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"We're the only country on earth stitched together by words and, most important, their dangerous progeny, ideas. And those ideas have had weight. They have had force, not just for us in our eternal dealings, but for the rest of the world." ~ Ken Burns

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 10

"Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos; the materials must, in the first place be afforded: it can give form to dark shapeless substances but cannot bring into being the substance itself."

- Mary Shelley

Prompt of the Day: Chekhov's Gun

CHEKHOV'S GUN is the literary technique whereby an element is introduced early in the story, but its significance does not become clear until later on.”

More importantly, this technique says an element should not be introduced unless it will be important later: "If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there."

Since you’re writing a NaNo, you have probably introduced random elements just for the sake of making words. Go quickly skim over a couple of your early chapters, and see if you can find a gun (figuratively speaking – in your NaNo it might be a pen, or a bird, or a pothole, or a person). For today’s prompt, find a way to “fire” that gun and make it important.

Don’t spend too long rereading anything. Just pick something and find a way to make it work.

1 comment:

  1. Hey. :) Just wanted to let you know that I'm really enjoying your NaNo posts every day, even though I'm not a writing-prompt-using kind of person. Thanks for doing this. :D