Novel Makers Week 6: Use vivid & clear techniques

This week is about learning how to tell your tale in a way that helps the reader imagine it vividly and clearly.

Your Goals

Your goals are to:

  • See and feel vivid and clear principles and techniques in action
  • Memorize the techniques
  • Meet the time or word goals you have in the plan you created last week

Discovery Questions & Activities

Question: What can I do to help the reader imagine the story vividly and clearly? (2 hrs)

Please watch the bootleg video on vivid & clear techniques. As you do, take notes, capturing the principles and techniques I show you there.

Now read go to the links below, copy the parts I’ve noted I want you to read into a Word document, and mark them there for any place they use any of the techniques I mention in the presentation.

Did you notice them doing anything else that made their telling more vivid and clear in your mind? Anything that made it less vivid and clear? BTW, I selected these books randomly. There’s nothing specific I’m hoping you see. I hope your surprise me with your insights. I will set up a meeting where we can share our insights on these passages.

Write (8 hrs)

Continue writing your novel. You should have created a plan last week with goals that are based on target word-counts or hours drafting. Make the time to meet your goals. I’m hoping you have at least 8,000 words written by the end of this week.

Attend meeting and share findings (45 min)

I will set this up so we can share what we found in the reading passages.

Optional study (1-5 hrs)

Do NOT take time away from your writing plan you created last week to do either of these activities. The most important thing you can do is write. But if you can make extra time, there’s some great learning to be had.

Optional activity 1. Capture the key points Lee Child makes in his “Master Class on Why Writing Rules are Mostly Bullsh*t”, Part I and Part II, March 2012. Be aware he does use some language. Paste a summary of what you learned in the comments.

Optional activity 2. Check out from your library (via inter-library loan if they don’t have them) one of the books below and read the sections indicated, looking for techniques that help readers imagine vividly and clearly. Paste a summary of what you learned in the comments.

  • Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain (chapters 2-4)
  • Make Your Words Work by Gary Provost (chapters 2-4, 6, 8)
  • Techniques of Writing Fiction by Eloise McGraw (chapters 8, 10, 12)
  • Writing and Selling Your Novel by Jack Bickham (chapters 6-13)

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