Stimulus and Response: Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty

cute fluffy cat kitten string playing adorable pet animal fun

In fiction, stimulus and response work like a ping-pong game. They make you look at the line-by-line progression of a story.

Stimulus is external, and so is response, and as such they must be shown on the page. Action and dialogue are key. However, action can include a character interacting with the setting, showing an emotional response, or describing a sensory input. So long as these are ‘shown’, not told.

Character thoughts do not create an external stimulus or response.

So let’s have a closer look. The first stimulus might be an event or action which affects Character A. Character A responds. Their response creates a stimulus for Character B. Character B responds, which in turn becomes a new stimulus for Character A.

For example we could take the following initial stimulus:

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Bad Habits for Writers – Highlighting the Problems

I was privileged last Saturday to attend the second of Sara Grant’s Revision Workshops hosted by North East SCBWI in York. Much was learnt during Sara’s workshops, too much to detail in one post, but I thought I’d share one insight, which I have found very helpful.

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Getting Down to the Nitty Gritty of Writing

Dissecting your wrirting

I love it when writers get down to the nitty gritty of their writing, dissecting it sentence by sentence and seeing what makes it tick. There’s a perfect example of this over at On Becoming a Wordsmith.

Picture c/o hovercraft doggy.

How to Write a Book in Four Drafts

I’ve learnt a huge amount from writing this blog. One of the most important being, ‘you’ve always got something else you can learn.’ But now I’m back to writing a first draft, I find all this information on writing techniques buzzing around my head is getting in the way.

It’s like buying a new house and trying to re-decorate everything at once. Nobody chooses the colour scheme, paints the woodwork, puts up the wallpaper, and changes the light fittings all at the same time.

Learning so many wonderful and useful things about writing craft is all well and good, but I’m beginning to feel like I’ve gone to B&Q and bought the whole shop, so now I have no idea where to start.

What I need to remember is a first draft is just that; the first draft of many. So I’ve come up with a plan and it compares surprisingly well to my decorating techniques. Continue reading

Finding the Diamonds in Your Creative Writing with Bryony Pearce

Good things come in threes. And today, I’m happy to welcome my third 2008 SCBWI Undiscovered Voices winner to the blog. Steve Hartley and Sara Grant have already offered some excellent advice on writing for comic effect and knocking your first draft into shape. Here’s what Bryony Pearce has to say about the careful use of adjectives and adverbs. Continue reading

What Is Writing Style All About?

tthread-installation-05 by californian artist Pae white, colourful threads are criss crossing, cloud of threads, amazing art, innovative, 3d art, projections, thread typography, design, inspirations

I’ve been following the Creative Writing with the Crimson League blog lately and not just because of the cool title. It’s got some really good posts about writing craft.

This past week there have been four related articles which talked about writing style, both plain and fancy. I thought you might like to take a gander at them:

The benefits of simple style and simple structure in your writing

The benefits of an ornate style and complex structure in your writing

The pitfalls of a simple style

The pitfalls of a baroque faulkner-esque style

picture c/o hovercraft doggy

Seeing the World Through A Poet’s Eye

Literary Terms in Poetry

As fiction writers it’s sometimes good to widen our perspectives and think about poetry and poetical devices.  Poetry is a form which plays with the written word, shaking it up and giving us a different view of the world. Here’s a post from Enjoying Poetry, Our everyday smile, which explains some of poetry’s more Literary Terms.

picture c/o hovercraft doggy