For Every Action

newton-s-cradle-balls-sphere-action-60582.jpgIf you remember much from your school days (which is getting harder by the year for this fence jumper) you’re familiar with Newton’s Third Law of MotionFor every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction (a force when an object interacts with another interaction).

For example, if I throw a rubber ball against the wall in anger, the wall is gonna push back and one of several things will happen: 1) I’ll catch it; 2) I will miss it and it will crash into my antique lamp; or 3) it will fly back and sock me in the nose (the most likely scenario). That’s a silly example, but you get the drift. Now, think about writing and how this law relates to your characters and their dialogue.

Dwight V. Swain, author of Techniques of the Selling Writer discusses how to identify “the code of efficient prose, Motion-Reaction Units (MRU); and, in her post, Motivation-Reaction Units: Cracking the Code of Good Writing, K.M. Weiland breaks it down even further by providing excellent examples.

Simply put, something motivates your character to react. An action, deed, event, conversation, impulsiveness, or fear, to name a few. The possibilities of what that motivation is depends on your character, and your story. The list of motivations can be long, winding, and provide depth to your story. Whatever it is that motivates a  character to action, the reactions will help propel the story forward, introduce complications, the ante, and used to reveal.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind When Using MSU’s:

  1. Motivations, the actions and reactions must run in a logical manner.  They have to make sense to your reader. Introducing a  reaction before the cause or motivation sows confusion.
  2.  According to K.M. Weiland, MRU’s typically are divided into three parts: feelings/thoughts, action, and speech.
  3. Not all three of these elements are always necessary; well-written dialogue can reveal a lot about the characters reaction.
  4. Reaction doesn’t always mean a  physical reaction; sometimes, it’s mental or emotional. It should, however, be clear to the reader.

Using MRU’s is a tool which we can use to bring our scenes, characters, and dialogue to life, making them feel real and authentic to the reader. Check out K.M. Weiland’s post, Motivation-Reaction Units: Cracking the Code of Good Writing and tell me what you think. Do you use this technique or something different? Share it with the Fence Jumpers, we’d love to hear all about it.

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story. I’m all ears and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.



Conversations – A Lost Art

The Daily Post Prompt – Conversation 

Conversation, aw, such an old word with an antiquated meaning, and almost extinct in practice. The dictionary defines it as a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged. What a novel idea.

We used to enjoy these on a regular basis. We talked to people we met on a bus, in a store, theatre, museum, class, and sometimes over the dinner table; another antiquated practice.

We got to know the people we met by the conversations we enjoyed with the nuances of language on full display. We understood it was more than simple words. We listened to the tone of the other’s voice, paid attention to the subtle languages of the body, and read the eyes like a roadmap to the soul. Once upon a time, we enjoyed the give and take of thoughts and ideas; even the occasional debate.

Unfortunately, we’ve replaced conversation with cryptic text messages and snap chats; emotions with emojis, and the subtle art of courtship with photo swipes, no dialogue needed. Who needs to talk? It’s so much easier to hide behind a message board, filtered photo, or a digital world void of nuance and feeling.

No longer in vogue, we’ve lost the art of conversation. It’s backward, old-fashioned, outdated, too mundane, and requires too much effort; texting is so much easier. Is it any wonder our country, our families; our genders are so far apart, so torn asunder, or in such strife?

We used to enjoy a lazy afternoon conversation with our friend over lunch, our kids after school, around the dinner table, or after dinner with our husband, wife, or significant other. We used too, but no longer.

Conversation is a lost art, a treasured skill, and without it, we are doomed.

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story. I’m all ears and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.