I start with pre-writing that develops interest features for an inspiration. One factor most of all -- clash is essential.
Turkey City Lexicon labels a common-to-inexperienced-writers appearance feature "Funny hat guy." Funny hat guy's function is a feature that sets the individual apart from others for memorableness's sake, ostensibly, from other characters who wear normal hats or no hats. Clumsy hands go that far and no further. The funny hat is a clash, well enough, though superficial when not at least symbolic.
What does the funny hat represent, does it mean? To funny hat guy, to others? That is, what is any given time or persona's attitude toward the hat? Emotional attitude, that clashes with the funny hat guy, others, readers expectations in particular. Substitute any feature's sensation for funny hat's visual appearance: aural, tactile, olfactory, gustatory, likewise, clumsy hands portray a funny distinction and no more. The sensation often missed and that is important is emotional feeling.
Put emotional feeling and clash together -- reader, and writer, interest is on the way to full realization. "Will squashed the new Panama down to his ears (better)", for example. "squashed" implies an emotional attitude; though, without stronger context and texture setup, the emotional texture is vague. What, anger, embarrassment, anxiety? Some other emotion? Or ideally, an emotional cluster clash, anxiety and anger, for instance. Clear and strong emotional texture expresses what a feature means emotionally and is complex-ified by a cluster clash.
That line expresses an effect, for one. What's the cause? Someone or thing emotionally disturbs Will. No more, no less. A cause is a what, why, and how emotional texture feature. Who, when, and where are context features. Though not solely a cause. Dramatic causation, interesting causation, depends upon interesting antagonism and tension clash.
Antagonism is causal want and problem satisfaction efforts, congruent to though distinguishable from causal conflict. Conflict is a diametric opposition of causal forces related to stakes and outcomes. Antagonism, in particular, is related to motivation. Conflict: for example, an individual and life and death. For hay guy Will, a conflict could be an individual and acceptance and rejection. And.
A complication, which is antagonal, could be someone or thing or event or setting feature that clashes with Will's expectations and emotionally disturbs him. Say a gust blew the hat off his head, an antagonal-causal setting feature and event. //Angered by the gust that stole his hat, "Will squashed the new Panama down to his ears (better)."// Better yet. Best would show Will's emotional response clearly, not tell it, and give the reason or reasons for his emotional response without too much tell summary and explanation. That tell, though, is at least causal, which is the difference between anecdote, vignette, and sketch and drama, the wind did it, if not antagonal and tensional. And is a clash of an individual and nature forces.
Tension is the reader emotional effect of antagonism and causation combined. Tension's two identities are emotional caring (sympathy-empathy) and suspense (curiosity). They don't work tension magic without each other, nor without antagonism and causation.
Say Will's hat he just bought is so he can impress a love interest, or colleague or friend, or boss, or whomever. Context and texture there. Who, when, and were he wants to impress is the context, Why he bought the hat (first cause) -- in the first place, is texture; the hat to impress is what, its newness and stylishness the how he wants to impress. The gust stole part of his thunder, harmed the newness of the thing (first effect and next cause) -- slander and calumny, libel and contumely, oh my.
Combined, those causes and effect cause Will to squash the Panama down to his ears, next cause and effect. Angered, he further damages the hat, his intentions and expectations are harmed by his actions, wanting to impress someone, want; inattentive keeping the hat neat, problem; further damaging the hat's neatness by his emotional outburst, problem.
Antagonal and causal context and texture setup there create an emotional caring for Will's hat plight, or reader emotional effect -- tension. Emotional caring arises because Will's personal actions upset his expectations and intents. Curiosity arises about what will happen when who Will wants to impress sees the damaged hat. How will Will's intents work out? That's drama: an antagonal, causal, and tensional clash, and that develops reader interest.
Also, the setup is part preparation segment and part suspension segment; the outcome of the hat's intent is the resolution segment, or complication satisfaction anyway, an outcome. Those above, antagonism, causation, and tension and preparation, suspension, and resolution, are plot's fundamentals, in pieces, parts, parcels, and wholes. Even dramatic clauses erect a movement arc built from those building blocks.
Last edited by orbivillein
on Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.