MRUs ERTE's Part Two

Published by architectus in the blog architectus's blog. Views: 492

External Stimuli could be description.

External Stimuli. A beautiful description of a Japanese garden, which I don't feel like writing. :p

Reaction. (1) She gasped and brought her fingers to her lips. (2) Then she shoved her hands in her pockets because she didn't want the group to know she was in awe. After a quick glance around, it seemed none of them had noticed her over reaction, and (4) she sure hoped Jack hadn't noticed.

Within her reaction to the description, she reacts to her automatic reaction by shoving her hands in her pockets and glancing around, and then thinking about Jack. Of course, there would be no need to start a new paragraph for that however. Typically, reactions to internal stimuli are in the same paragraph as the stimuli, but reactions to external stimuli are in separate paragraphs.

Practice

It is helpful to practice writing scenes using ERTE units. At first, the process is slow, but the more you practice the more your brain gets used to the process, and eventually, writing ERTE Units is second nature. Even so, it is always a good idea to do an ERTE units pass when rewriting, just to be sure you didn't miss any reactions you could have written.

This can be very helpful to break up a dialog heavy scene and to add life to it. After each person talks, see if your main character can have any of the four reactions listed in this article.

Example of dialog before an ERTE units pass.

After about five minutes of traveling, Cloud said, "You know I'm just a diamond worker?"

"What do you mean?" She asked.

"You fill lightning capacitors; I fashion diamond products. It's not what I wanted to be, though."

"Yeah," she said, sounding interested. "What did ya want to be?"

"Forget it. You'll laugh."

"I won't."

He looked down at his feet and kept walking. "I wanted to be a dancer."

A huge smile filled her face.

"See, I told you," he said.

"I didn't laugh."

He kicked a small rock. "You wanted to, though."

"Well, why didn't you dance?"

After an ERTE units pass.

After about five minutes of traveling, Cloud said, "You know I'm just a diamond worker?"

"What do you mean?" She asked, because she really had no clue what he was on about. She couldn't understand the worried yet shamed look on his face.

"You fill lightning capacitors; I fashion diamond products. It's not what I wanted to be, though."

Skyla ducked under a low hanging branch that was full of green and rust-colored leaves. "Yeah," she said, sounding interested. She was careful to sound interested, and she was, because this seemed important to him. "What did ya want to be?"

"Forget it. You'll laugh."

No, he didn't, she thought. He couldn't play the "I'm not going to tell you," card, not after bringing it up. She hated when someone was about to tell her something, then made up an excuse why they wouldn't tell her. Why even bring it up in the first place?

She skipped in front of him. "I won't," she said, knowing that she would try really hard not to laugh.

He looked down at his feet and kept walking. "I wanted to be a dancer."

A huge smile filled her face, but she managed not to laugh. Even if she had laughed, it wouldn't have been because she thought it was funny that he wanted to be a dancer, but because it caught her off guard. She had no clue he was an artsy type.

"See, I told you," he said.

She nudged him with her shoulder. "I didn't laugh."

He kicked a small rock. "You wanted to, though."

She could tell he was sensitive about this, so she decided not to crack any jokes. "Well, why didn't you dance?"

It went from 98 words, to 273 words.

Another thing I try to do during an ERTE units pass, is think of ways I can describe what is around them using their actions.

Okay, I think that about covers it all. I hope this three-part series helps.
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