Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Exaggeration in Writing

Last fall I was sporting Angelina Jolie lips. (See pic to the left), Sort of looked like botched Botox only worse. Big plastic lips that peeled. $800 dollars later, I found out I was very allergic to my new shampoo and hairspray. (woulda thought I could've figured that one out WITHOUT the dermatologist).

One thing it did though was exaggerate my physical features...to the point where my co-worker winced every time she saw me and practically forced the phone into my hands, yelling, "WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR DEDUCTIBLE!"

Exaggeration is painful sometimes--it can totally blow things out of proportion and damage. BUT! In writing ... (insert evil laughter) ... I can exaggerate anything I want. One thing I learned at the infamous ACFW conference, was take your craziest scene, exaggerate it, and see if the story tension doesn't up and get even more interesting.

After some (very little) deliberation, my heroine at the time, went from runaway to pregnant, unmarried runaway, in the 1870's. It earned me an entire manuscript read-thru from a fantastic editor at a publishing house I'd die to be a part of. While it didn't earn me publication (yet) I was the recipient of some amazing interaction with said publisher and she taught me so much more about making a manuscript even richer. g

Think of "exaggeration" in books you've read recently. Karen Witemeyer's "Stealing the Preacher". An outlaw kidnaps a preacher for his daughter. Dani Pettrey's "Shattered". A little sister tries to redeem her brother from murder charges--while falling for the detective who arrested him. Premises that take the usual and make it bigger.

My latest book? The daughter of a lighthouse keeper must save her father from the lighthouse's haunted secrets--before she falls in love with his doctor who wants to have him institutionalized.

What books have you read recently that use the art of "exaggeration" to enhance a story? Does exaggeration have its place in real life?


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Jaime Wright - 

Writer of Historical Romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

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1 comment:

Hey friend! Please leave a comment, no lurking allowed ;)