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Writing Tips 6 - The DDD


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Order of operations when writing.

The DDD.

Description, Dialogue, Description.

This is something most people who read a lot figure out subconsciously. This form of writing is very common in professional literature, and it's part of a couple different styles of writing called Advanced Literary, and Modern literary.


Start with, Description.

When you write a scene, naturally you want people to know what's going on and where it's happening.

This is usually something like: Person A walks into the kitchen and pauses.


Next, Dialogue; including internal.

You naturally want a reader to know what's going on w/the characters in the scene.

For example: "What are you doing?" Person A raised an eyebrow, staring at the counter top in front of Person B. 

Or:  Person A raised an eyebrow, staring at the counter top in front of Person B. What is that? Unicorn vomit?

And finally, Description.

Then, you want to know what comes of that. Aka the purpose of the scene, the closing of the scene, or the leading into the next scene.

Most modern literary stories are cycles of desc, dialogue, repeat.

Most advanced literary are cycles of desc, dialogue, desc, repeat. Which means you most often get something like desc, dialogue, internal dialogue + desc, dialogue, desc.

It doesn't really matter how you order these, but the way you order them determines what sort of style you're writing in and it's a good idea to understand the writing style you prefer as well the one you've chosen for a specific story because switching up your style while you're writing is very confusing for a reader and not very fun to read.

That doesn't mean there won't be moments where you switch it on purpose to create a different feel, like for a high stakes or comedic moment  you might go more dialogue and less desc, or for more of a tense moment you might go more desc and less dialogue.

Learning how to manipulate the flow of a story using this method has been highly effective for me myself to figure out how to create specific moods within the story without having to interrupt the story to explain to the reader what they should be feeling (never ever do that. It never works and makes your story feel flat & cheap).


It doesn't have to be right the 1st time. It's not like you have to stick with what order you first wrote it in.

Before you decide, you can play around a bit with different orders while you write out a scene; keeping in mind what the scene is supposed to fulfill so that you can figure out what order best gets the job done.

(Things like the character accomplishing a certain task, or learning more about the characters backgrounds or feelings, or eliciting a certain feeling from the readers  (creating a mood) i.e fear, love, amusement, danger, etc.)

That's it for this month's tip! Thanks for reading and happy writing!

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