What does it mean to craft an experience?
I’ve learned, after many years as a writer, an editor, and an educator, that three often overlooked aspects of writing combine to develop the coherence necessary for a meaningful experience.
- The Relationships Between Our Perspectives
- The Function of Language.
- Conceptual Integrity
The Relationships Between Our Perspectives
All readers and writers have unique perspectives. The similarities and differences between perspectives allow for possibility. Where the differences in our perspectives and the formal demands of composition overlap, readers and writers engage and generate meaning.
We create a powerful experience for our readers when we think critically about multiple, even contradictory ways of thinking and approaching our world. We’re making connections and incorporating differences to develop, package, and make accessible complexity, the fertile ground of meaning.
The Function of Language
I think of language as a massive spider’s web of syntax, and every word used is a point in the web. Each word, element, and aspect of a story connects to every other. Whenever we tug a discrete element, the web shifts.
Each word counts, and we writers must account for them. Words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs build toward the totality of the work.
If we look more deeply at the ideas central to our work, we will be better able to tease apart what is important to us in what we’re writing. When we understand the core of our work, what matters enough to motivate us to write, we can develop the elements of our work into a composition unified around that purpose. Every element of a story is part of a larger whole and must serve as such.
Paying close attention to the conceptual integrity of our writing and the writing of others will help us see how story elements connect in new and interesting ways. We’ll see how description develops conflict, how dialogue reinforces symbolism, and how characterization emphasizes setting.
We extract the elements of fiction as discrete components of a larger work to bring them into focus, and then we see them as interconnected elements that function in multiple ways within a unified whole.
Image by Jeremy Thomas courtesy of Unsplash
DOES YOUR WRITING ENGAGE OTHER PERSPECTIVES? DO YOU EXAMINE HOW THE LANGUAGE YOU USE FUNCTIONS? DO YOU DEVELOP CONCEPTUAL INTEGRITY IN YOUR WORK? WHAT ARE SOME BOOKS YOU’VE READ THAT EXEMPLIFY THESE THREE ASPECTS OF WRITING? SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH US AND HELP US LEARN FROM YOUR WRITER’S JOURNEY.