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Additional info for A Manual of Writers Tricks, David L. Carroll
A wicked exaggeration, no doubt. Still, from a psychological standpoint it is clearly the case that our psyches prefer affirmation to disaffirmation. They prefer to learn what did happen, not what didn't. Consequently it is more or less an accepted axiom among writers that when you can state a negative fact positively, do so. " NEGATIVE PHRASING : BETTER: 25 Chapter 3 TRICKS FOR MORE EXPRESSIVE, COLORFUL WRITING B good writing is also colorful writing, writers are ever on the lookout for the verbal rare bird, the unpredictable exposure, the slight turn of phrase that makes what's been said a thousand times suddenly gleam again.
The author's assumption that we have a certain political sophistication; that we are familiar with terms like "variant market share"; that we are already informed of pertinent facts ("as you know, absenteeism in Japan is an almost unknown phenomenon")-all this flatters us and makes us feel perceptive and competent. After presenting the news in a concise and efficient way, moreover, her ending line-"and that's pretty scary"-is surprising and endearing, a human counterbalance to the relentless statistics that have come before.
You, I, everyone reads with the same basic question: What's in this for me? Entertainment? Instruction ? Inspiration? Emotional comfort? Laughs? Whatever the impression you wish to make, there must always be a payoff to it , always some way in which it fulfills a reader's needs. You as writer must determine what these needs are, these problems , these yearnings and emotional gaps-and fill them. Introduce a humorous or dramatic motif, then use it later with an ironic twist. A story opens with a man lying in a hospital bed .
A Manual of Writers Tricks, David L. Carroll