Friday, July 8, 2011

Baby, Your Writing's a Firework!

My hunt for fireworks last weekend was fierce.

I drove around downtown Dayton, watching between the cracks in the buildings, hoping for free parking somewhere, anywhere! What ho! The booms, the lights, the cheers. They lit up the sky like, well, a bit like the Fourth of July actually, and I dove into a business lot to block in a white SUV with a stick family on the back window (Dad, Mom, daughter, 2 dogs, and 1 cat).

I leaned my seat back, crossed my arms behind my head, and realized how much my MS needs to be like this fireworks display. No gaps, a lot of variety, a few double whammies, and a finale that stole my breath. In other words, tension on every page. There are some shows (as well as rough drafts, like the one saved on the flash drive poking from the side of my laptop (hint: it's mine!)) that don't hold our attention. There are lulls that make you look around and think 'is it over?' Then maybe a rush of lights, a glimmer of hope, a finale! But not really...huh? We've all seen those shows. They leave us hanging, begging for a little more punch.

Everything has to build from that first flash of light, becoming bigger, louder, more unique, dragging your viewers out of the leaned-back seat of their Civic, making them throw open the car door and run through the shadowed parking lot with faces and hands raised, mouths wide open in a smile the size of Russia. And the end! The end must demand a reaction: laughter, tears, love, hope, applause, and the all-important Facebook/Twitter/blog post 'You've GOT to see this!!!!!!!'

So, how can your MS be more like the greatest fireworks display in history? What three things can you change/add/delete/clarify to get rid of the gaps and skyrocket the tension? Write them down. Make them happen, 'cause baby, your writing's a firework.

LOL! Yeah, that really happened!

Your favorite nerd,


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