Tag Archives: description

Word-Hacking Emotion

Forget brain surgery, its poetry and psychology that hack our minds. Yes, we generally discuss narrative here, but the principles of poetry are what turn description and detail into mind control engines. Remember your lessons on imagery? Unless your English teacher was way cooler than mine was, he didn’t introduce the subject by saying, “Check it out, kids, here’s how to poke around in a person’s subconscious!” I probably would have paid more attention if he said it that way.

What does your story assume?

In writing, there is always an intellectual frame in place. What that frame is, and how the writer selects it, is usually both taken for granted and similar to frames that are clearly accepted by the target audience. One wouldn’t frame the work of a classic master in a $5 plastic poster frame from Walmart. In science, a theoretical framework is a structure of assumptions the scientist or researcher has accepted as true in order to conduct their work. A

Plot Twists: Expanding Your World

Story structures require control of perception and the element of surprise. Plotting is all about retaining and releasing information to create dramatic and purposeful connections between the elements of the story. Plot twists (here simply defined as revelatory moments that drastically change the scope of the story) and their huge power to reshape a reader’s expectations, require calculated risk. “Playing it safe” can mean a flat scene and a completely outlandish shift could lose readers’ willingness to go along. A feel

Direct Readers’ Focus: The Golden Ratio

Minute details are a double-edged sword to the flow of a story. Outright descriptors – adjectives and adverbs, even forceful verbs – have the power to choke out ideas and action. Artful concepts, however, can accomplish incredible feats of sensory detail without heavy-handed descriptors. Smallness, minute detail in either perfection or chaos, holds worlds of fascination. The same way humans have built towers, telescopes, satellites and space stations, we’ve invested that time looking the other direction too. Magnifying glasses, magnifiers,

Writing Wide Description: The Art of Zooming In

The golden ratio (see our introductory post: Writing with the Golden Ratio) is a geometric ratio that creates a positive reaction from people, especially in art and music. While this mathematic guide can be created artificially in a computer program, and occurs naturally in plants and animals, its application in storytelling operates with more subtlety. Numbers play less of a role as the impression of the ratio. This sounds awfully vague, so we’ll work on description to demonstrate. You’ll notice we

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