Sunday, 18 January 2009

More on Motivation Reaction Units

It's been a while since I last posted on MRUs so I thought now would be a good time to gather my thoughts on the subject.

Regular readers may remember that I have been rewriting my earlier chapters using MRU's in between writing the new chapters. This has been quite refreshing and allows me to get into different parts of my protagonist’s head (parts that have become dull with time and almost forgotten about). It has also allowed me to see how much my writing has improved over the course of the novel.

When I first started writing using the MRU technique, I found that I produced short choppy paragraphs. To some degree, I still do that now, but when I feel there is too much white space I look over some of the preceding paragraphs to see where they can be embellished.

Often this is a simple fix. Sometimes all that is needed is to clump several motivations together and have your character react to the most important one. Other times a little interspersed description will do the trick.

If your writing tends to be very tight and to the point, you'll find this is a great way to increase your word count without bloating your story.

You can find a whole lot more on MRUs in Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain and here on Randy Ingermanson's Advanced Fiction Writing and in some of my previous posts below:

Motivation-Reaction Units
Thou Shalt Not Have Thy Protagonist in Thy Motivation Unit
Thou Can Have Thy Protagonist in Thy Motivation Unit
Mini Post
Fridayitis is Back (er except it's not. It was then but it's not now, but it might come back this week - who knows!)


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