Thursday, July 06, 2006

Lesson 9: Exposition

Good Thursday. I hope you all enjoyed the holiday...I sorta' missed it! *sigh*

Let's get back to our regularly scheduled programming. Okay...Today we continue with Donald Maass' Writing a Breakout Novel.

In case your just joining us...What I am attempting to do here is present truncated versions of each of the lessons in the workbook. Today's lesson is in Section One: Exposition.

We all star in our own movie. No one's life has, for each of us, the immediacy and importance of our own. Nothing is more significant than what is happening to us right now....believe me, I can identify with that thought!

This may sound self-absorbed, but it is a measure of the intensity with which we experience our lives, and the importance we attach to the things we do!

The protagonist of a novel is no different from us in that respect, or needn't be. Characters with poorly developed inner lives cannot sustain reader interest. Don't write endless passages of gushy exposition (interior monologue0, rather bring out the protagonist's self-regard that shows reflection, self-examination and the true sense of who the character really is in the story.

Self-observation can make a character enormously appealing.

Step 1:In your manuscript pick a moment when the POV character does not react to what is happening, or when in fact nothing is happening and the action of the story is paused or static.

Step 2:Write a paragraph of exposition delineating this character's self-conscious thoughts about her own state of mind, emotional condition, state of being or soul, or perception of the state of the world at this point in time.

Note: It can be as simple as "He felt lousy" or as complex as "The Hegelian paradigm was shifting." Sooner or later you must bring a reader inside your character's head and show us what's going on!

Follow-up: Repeat the above steps at four more points of deep exposition (where we experience a character's thoughts and feelings.)

Conclusion: Passages of exposition can be among the most gripping in your novel. When nothing overtly is going on, make sure that a great deal is at work beneath the surface. Otherwise your novel will have dead spots that your reader will skip!

Okay, this isn't a joke but it's just as cool...Hit the accessories button under All Programs in Windows and open up the can't do this in your head...LOL!

Here is a math trick so unbelievable that it will stump you.
Personally I would like to know who came up with this and why
that person is not running the country.

1. Grab a calculator. (you won't be able to do this one in your head)
Go ahead I'll wait.....
2. Key in the first three digits of your phone number (NOT the area code)
3. Multiply by 80
4. Add 1
5. Multiply by 250
6. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number
7. Add the last 4 digits of your phone number again.
8. Subtract 250
9. Divide number by 2

Do you recognize the answer?


  1. Bernita said...
    Oh neat!
    Already done this.
    May not have done it well, but that's a whole different ball game.
    Denise McDonald said...
    I like this leasson - thanks!

    I have done that quiz thingie - freaky!
    Gordon said...
    That's pretty cool. Hope y'all are getting dried out up there.
    M. C. Pearson said...
    That calculator thing was crazy! Yep. I'm officially freaked!
    David Meigs said...
    Great lesson...

    The number thing didn't work for me.

    I'll have another cup of coffee and try it again.
    David Meigs said...
    Oh wow!

    What a difference a second cup can make. It worked this time. It gave me the winning lottery numbers!

    Err, that’s what this is, isn’t it?

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