Easy. As any really good magician truly knows: “the trick is . . . to hide the ‘trick.’”
Or for those of us who labored through Latin classes, back in the day, Ovid’s usually credited with: “the art . . . is to hide the ‘Art.’” [ Ars est celare artem. ]
And whereas the magician’s calling card is deception, the writer in plain sight should rely on execution.
Mastering technique with the tools in the toolbox will allow the writer to utilize each tool to control the story. To engage and involve the reader’s the writer’s goal: a well-told story flows effortlessly from beginning into the middle unto the end.
In this, the last section of the 6-Part Series will be revealed how all 4 Tools combine to satisfy the reader and dignify the writer.
Not to exclusion nor to extremes should the writer strive to equally balance Narration, Description, Action, and Conversation. Rather than parcel out equally 25% of the words to each of the 4 Strategies, writers should be so comfortable in their writing skins to feel and know when to start and when to stop using each tool before laying it down and picking up the next one.
As I’ve tried to demonstrate through the excerpts from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, with the ease of a magician or a master juggler Dickens uses all 4 Tools in a flawless and seamless blend.
The 4 passages I’ve cited take place in fewer than 2 pages, actually a scant page and a half! From 2 to the middle of 3!
In my poem “kneeling at the Manger” I employed all 4 Tools in just 26 lines . . . on less than one page.
But Zachary Winderl – we cut him some slack – to let him scatter his 4 Tool Usage over numerous pages from numerous sections – not because he can’t out-write Dickens – oh, I think he’s more than up to that challenge.
Instead, Zachary has offered in this series a chance for the reader to become intrigued by and encouraged to read all of Atom & Go: Genesis – or its sequel, Atom & Go: Trinity – to see just how he out-tools the master.
I know he’s more than up to that challenge.
Finally, there’s no real set “formula,” not a set-in-stone quote or percentage for how often and when to use each tool, nor a rubric with definitive x & y coordinates to provide a stop & go pattern.
Just be sure to master each tool . . . and then set a story in motion so compelling the readers won’t notice – or care – whether they’re taken up by dialogue, movement, picture-making, or chronology: do it so they won’t notice the writer’s sleight-of-hand mastery.
Then, when the story’s all said and done, readers are amazed . . . and will remark: “now how’d that happen?!!”
And thus concludes our radio broadcast … keep on reading, expand your culinary horizons, and keep on flying the Black.
Guest post by C. Winderl