A couple of writing-technique links

Some people reckon you shouldn't stress too much about technique; that following someone else's rules about how you should write stifles your unique voice and all that. I do not agree. I am of the opinion that not all writing is equal, and that this is not due to crystal fairy magic or mystical inborn superpowers. (Although these may be factors in a gosh-wow piece of writing, I doubt that they're the primary factors.) It's due to technique.

I could try and find these techniques out through trial and error, gushing about how I neeeeeeed to find out what works for meeeeeeeee — and yes, there's value in being true to your own voice and ideas. But why should I thrash around chaotically, hoping I stumble on something that makes my writing work, when other writers have been thrashing around for thousands of years and found out a lot already? It would be like attempting to perform sophisticated scientific research without ever bothering to take so much as an introductory science course in high school.

So here are some links to a couple of technique posts I've recently found, and found useful:

Key Conditions for Reader Suspense by John D. Brown

Writing Emotion by Carol Ryles

Do you know of any really useful technique-related links? Share them in the comments!


At 10:36 PM, Blogger Satima Flavell said...

Here's a beauty that I just picked up yesterday! http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/art/scene.php

You do meet the odd person who has never taken a writing class, never reads writing blogs and yet still writes amazing stuff. They are the supremely gifted ones who know it all intuitively, and when you analyze their work you see that they are, in fact, doing the things we lesser mortals have to spend years learning!

At 6:42 AM, Blogger Houston Dunleavy said...

You are perfectly right about the value of technique. It applies to composers too. It's been my experience that the naturally talented run out of steam in the long haul. Technique is what give the talent its platform, or framework, if you will (maybe even soapbox??). It is what keep the voice thrumming when the first fruits of inspiration (whatever that is) become merely windfalls.

Way too much emphasis is put on how studying with someone or at some place is what you eventually have to "get away from", as if that time was wasted. But no time spent learning is ever wasted.

Technique on its own is, as Donald Erb said, "not quite good enough", but without it, talent lives all to short a life before settling into mediocrity.


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