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  1. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    Using news clips in a novel - opinions

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by doggiedude, Feb 26, 2016.

    The piece I'm working on is requiring a great deal of changing politics, climate issues and other world level concerns. I started finding that using two characters having dialogues on these subjects as a way to give the reader information was feeling stale. Today I decided to go back and add one or two paragraphs to the beginning of several chapters. These are written as news reports coming out of the central government. I've seen other writers use this formula before and was just wondering if anyone felt this was a lazy way to give readers information by skipping some long dialogue.

    As always, thanks for your thoughts
     
  2. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    Using them at the beginning of a chapter as sort of an introduction to the upcoming events? I think that is a good way to handle it. I'd rather read that than a forced info dump within the chapter itself.
     
  3. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't have a problem with it.

    I do find it a bit jarring when the author clearly hasn't got a good voice or style for news reporting figured out. It's a different skill, and needs to be treated as such.
     
  4. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    Here's a couple of examples, keep in mind that this information being given to the reader is more for providing context to the world environment rather than any specific details for the plot. (WG means World Government) It also gives the reader an idea that the information allowed to get to the masses is not necessarily an open and honest report.

    WG News: The WG Heath Minister, Michal Bosko, announced today that
    while reports of Linders disease spreading were true he felt that the WG
    and the Russian government had things under control and he doubted that
    it would continue to spread. While there have been reports of similar diseases
    as far south as Iran those cases have not been confirmed to be Linders.
    Multiple governments have vehemently denied that they created the disease including the WG. WG officials are in the process of determining if the
    disease could have been created in a lab but they maintain that if it was it
    must have been made by a rogue group. An official in the WG infectious
    disease department …


    WG News: A group of displaced refugees from Valtola Finland stormed out
    of the camp that had been provided for them in nearby Kouvola. The refugees
    broke into a food supply center and began stealing food that had been set
    aside for all citizens. As per both the WG and Finland’s laws the group was
    executed for looting within hours of the theft. Government officials from both
    the WG and Finland reiterated their stance on looting and food theft. The
    human right’s group, Altruism For All, stated that they supported the
    executions because of the gluttony …
     
  5. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    To me, it reads more like you're trying to give back story, less like a news report. Maybe it's because it's not really following the inverted pyramid style? I'm not really sure how to change it, though. I think you've got the big picture, but the details aren't quite working (at least to my reading).
     
  6. BadCrow
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    BadCrow Member

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    I like the idea! Yet the examples you posted didn't have the "newsflash" vibe to them. I think if you work on those they could be a realy interesting way of getting the readers up to date about events in the entire world.
    maybe you could try writing it in a shorter version like:
    Health Minister confirms, Linders diseas spreading!
    Russia and WG claim to be in control.
    Reports claim similar diseases spread as far as Iran.
    Governemts deny involvement in the creation of Linders.
    Rogue group may be responsible for outbreak!

    now obviously i lack any real information about your world (or skill as a reporter)
     

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