In today’s episode: Lani and Alastair begin Big Ideas Week by talking about authorial intent.
- WordWonk: White Room Syndrome
A clear and common sign of the failure of the author’s imagination, most often seen at the beginning of a story, before the setting, background, or characters have gelled. “She awoke in a white room.” The ‘white room’ is a featureless set for which details have yet to be invented — a failure of invention by the author. The character’wakes’ in order to begin a fresh train of thought — again, just like the author. This ‘white room’ opening is generally followed by much earnest pondering of circumstances and useless exposition; all of which can be cut, painlessly.
It remains to be seen whether the “white room” cliche’ will fade from use now that most authors confront glowing screens rather than blank white paper.
StoryWonk Daily is brought to you by Lani Diane Rich and Alastair Stephens, and is a StoryWonk production. Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or join the Wonks on the StoryWonk forum.
New classes are now available! In May, Lani will be teaching two new four-week classes expanding upon her popular Discovery class: Making Magic: Filling the Creative Well and Discovery Writing: Finding your Voice and Your Characters.
For more information, or to register, visit StoryWonk!