Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Depiction Part 7: Using the Media to Advance Plot by Jacqueline Lichtenberg

Depiction Part 7
Using the Media to Advance Plot
Jacqueline Lichtenberg

Remember, this  blog is about blending Science Fiction with Romance and applying top writing craft skills to the resulting blend to produce a genre-defining novel.

So this is about science fiction thinking, extrapolation, imagination, and writing craft. 

Below you will find links to previous posts on Depiction and the link to the news article that explains what writers must know to use the Media to advance plot -- to deliver crucial but flawed or incomplete information to a character at a critical moment (which can be months or years after the event depicted in the news story.) 

Such a story can be about some Event that a parent or relative of one of your main characters was involved in, and family tradition tells it in a totally different way, shedding a different light than the "official" story, or the media spun story.

I found this one article up a side-creek I generally don't pay attention to -- but there is a writing lesson in this real world explanation of how things work.  And there's potential for a hot-romance embedded in the argument (conflict) between the two characters who are Soul Mates but object to each others' stances on these matters.

Take, for example, two reporters working for different outlets in different markets, nosing around in the field where a complex interstellar collision of cultures is taking place. 

Each reporter has different knowledge of human history, and different religious or spiritual upbringing, and exposure to different professions of their parents.

Each is convinced they reported what really happened in a particular incident and sent it in to their publisher.  Each knows that they pegged the reasons why it happened accurately, but their accounts differ markedly. 

Then their editors change what each said -- maybe into what the other actually wrote, maybe into something totally unrelated, whatever the editor thinks will sell subscriptions to their outlet. 

Now the two reporters are covering an Event that is a consequence of the Event they each covered.  Something happens.  They are isolated together and in danger as well as on the clock, with deadlines of all kinds competing for priority.

Use the following Article to create the issues, procedures and details this couple-to-be is fighting over. 

This article below delineates something I know is true from a) my upbringing in a news profession family, b) my acquired knowledge of business models, c) my skill in writing craft and d) my direct analysis of reporting in various countries that we NOW have access to via the internet and web-radio. 

But few are raised in a family like mine where both parents are in the news game during war.

Today it is easy to compare the narrative crafted for say England's audience with that same story told to a USA audience and see how editorial crafting is done. 

Just follow me on Flipboard to see some of that narrative in collected news stories.


One of the cardinal rules of screenwriting is to keep the media out of the story, but in novels I generally include items that move the plot quickly when they appear before a character's eyes via a news network. 

Creating a plot-moving news item that doesn't side-track your Romance or Action plot is easy once you grasp the principle explained in this article and apply it to the World you have Built for your story so it evokes "verisimilitude" for your readers.  Here's an index post with links to more on verisimilitude.


This article below DEPICTS our modern media in a way a writer can grasp and use to DEPICT a futuristic media business.  All you need is to advance communications, introduce robotics, and draw your depiction on a galactic or interplanetary civilization's scale, then focus down on your prime couple.

All the previous posts on Depiction still apply - but now add the "forbidden" dimension of the media news reporting. 

The previous parts of the Depiction Series are:







And the article to absorb and use is:


Jacqueline Lichtenberg

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