Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Cause and effect

Cause and effect...
This week I have been doing the edits on Flight that the lovely Penny and Janet wanted me to do for Firefly. I had had a bright idea as to how I could enliven a scene and make it more thrilling but I needed to check that what I was suggesting was viable. I was pretty certain it was, but you know how you always doubt yourself. My book has horses in it and this particular scene concerned the horses again so I went to my Oracle, the ever knowing Imogen Cooper. As always she came back with the most pertinent of questions. 'Yes, it does work, but how come they can suddenly do it? You need to feed something in earlier about it.'

Doh! Of course, I do. I know that. I am forever telling my students and my 'Eggs' that. Don't just put something randomly in. There has to be cause and effect. It is Chekov's if you say there is a gun hanging on the wall in the first chapter then someone needs to be shot by it later in the book. Trouble is when it is your own work it is not always so easy to see or remember that - definitely a case of do as I say not do as I do in this instance. So infuriating. But it was easily fixed after some thought. I was able to add a scene earlier on that introduced the idea, which I think works. Let's see what feedback I get though. Watch this space.

The idea behind cause and effect is it gives your characters a reason or the capability for undertaking a certain action. The reader is going to pick up on these hints, it is like a jigsaw puzzle for them and as they read so the pieces slot into place. They get a sense of satisfaction, enhancing the reader experience. The ultimate for cause and effect is, of course, J K Rowling who sprinkled throughout her stories cause and effect. Hints in the first story that were carried through to the final story. That is true dedication and not always necessary.

What you have to remember to do, and particularly when as I was, adding scenes in when editing later, consider whether you have a reason for this scene. Another way to look at it is has someone dropped a pebble in a pond that caused the ripples enabling this event to happen and what were the implications. Who did they impact on? It might not just be this particular event - who else might it affect? Ask yourself these questions.

In the meantime enjoy your writing this week.

Today's music is a mash up of old dance scenes with Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk Ft Bruno Mars because it makes me smile and I love the way the two the words and pictures match - Not quite a cause and an effect but a good reaction.

No comments:

Post a Comment