Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I learned it from the dog

My dog has a curious habit

If he sees me looking at him, he will wag just the tip of his tail, just once or twice. *thump.....thump*

If I then talk to him, the whole tail wags. *thump, thump*

If I stand and start walking over to him, the tail really gets going. *Thump, Thump, Thump*

I reach out, *THUMP, THUMP, THUMP* my hand reaches his head, *THUMP.....* and the tail stops.

Now, this happens on a regular basis, not just once in a while. So, is petting a let down? Or is it that the anticipation is exciting and once the petting starts he calms down to happily indulge in it?

I'm not sure, but I know when I'm reading a book, it is the anticipation that really strings me along and adds tension. This works in lots of writing elements, whether it's action and danger, or relationships. Holding out really keeps the pages turning (and the readers tail thumping.) Once we reach that fight/love scene/ whatever has been building, that anticipation should be reaching the boiling point, because once we pass it, the tension breaks.

As a writer, I already feel all that tension because I see my characters in 3D behind my eyes. It's easy to forget that it has to be carefully layered into the story for the reader, and that if I rush to the payoff, they won't feel it. Exciting and dynamic language is definitely needed for a dramatic/important scene to work, but so is the build up. I forget that sometimes, especially in a first draft. I guess it's a good thing I have my dog to remind me...Anticipation can be the best part.

Today's writing progress:
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
58,008 / 95,000

I'm still falling behind where I want to be, but I'm trudging along.

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