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Improbability is in the Details
Abra Staffin-Wiebe's Journal
"Narrative Conventions," "Fantasy of Discovery," and "Tell, Don't Show"  
17th-Aug-2013 10:37 pm
Miscellaneous notes about things that I found interesting/useful from the "Narrative Conventions," "Fantasy of Discovery," and "Tell, Don't Show" panels at the 4th St Fantasy convention, and perhaps a few thoughts inspired by them. Also a few unrelated 4th St photos.


If you're going to play games with narrative conventions, make sure you have something simpler to pull the reader through.

Alternative narrative structures can create a sense of strangeness, cause reader to pay more attention, or create surprise humor.



Mystery and discovery novel are not the same. Consider the nature of the antagonist.

Often man vs. nature.

Writing a fantasy of discovery may be sued to counter the stakes-escalation arms-race in sequels.

Expand scope by showing effect and ramification on the society of the disovery.

Keep in mind the character arc must change too.

Fantasy of discovery may lead to more participation for reader and a higher level of reader engagement--if you like that sort of thing.


Tell, don't show, is much easier when writing in a conversational first person tone.

Telling may be a very effective way to avoid showing something else.

You can slow down all the details and show them
a) if the reader knows that things are heading for something bad, or
b) if you want to make the reader think something bad is coming (they will still need *some* payoff).


All posts from 4th Street 2013: http://cloudscudding.livejournal.com/tag/4th%20street%20fantasy%202013
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