their journey.
Continuing my exploration into travel writing, today I consider how differently men and women perceive ‘place’ and reflect this in their writing, and what abilities are required of the travel writer.
Today I am thinking about travel writing: how is it structured, what is the difference between a tourist piece and travel literature, how does travel writing blur the lines between fact and fiction and how does it borrow narrative techniques to create engaging story.
I’m not sure about you, and I have no idea what most schools were doing at the time, but I swear I was never formally taught how to write an essay. Nevertheless, somehow I bumbled through school with reasonable grades. It wasn’t until I was at university that I had to really think about essay structure, and then as a new teacher, I taught others who to write essays. So how do you write an essay?
Continuing with the theme of writing dialogue, today I want to have a go at writing snippets of conversation between two characters, using this to convey how they feel about each other.
Dialogue creates a sense of immediacy, putting the reader right into the action, connecting the reader directly to the characters. Today I continue from last week, exploring various aspects of dialogue.