Friday, October 15, 2010

Snake vs. Octopus

Snakes have venom. Octopi have tentacles.

Stay with me people.

A story will either have a emotional punch for the reader, or be intellectually interesting to draw the reader in.

If your story is emotional, keep the plot simple, direct: like a Snake. Don't clutter it up with a lot of appendages, let emotion seep through the reader like venom, but in a way that keeps them from sucking it out.

If your story is intellectual, make the plot complex, indirect: like an Octopus. Send the grasping tentacles of plot arcs and characters groping towards the reader. One of them will latch on, and then the rest can drag the reader toward the mouth.

If your story is both emotional and intellectual, you've either got Snake vs. Octopus (bad) or some sort of mythical Octopus with Snake tentacles working together to paralyze the reader with venom and drag him screaming into the story maw (good).


Arrgh! Permanent cornea damage!

250 words? Yes
Book "Lived Too Long To Die"
- - - -
Reading - ?


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