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A Heads-Up Re: the Easter Quiz
Don't jump the gun here
Here comes Peter Cottontail…
Can you guess who’s been out all week buying Easter stuff to send you? Stuffed rabbits and wind-up chicks and chocolate everything. Not to mention this:
It’s a bar of soap made to look—and smell—exactly like a chocolate bunny. You know you want one. If only to poison your brother-in-law.
Well, here’s how to get a visit from the Easter Bunny!
Soon, we’ll have another quiz, similar to the one at Valentine’s Day. This upcoming quiz will ask you to post physical gestures. I’m looking for simple, effective gestures that convey a meaning. Easily understood gestures. Marla rolling her eyes in Fight Club, for instance. They don’t need to be lifted from a book, just from everyday life. In fact they’re so common that we tend to forget them when writing.
Such gestures are perfect for underscoring or undermining what’s being said in dialog. They also help pace the dialog so it won’t run together in the reader’s mind, but instead be delivered in the measured way an actor would say the line. These gestures also remind the reader that characters have eyes, heads, hands, tapping feet, shrugging shoulders. Beyond winning you candy—eight winners because I bought eight of everything—the quiz will build a library of simple gestures that you can visit when you need a character to do… Something.1
For the next few days, be on the lookout for good gestures. Takes notes! You can post as many times as you’d like, but you can only win once. If two of your postings win, the second prize will go to the next-up poster. Got it?
So pay close attention to everyone’s faces, hands, feet. It’s what writers do.
And watch out for the Quiz.
And while this might seem obvious, it’s simple details like this that make fiction ultimately work. God bless you and your grand concept, but you’ve got to make your new world out of tangible bits and bobs.