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Writing Advice from the Bookshelf: Ansen Dibell on Making Sure Something Happens

Monday, August 24, 2015

Excerpt from Plot by Ansen Dibell:


Make Sure the Reader Knows Something’s Happening, and Going to Happen

There’s another compensation that needs mentioning. Make sure none of your little, simple scenes is static. End them, subtly or obviously, on cliff-hangers. Show something is slipping, something is going wrong, and something is going to happen very soon. That, together with the energy the shifts themselves provide, will supply the dynamic force to make the reader want to keep reading and go to the effort of sorting out all the different people, settings, and situations. Make sure that each scene moves and is leading up to something quite clear and concrete.

Work Cited:

Dibell, Ansen. Plot (Elements of Fiction Writing). Cincinnati, OH: Writer’s Digest Books, 1988. 39. Print.

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