Have you ever noticed a crazy blog title and ‘assumed’ the blogger would be heavy on the cutsie and light on content? Well you know what they say about the word ‘assume.’ If you don’t, ask any twelve year old. During today’s foray into blogs I stopped by “The Mystical Gnome’s Guide to Improve Your Writing-Tip #3” and stayed to read the blog post-even though I don’t particularly like gnomes. The content was full of good advice so I searched for tip #1 and #2.
|from Mystical Gnome blog|
The log line for TMG is Modern Day Absurdities. The blog and log line titles suggests that the writer (MJ Cache) has a sense of humor. That’s something I look for, not in super heavy doses, but humor gives flavor to otherwise dry subjects. (His profile photo is a good indication of his humor).
The first post described writing style which is about word choice, expression, grammar and tone. It’s the voice the reader hears when reading your work. What voice do you want your readers to hear? What is your style and does it reflect or mask your personality? Good questions to ponder.
Writing tip #2 explains the difference between story and plot. Do you know the difference? MJ succinctly says “ A plot is the series of events providing conflict for the characters. The story is the effects from these events on the characters: their emotional responses, decisions and consequences.” (Emphasis mine). It’s important to know the difference especially when you’re trying to ‘pitch’ your story. Someone may ask “What’s the plot?” versus another who asks “What’s the story.” Maybe no one asks, but it’s still important to know the difference and be able to verbalize each component.
And #3 is the post I read first. Hey, sometimes going backwards is a good thing. Besides looking at his cute profile picture again, this quote captured my attention: “What matters more to your reader are the details of how your character reacts, the dialogue that establishes his personality and his thoughts, not endless descriptions.”
When I think of the stories I’ve begun to read, then tossed a quarter of the way through, it’s often because of one dimensional characters. The writer either forgot to describe the characters emotional and/or spiritual state: what does she/he think, feel, need, fear, presume?…or the writer didn’t know that characters need to go beyond their physical appearance. It’s hard to care about a flat caricature compared to one with dimensions, depth, and uniqueness.
So the moral of this post is that knowledge can come dressed in a gnome suit. Don’t pass it up just because it looks a little odd. If you have any crazy blog titles you’ve come across, please share. We all need a daily dose of humor.