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Author and Editor, Elizabeth Lyon who coined the term ‘Riff writing’ advocates doing this type of exercise in order to get in touch with your voice and style. She says by riffing like musicians, you can go deep and truly create an engaging and emotive scene.
Riffing is a method for leaping outside of barriers, proper language, and self-censorship to uncover your most unique writing. How? Choose one part of a scene like a description of a character, then riff to open it up and expand a distinctive portrayal of that character. Take what you have written and rewrite it in this riff style, then read your before and after. Listen to the fabulous example Elizabeth shares, from Barbara Kingsolver on YouTube.
On Creating Subtext, in this video Elizabeth reads an example of sexual subtext from one of author Robert Dugoni’s books
Questions you should ask yourself when rewriting; what is the subtext in your scenes? Remember, Subtext adds tension.
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