Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Periodic Writing Table

Our discussion of Plotting recently has gotten me thinking. Is there one element of writing that is more important than any other? Koontz talked about "character" for instance, and I've heard many other writers say they start with character. But some writers say they have trouble reading "un-plotted" works, and so they never get to character. For me, good prose style is also important in my reading, but sometimes I can get past that if I find a great plot or an interesting character. Finally, I decided I better lay out what exactly the elements of writing are before I start trying to analyze them. That said, here is my Periodic Table of Writing. What have I missed? And just what the Hell is “voice” anyway?

Character - Ch
Plot - Pl
Style -St
Setting -Se
Mood - M
Voice - V
Point-of-View - PV

5 comments:

Stewart Sternberg said...

I have always struggled trying to figure out what voice is. I understand it's basically how you write, the pattern, the rhythm, the flow of narrative, the use of words. But then, what is style?

Stewart Sternberg said...

You know, having just finished "Grapes of Wrath", there was a novel big on theme and character, and setting. Gorgeous description and detail, amazing dialogue.

However, plot? No. There's lot's of concept. Concept: People when left to their own devices will look out for one another. There is a general good that right wingers can't understand. Concept: Family, family, family.

But plot? Not so much. This book rambles west and presents episode after episode tied together by theme and character. But plot? No.

Clifford said...

Hmm... literature as a science... I like the concept (CZ) a lot...

cs harris said...

How about P for pacing?

Charles Gramlich said...

Style and voice were always confusing to me. Although I guess I think of style as being an "expression" of voice. If that makes any sense. P for pacing. Yes, I think I need to add that.