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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Martha Brockenbrough discusses touchstones: places in stories that we can reach out and touch with our minds

Beloved friend, grammarian, and very funny writer Martha Brockenbrough guest blogged over at Darcy Pattison's Revision Notes blog on Touchstones: a reader's way into a story. Here's an excerpt:

When I worked as a freelancer for a company that created really special games—games designed to draw out the best talents of each player—I learned about an idea-development strategy that has informed my writing ever since.

Touchstones. The game creators wanted questions to contain “touchstones.” A touchstone is pretty much what it sounds like—something that, when we encounter it, will evoke certain memories. I love the sensual aspect of the word—the idea that there is something we can fold into a story that readers can reach out and touch with their minds....

Read the rest over at Revision Notes.

I'm fascinated by this idea of touchstones as a way into a story (and also pretty intrigued by the game designers who figured this out). As I work my way through the conclusion of this second novel, I realize that's exactly what I'm trying to do - evoke the universal through the specific, and try to get to something truthful in the process. I will be looking for touchstones as I finish the draft and then start the process of revising.

Thanks, Martha and Darcy!

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea! I'm going over to read Martha's post, right now!