Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Word Of The Day Is Intention

I was on my way home one day and I was listening to this speaker talk about making sure everything you do in your life should be done with purpose and intention. As I listened to him, it got me thinking about the writing that I frequently see and more often reject. Authors have characters doing things or insert plot elements without a purpose or reason. In other words, the concept of "intention" simply wasn't there.

As many of you know, I have done a lot with theatre. One director I worked with made it very clear to me that anything I do on that stage, whether it is a movement across the stage, a hand gesture, an vocalization, etc. must be done with an intention and a purpose. She said that a character wouldn't just walk across the stage for no reason. The same goes for your writing.

When you study your stories that are written, or craft the current works in progress, always stop yourself and ask if this element in your story is really serving a purpose for the characters and the plot. If you are simply adding a piece of dialogue because the line is funny, or you have a character going some place just because you're tired of them being in the same place, then you aren't thinking inention here.

We're talking about alignment here. The character, the plot, the setting, the theme, the dialogue - all of these have to work together in harmony to make the story work. Throwing something in your story just for the sake of putting it in ruins that alignment.


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