Instant Gratification

One thing I love about writing: It instantly makes you happy, which can progressively increase with interest. (And that’s a purposeful pun!) And it doesn’t have to just make the writer happy; it can make the reader happy too.

Because the nice part about writing, whatever you want to happen, you can make it happen. And you don’t have have to wait for it. You can make it so that the event occurs immediately! Instant gratification!

Take for instance, this section of A Stranger in a Strange Land.

“Jubal, you go see what the score is. I can’t go back.”

“They’ll take you back with open arms and never ask why you left. One thousand on that prediction, too. Ben, you were there less than twenty-four hours. Did you give them the careful investigation that you give something smelly in public life before you blast it?” (Heinlein 369)

And not too much later – the next page even:

Twenty-four hours later Ben wired Jubal two thousand dollars. When, after a week, Jubal received no other message, he sent a state care of Ben’s office: “What the hell are you doing?” The answer was somewhat delayed:

Studying Martian-aquafraternally yours-Ben” (Heinlein 370)

I loved this! Mostly because there was this huge in-depth scene, showing this argument between Ben and Jubal, where Jubal was making fun of Ben for skipping out on this polygamous, everyone-shares-everything relationship, and then not two paragraphs later, I get the resolution to this miniature conflict: Ben was won over.

And I don’t know why! I don’t know how!

This is a beautiful driver. I get the resolution to the story, but I don’t figure out how it occurs because the writer skipped all the drama, fast-forwarding to the ending, which creates a reverse effect for me: Interest is upped. I have no idea how this happened, and I want to know how, so I’m going to keep reading to find out why.

What a beautiful trick that anybody can used. In this case, according to Freytag’s arc, I can skip the ‘falling action’ part and go straight to the resolution, in order to change the timing of the story and create more interest.

It’d be a nice trick to try at some point.

Heinlein, R. A Stranger in a Strange Land. New York, NY: Ace, 1961. Print.


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