Tuesday, November 4, 2014

David Farland, Grounding, and WOTF

David Farland, a judge for Writer's of the Future, wrote an amazingly helpful blog entry, on Grounding Your Reader.
Dave FarlandPresumably, he's pondering the
genius of my WOTF contest entry

It starts thusly:

"Today I'm going to discuss a bit about what I call “grounding” the reader. Quite simply, grounding is the fine art of letting the reader know what is going on. You need to focus on some basics: Who is in a scene? Where does it take place? What is the major conflict?"

Now, I am entered in the Writer's of the Future contest, and am included in the entries he's reading that apparently brought about these particular tips.

He mentioned a few stories that go on for pages without giving a setting. That used to be a weakness in my stories, and panicked, I pulled up the manuscript. *whew* Got out of that one.

Then he mentions not naming the protagonist early enough. Two thoughts came to mind. First, Neil Gaiman wrote an entire novel, "The Ocean at the End of the Lane," without once naming the main character. And, two, I'm not Neil Gaiman.

My story is in the first person. Did I, in fact, name the narraror? Check! Very early on. Good for me. I patted myself on the back.

I waded through each of his examples, assured myself that I wasn't among them, and then thought through the advice for the rest of the story. I think I'm okay there.

Then, I thought about the story I'm currently writing. It's fine too, but needs some tweaks, particularly in the arena of showing the conflict earlier.

Take a look at the article, and let me know what you think: