Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Info with Attitude

Info with Attitude - The Kill Zone

Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Here's an excerpt from an article of mine that appeared recently on the excellent blog, The Kill Zone. For the rest of the article, click on the link at the end.
As a freelance fiction editor, I find that military personnel, professionals, academics, police officers, and others who are used to imparting factual information in objective, detached, bias-free ways often need a lot of coaching in loosening up their language and adding attitude and emotions to create a captivating story world.
Today I welcome back to TKZ my friend and editor, Jodie Renner, to share tips on imparting factual information without it coming off like the dreaded “info dump”. Her craft-of-writing book, Style That Sizzles & Pacing for Power, recently came out in paperback. Enjoy!
by Jodie Renner, editor and craft writer

Strategies for Turning Impersonal Info Dumps into Compelling Copy

Really need those facts in there? Rewrite with attitude!

Say you want to write a fast-paced novel and your background is in a specialized field, so you decide to set your story in that milieu you know so well. Maybe you want to write a legal thriller or a medical suspense, or a mystery involving scientific research or stolen artifacts. Or maybe you’d like to use your military, police, or forensics experience, but your writing experience to date has mainly been confined to producing terse, objective, factual reports.

As you’re writing your story, you decide at various points that you need to interrupt the story to explain something the readers may not understand. And you want to get it right, both to lend credibility to your story and because you’re concerned about criticism from other professionals in your field. Your first impulse might be to copy and paste sections on that topic from a journal or online search, then tweak them a bit. Or just stop to explain the technical points in your own words, factually, as you would in a report or research paper, then go back to your storyline. Big mistake. You’ve just interrupted an exciting (we hope!) story to give a mini-lecture. Remember that the main purpose of fiction is to entertain your readers with an engaging tale. To do that, it’s critical to stay in the story and in the viewpoint and voice of your compelling, charismatic (we hope!) characters.

How to keep your credibility but write with passion and tension

Want to keep your readers turning the pages? ...

For the rest of this article, click HERE.

Jodie Renner is a freelance fiction editor who specializes in thrillers, mysteries, and other fast-paced fiction. For more info on Jodie’s editing services and her books, please visit her website. Jodie has published two books to date in her series, An Editor’s Guide to Writing Compelling Fiction: Writing and Killer Thriller, a short e-book, and Style That Sizzles & Pacing for Power, which is available in paperback, as an e-book on Kindle, and in other e-book formats. And you don’t need to own an e-reader to purchase and enjoy e-books. You can download them to your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

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