The Like Button

Specifics about craft, talent, technique, etc.
kentagions
Posts: 250
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:45 pm
Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota

The Like Button

Postby kentagions » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:05 am

I believe that some posts are too good to go unheralded. We need a "Like Button."

Copy and paste, or leave the URL of posts you find important to your work.

Matt Dovey wrote:
Re: Conflict & Tension
Postby MattDovey » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:14 pm

Was it this post you were thinking of?

I think conflict between the scene and the reader is absolutely possible. Conflict between what a reader expects, behaviour wise, and what your character is doing, provokes a particular kind of intrigue. Why is this sympathetically-presented character engaging in such an abhorrent activity? I wouldn't is one possibility, how is this person remaining so calm amid all this bloodshed? is another, why is this person so unbothered by the strange happenings around them yet another. It's setting up story questions through disonnance, I suppose, by going against reader expectations.

In fact, looking at it, I think it's just one of the kinds of conflict I called out in the blog post: the tension of a statement that doesn't quite make sense.

Of course, the challenge then is in going against expectations cleverly (e.g. "why is this person chopping people up sadistically" is perhaps more trodden ground than, say, "why is this person going out into sub-zero temperatures in only their pants as if it ain't no thing", or "why is this person digging up a grave while specifically whistling Billy Joel's 1983 classic, 'Uptown Girl'"), and also in balancing not-beating-people-round-the-head-with-it (with the risk of boring people with unsubtlety) against not-relying-on-too-much-shared-knowledge-and-subtle-implication (with the risk that some readers might miss the conflict and thus not be hooked).

The best answer, I think, is why not both? Have that reader-scene conflict, but then have character conflicts too--like an instrument slipping in blood slick hands, or someone making a surprise run for it even if their arm is dangling off. If you're feeling brave you can try and get by on the reader-scene conflict alone at first, but you need to introduce plot or character conflict soon--be it external events or introspection.

kentagions
Posts: 250
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:45 pm
Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota

Re: The Like Button

Postby kentagions » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:10 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker Wrote:
Re: Jibber Jabber - Q4 - Volume 34
Unread postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:12 pm

Absolutely take pride in your Honorable Mentions! They don't just give those out like candy. Yes, it means your story was in the top 10%, maybe even the top 5%. Only around a hundred per quarter.

It means Dave found enough to like that he finished your story. Most stories, he only reads a page or two. You gave him a reason to set yours aside, come back to it later, and give it his full attention. You're doing something right. Maybe this story fell short somewhere, but it also hit the mark somewhere. You're in the right neighborhood, so keep trying!

And maybe a different editor for a different market will want this story...


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