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Writing Advice from the Bookshelf: The Importance of Repetition

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Excerpt from The Plot Thickens by Noah Lukeman:

The Plot Thickens by Noah Lukeman

Sometimes the audience needs repetition. There is a lot of information for a reader to absorb in any given work—names, facts, dates, places, settings—and it is quite likely the audience will forget some things as they progress. Thus, if there is a significant fact in your work—especially if it is glossed over and especially if it is a long work—you might want to, subtly, remind the audience at some point. This type of ploy is often found in detective works, where some small detail glossed over in the beginning comes flooding back to the detective in the end. The audience will remember and will be glad for the reminder. Employing deliberate repetition is more important for a book than for a film. Most readers don’t read an entire book in one sitting; indeed, a reader can easily spend several weeks picking up and putting down a book.

Work Cited:

Lukeman, Noah. The Plot Thickens. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2002. 170–171. Print.

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