Connecting the dots: Techniques for Writers

Remember when you were little and your parents took you to the restaurant (or you took your own children) and the host supplied you with a placemat/menu to keep you or your children busy.  The placemat usually included various games such as crossword puzzles, identification games and a “connect the dot “game.

Writing can be like a connect the dot game as the writer applies the following techniques to complete her “work of art”, much the same way you or your children completed the picture on that placemat:

Dot #1. Create a central storyline that sweeps the reader along on the narrative arc.

Dot#2.  Draw the reader into the story by creating precisely painted scenes

Dot#3.  Come up with well developed characters to get the reader to care what happens to them.

Dot#4.  Develop a series of actions and reactions that carry the reader along toward the endpoint or conclusion (to plot)

Dot#5.  Create a situation that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is actually true or possible.

Dot#6.  Create suspense to keep the audience on the edge of their seats anxious to turn each page.

Dot#7.  Give the story a conflict full of characters up against one another or forces they can not control, create drama.

Dot#8.  Mix in metaphors and similes and other tricks to keep the reader engaged

Dot#9.  Give the narrator a unique, authentic voice

Dot#10.  Finally, create a CONNECTION between the storyteller and the audience!

It does not take magic to create a novel; it takes these techniques, along with a passion for writing, commitment, LOTS of self discipline and hard work!  But, once the dots have been connected, the completed work of art will suddenly become evident, shining as the master piece it had been pre-destined to become.

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