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Anne Trooper-Holbrooke, Coleen Kearon, Benjamin Malcolm, and Susan Ritz: four writers working to develop their craft.

This week’s Write The Book prompt was inspired by a comment made by one of my guests. Coleen Kearon mentioned her efforts to introduce more plot, more active scenes into her prose, and to pay attention to the amount of introspection she includes. She described this effort as a move toward plot and away from too much exposition. You may have the same problem. Or perhaps, yours is the opposite problem. If you're a poet, this might not seem like a useful exercise, but the bottom line is balance. Read over your work with an eye to what you use too much of, and how you might rectify that by introducing balance. First, identify the qualities you want to balance. Action and introspection, for example. Or dialogue and exposition. Character interaction and scene setting. Take markers and highlight the parts of your work that fit one versus the other quality that you're trying to balance. Don't judge yourself as you go, but just objectively highlight the differences. And then study your work with this new colorful enhancement and work to right the disproportion.

Good luck with this exercise and please listen next week for another.

Music credits: 1) “Dreaming 1″ - John Fink; 2) “Filter” - Dorset Greens (a Vermont band featuring several South Burlington High School students.

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  • Jamie Cope

    I found your program with the four writers very supportive to all who share the intensity of writing a book. I listened carefully to Susan Ritz because she guided me through my first book length children’s story and always found her, as she was on the program, intelligent, thoughtful and understanding of the writer’s direction. Thank you for your program.

    Jun 23, 2010 at 8:55 pm
  • writethebook

    Thank you so much for that feedback, Jamie. I’ll be sure Susan sees it. I’m glad you enjoy the show. - Shelagh

    Jun 24, 2010 at 10:11 am