1. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    Lectures in Writing

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ChaosReigns, Aug 27, 2013.

    This may seem a bit of an idiotic question, but i want to start a piece with a lecture, how can i do this without making the story boring for the reader, and how do i go about making sure i have the right formatting for it?
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    1) Make sure the lecture is interesting. Then the reader won't be bored.

    2) I've started a story with a lecture before, and I just used normal dialogue formatting for it. After all, it was just some guy talking for a while.
     
  3. Misty'sMess
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    Misty'sMess Member

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    I agree with minstrel. If the lecture itself is interesting then the opening will be interesting.

    You can also have some of the students whispering during the lecture, that way there's some extra dialogue and character interaction.
     
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  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i would suggest doing it as a block quote, to set it apart from the story text...

    i don't see how that could be a good opening, though... how long is it?
     
  5. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    This, I definitely recommend. If one of the big dangers with "wall of text" exposition is that it takes page space away from multiple characters' development so that one character can talk, then you could always develop the characters by showing the different ways that they treat the lecture as it's happening.
     
  6. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    My first instinct was to say, "Make the lecture interesting," but minstrel beat me to it. I think it would help to intersperse a character's thoughts during the lecture, or some short dialogue exchanges between two characters listening to the lecture to break it up a bit.

    I'm not sure about Maia's suggestion about the block quote, although the thought did cross my mind. I think a lot of readers might just skip it if it's set apart somehow.
     
  7. EmmaWrite
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    EmmaWrite Member

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    Maybe you want to start with a short sentence that gives a little information about the speaker and setting, such as, "The professor walked into the classroom of tired students, cleared his voice, and began." Only, you know, much more creative and grabbing than that.
     
  8. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    As long as you can put a strong hook in it within first couple of paragraphs, it could work. But the hook is essential, imo.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    how long is it?
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I would NOT begin with the lecture. Perhaps bring in it later, in bits and pieces. Start by getting the reader invested in your characters.
     
  11. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    in its current state, length wise, its just under 700 words, im not going to use it all mind, i thought just to write the whole thing as a block out, then edit with some interruptions from students asking questions etc....
     
  12. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Alternately, maybe you could focus on the perspective character's internal reactions more than on other characters' interruptions? Otherwise, it seems like it's basically a more disjointed lecture from more people, rather than an important character's reactions in addition to the lecture.
     
  13. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    I can see where you are coming with that, but the MC is the Lecturer thats putting across this lecture
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    still doesn't sound like a good way to start a novel... i think you'll be losing more readers than you hook with that as an opening, no matter how you arrange it...
     

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