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Blog by Ron – Prose vs. Character

Prose vs. Character is a battle every author deals with even if unaware. But before continuing, let me define my terms.

Prose is a literary description of people, places, and events.

Character in this blog means describing the people, places, and events through his or her eyes, and expressing them through their voices or thoughts.

When I started writing books, I primarily used Prose. Let me brag for a moment. I wrote some pretty awesome description! But I soon learned that awesome does not necessarily equate to best.

Best is using the character!

Let’s explore that.

  1. Prose is from the author’s viewpoint. It is divorced from the characters. No matter how eloquent, there isn’t the emotional attachment a character can bring. There is a place for prose in writing, but it should be minimized.
  2. When a someone is describing something he or she infuses the description with his or her personality and biases.
  3. Emotional descriptions are impactful. Prose cannot truly compete.
  4. Storyline can be affected by the description. Thus, keeping the author out of it can be helpful!

Requires Balance

A good balance would be to try to only use prose to connect between scenes, places, and people. If you find yourself not sure, then let character be your first choice. If it doesn’t work, then use prose.

Prose vs. Character is Important

You might wonder if balance is really important.  Consider this, humans are multifaceted’. The more levels you can connect with them the more they will receive and connect with you.

To break that down, take a look at what makes up a person:

His or her:

Biases – political, religious, even educational.

Education – no schooling, high school, college.

physical traits – height, weight, hair, eyes, etc.

relationship to Christ – saved – unsaved.

Spirituality – walk with God, testimony, bible knowledge.

Training – learned skills, trade.

and more…

What if the reader is touched on two, three, four, or more levels? Don’t you think that the fictional person gets more real to the reader? The closer they get to one another, the more the reader identifies with the character. The more the reader identifies with that person, the more the reader is drawn into the story, and enjoys it. That breeds success.

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R. Frederick Riddle is an author, teacher, publisher, and the owner of T&R Independent Books. The website is at Home – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com).

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Blog by Ron – Words Are Necessary Tools

Words are necessary tools for authors. Lately I have been posting about reading and writing. Why am I so insistent on this subject?

Necessary Tools.

When God created men and women the use of words was immediately practiced. I know that evolutionists think early man simply grunted and drew pictures on walls. Other than artifacts indicating that man has lived in caves at times, they have no proven evidence that man couldn’t communicate through words.

We know that the first chapter of Genesis was written by God Himself, plus that Adam began writing afterward, probably after being ejected from the Garden. In addition, we know that mankind was created and God saw everything as “very Good.” That translates to perfect.

I believe and the Bible certainly indicates that Adam and Eve were highly intelligent, probably geniuses. Listening and talking to God required words, such as naming the animals. naming the foliage. Adam and Eve used words from the very beginning. There was no evolution.

Adam and Eve not only communicated with God, but with one another. Words were necessary for them. Which brings us back to the initial statement that words are necessary tools. Since we are talking about writing, the statement can be made that words are necessary tools for authors.

Tools of our Trade.

It should not surprise you that I said that. We authors work with words all the time. Not just writing our stories, although that can require thousands of words, but getting published and selling our books also require words. Doubt that? Consider the need for grammar aids, and, recently, AI.

Words Require Caution

Say the wrong word at the wrong time and see what happens. When I was a naïve teenager working on the assembly line, I made a joke to a woman. It was innocent, and harmless, but the wording and structure of the words caused her to interpret the words differently than I met. She instantly was angry. Fortunately, I gave her my meaning and she realized I was telling the truth. I do not know what she would have done if she hadn’t believed me. I was much more careful in my conversation and choices after that.

Writing books is communication between the author and the reader. You don’t want to use the wrong word at the wrong time. It can turn off that reader quickly. You lose that reader plus others influenced by that reader.

Reading is important.

I encourage authors to do research. Words are extremely important when doing research.

Research involves reading internet material, other books, and, sometimes, academic documents.

Words Require Something

If everything I have said is true, what does that mean for me? Basically, three things.

  1. Study to show thyself approved unto God (2 Timothy 2:15a)
  2. Search the scriptures is a good rule given by Jesus. There it was knowing Jesus. But the writer is also to search or research material that may enter your book. But it is also needed for publishing and marketing.
  3. In Psalm 90:12, we are told to apply our hearts to wisdom. That is referring to godly wisdom, but it is an excellent principle for writing, as well.

In other words, study, do the research, and apply what you learn. These three habits are well worth the investment of time and yourself.

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R. Frederick Riddle is an author, teacher, publisher, and the owner of T&R Independent Books. The website is at Home – T&R Independent Bookstore (trbookservices.com). He is also on Facebook.