A Manual of Writers Tricks, David L. Carroll

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Extra info for A Manual of Writers Tricks, David L. Carroll

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Introduce a humorous or dramatic motif, then use it later with an ironic twist. A story opens with a man lying in a hospital bed . Extremely upset, he is gazing at the patterns on the ceiling. 49 A MANUAL OF WRITER'S TRICKS Since he was a boy, he tells us, he has discovered that studying the cracks in the ceiling can be strangely and hypnotically comforting for him. Later on the man is visited in the hospital by a friend. The friend tells him something provocative, but the man does not reply. " he asks.

23 A MANUAL OF WRITER'S TRICKS Address the reader directly. Use the word "you" whenever possible. Instead of penning such windy phrases as "One will discover that .. " say "You will discover that . . " Instead of announcing how the mythical "reader" should "note such and so" or "recall that so and so did this and that," say, "You will note that . " or "You will recall that .... " The "you" technique accomplishes what is perhaps the single most important task in all writing-involving the reader.

Consult authors who specialize in ethnic characters or specific historical periods. An excellent East Indian accent, for instance, can be found in Kipling's Kim. Good Cockney voices are plentiful in Kipling's Soldier's Three. Scottish accents of all varieties are found in Sir Walter Scott's novels, especially in The Bride of Lammermoor. Edgar Allen Poe's The Gold Bug offers a remarkably accurate model of a nineteenth-century Southern black's accent. Reach one extra notch for the surprising and unexpected word or phrase.

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