05-13-2007 04:34 PM
As soon as GWW posts the schedule for the next Master's I'll submit a request to attend. I didn't make the last one because I was just finishing up the Level II course and taking an Edciting class at Rice.
05-17-2007 03:10 AM
I've written the Lazarus story with the POV of the old lady.
What do you think of the story with a serial POV? Having several characters give their point of view. What are the issues with this type of writing?
05-20-2007 05:44 PM
at least switch paragraphs when you switch point of
I recently read an excellent novel in serial POV called
"Burning Bright" by Tracy Chevalier. She is answering
questions on a B&N book club right now (May 19, 2007) and
has discussed this with her readers in the "Ask the author"
Science and Math Fiction
05-22-2007 12:59 AM
Doe, this definitely shows improvement -- but you are still loading the narrative with exposition. I think you are trying to cram too much story into too few words -- open it out, especially every place where you start talking about background.
Marta, to understand better. Are you saying instead "explaining why" he's standing....
To get the blood flowing back into his legs, the president stood while reading the next summary.
.... I should describe what he's doing and ignore the "why"
The president stood stretching out his legs. His exhausted eyes never leaving the screen, placing his hands on the small of his back he arched outward hearing the kinks in his spine groan their protest.
05-23-2007 01:31 AM
Thanks Marta, I believe I understand now... I'll work on changing the story in next few days.
Just a few theory questions, please.
I would assume a story can't be totally without exposition, therefore it's important to have a mixture. Now my second thought is the mixture percentage...(yes, I'm a degreed accountant and engineer so I like to dig into details, smile) I would assume there is no "exact" mixture or percentage. So my question is, Typically is it better to have a "mostly" low amount of exposition in writing? Is there a time when high amount is desired?
In the case of my story, I wanted the story to have the feeling of a president locked in his office trying to find an impossible answer. I do see how I can still have "things in action" even with the president alone. My second question is, From your comments it's better to not have the writing start out with exposition, correct?
Finally, DON"T GO AWAY I only have about another 1,000 questions to ask you!
05-23-2007 05:33 PM
The legendary s.f. editor John Campbell said that an s.f. story should read like a mainstream story of the future. What he meant by this is that the future audience would take certain things for granted, so that they didn't have to be explained -- but because we were not writing in the future and our readers aren't reading in the future, we need to figure out how to convey these things without stating the obvious. If you're giving a friend a lift somewhere, you don't deliver a lecture of the workings and history of the internal combustion engine, because (a) both of you already know what you need to know to drive to the store and (b) how much of this do you really need to know, anyway? By the same token, if my protagonist Pete is taking his friend Freda for a ride to the moon, he's probably not going to waste time explaining the workings and history of his spaceship to her. But as a writer, I can convey a lot by saying, for example, that Freda has to leave her boots and jacket behind because they increase the payload over the limit; I can say that she glanced across the room at a porthole and saw a field of stars filling the rim as neatly as a shape punched out by a cookie cutter; I can say that sounds seemed muffled in the tiny cabin. What I am trying to do is to convey exposition in details that make sense in terms of the story, and that help place the reader firmly within the world of the story.
Sometimes you need to just come out and say it: "Civilian moon flights were allowed less than fifty years ago..." but these expositions must not be allowed to get in the way of the action of the story.
In my Gotham class, we spend an entire week talking about exposition in detail -- this is only a hurried and brief mention of the issue.
About your president: borrow some action. Instead of having him thinking in his office, have him take a walk and think as he goes along.
I'll be here through the 31st.
05-23-2007 05:36 PM
Gotham Writers Workshop (www.writingclasses.com) offers very good workshops in s.f. writing -- I am teaching their intro course starting in July. They are not cheap, but I'll see if I can finagle a discount for those of you who are interested.
05-24-2007 02:15 PM
I want to thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions and teach me more about writing than 7 years of college was able to accomplish... (of course I did have a lot more of that silly math stuff to deal with)
Anyway, aside from Exposition content any other issues concerning my sample writing...
I'm sure you have more messages to go through, so again thank you for your effort.
do eye o u 2