Choosing relevant detail: writing, specificity, & Dan-Brown-isms 4

In our last video we discussed using specific details to make a story convincing. But specific details are not just there to make the story a bit more believable; they’re also the primary means through which the story, and all its emotion, is conveyed. So the details in your story can’t be any old details – unless you’re Dan Brown, the king of irrelevant details. Assuming you’re not Dan Brown, how do you make sure you choose the right details?

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How to lie and get away with it: a game for writers Reply

Writers are professional liars. We make things up but present those things in a way that’s sufficiently convincing that people believe us, or at least suspend their disbelief, for the time it takes them to read our books. So how does one lie and get away with it?

Would I lie to you gamecard
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Tell, don’t show Reply

One simple rule can sort even a serious ‘show, don’t tell’ obsession: so long as you’re dealing with objective facts, tell us those facts as simply and clearly as possible. You only need to make an effort to show rather than tell when you’re conveying subjective ideas.

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Show, don’t tell Reply

‘Show, don’t tell’ is perhaps better known than any other piece of writing advice. On Creative Writing courses it sometimes becomes a mantra repeated ritualistically. But what exactly does it mean?

see show, don’t tell exercise and video transcript

The ripple effect: connecting private lives and public dramas Reply

Lucy Tyler introduces her concept of ‘the ripple effect’ – the connections writers make between their characters’ private lives and bigger national and global issues.

see exercise and video transcript