Friday, July 2, 2010

Cause and Effect

Drop a quarter into a mixing bowl full of water from a good height. What happens? Most would answer the water ripples out until it runs into the edge. Okay...that's a basic understanding of cause and effect. But, what happens to the quarter? It falls flat until it hits the water, swivels, spins, and then glides unevenly the bottom of the bowl.

There are two cause and effects happening. Like the quarter and the water, there are always going to be multiple causes and effects because there's multiple components, in this case with the quarter and the water.

Most can get the most obvious effect...just like in writing. A lot of writers flesh out scene after scene after scene based on obvious effects and completely overlook any other potential effects.

Are the resulting actions addressing all the effects of the causes? How are the compounding scenes altering the various effects?

I hope I'm not going round and round and making everyone dizzy. Just my thought for today. Take a look at your manuscript and make sure you've covered all your bases.

  • Character cause to environment effect
  • Environment cause to character effect
  • Character cause to character effect
  • Environment cause to environment effect
  • Character cause to moral/ethical/value effect
  • And the farther into the story you go, check how the effects are compounded and diversified by the stacking causes
Okay, good writing all!

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