Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Periodic Writing Table, addendum

Candice pointed out that we could add "Pa" for "Pacing" to our table of elements. And since Stewart has brought up "concept" a couple of times as a separate element from plot, then maybe we need to add that. This would give us:

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

I'm leaning toward Style being the "expression" of voice. Voice is within you as a writer, while style is the expression of that voice on the page. Could be then that these aren't separate elements, but merely altered versions of the same basic element, like Ozone is a special case of oxygen.


Stewart Sternberg (half of L.P. Styles) said...

Yes, I think you have something there. Merge style and voice. Unless someone can give you a definitive delineation between the two. Candice? And yes, I would agree on pacing being one of the elements.

I wonder if we need include grammar or economy. I know, I know, some things should be taken for granted. However, do we really want to set the neophytes loose without properly preparing them?

Sphinx Ink said...
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Sphinx Ink said...

What a clever way to define the elements of writing, Charles--and a good mnemonic device for those who want to keep the elements in mind when critically reading their own or others' work.

As for voice, that seems to be nearly indefinable for many editors/agents/writers, yet we know a strong voice when we read it. As an example, although in the realm of nonfiction, Emily Toth's "Ms. Mentor" persona (, which is ironic, witty, occasionally scolding, occasionally benevolent, and always "in charge," like the professor she is. The popularity of Ms. Mentor's columns is due to not just the real value of the advice she gives, but also the humorous snarkiness of her authorial voice.

Sidney said...

You should render that graphically and sell it on