THE EMPTY SPACES #3: Tattoo on your brain...
A Psychodrama Spacefiller
By Bradly E. Peterson
In the last column, we spoke about some things to NOT do. This time, we'll go over a few things to DO do. er... Oh, hell you know what I meant, so stop staring like that. And you... YOU, in the back! Sit up straight! That's better. There ARE rules, you know! Let's check out a few of 'em, shall we?
The first and best rule I've seen I touched on a bit in column #2.5, and I wanted to go just a bit further this time.
THE K.I.S.S PRINCIPLE
This is a definite rule to live by. KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID!
This works hand in hand with the "Beatle" method I introduced in Column #1, where you break everything in your story down to it's most basic elements and then re-complicate it. Let's take a sentence and see what we can do with it...
"The dog runs after the cat and they both dart in and out of rooms over and under the furniture until the cat jumps out of the way at the last second and makes the dog slam into the wall."
Well, that's a mouthful, aint' it? So how to simplify it? To take a cue from Carl Childers from "Slingblade", "I reckon I cin start at the front and tell it to ye." heh...
"Dog chases the cat through house. Cat leads dog through rooms, and under furniture. Cat dodges dog makin dog slam into wall."
Ok, so it's not one sentence now. That's good. You've now got three actions and three sentences, instead of one run-on sentence. Run-ons aren't simple. They tend to confuse rather than make things clear. B.B King understands the importance of economy. I've seen the guy play live, so don't let him fool you. The cat's fast as any of these flashy youngun's out there. Fact is, he CHOOSES economy because it communicates to the audience well. B.B gets more out of five carefully selected notes than most can get out of twenty. The same is true with storytelling.
Remember, the goal of the storyteller is to tell the story. Part of that is keeping the reader interested. Simplicity is good. Simplicity gets your point across. Simplicity cuts through the crap. Tattoo the K.I.S.S. principle on your brain.
The next principle I'm going to touch on is... Oh dang! Look at the time! I've gotta go. Barbeque to eat. Priorities, donít ya know! heh...Bradly E. Peterson
- 10/11/1998Psychodrama Press
NEXT WEEK: Why are you telling me this?
(The contents of "The Empty Spaces" do not neccessarily reflect those of COMICON.com, it's managers, members, friends or relatives, and are solely those of Bradly E. Peterson, who is, quite frankly, a bit off. All contents are © 1998 Bradly E. Peterson, and should not be used without permission, but ask and ye shall recieve. He's easy, that guy. "The Empty Spaces" is a Psychodrama Press production, and let's just leave it at that.)
Bradly E. Peterson
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds"
(Albert Einstein) http://www.fastlane.net/homepages/drama/
[This message has been edited by Bradly E Peterson (edited 11-23-98).]