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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Treatment Strategies

   
Author Topic: Treatment Strategies
extrinsic
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Rewriting, revision, reworking treatment strategies develop over time. Some writers overtreat; some writers undertreat. Some writers justify not treating at all. Some writers' abilities plateau and they set aside a project or abandon it and maybe writing altogether. Some writers develop effective treatment strategies.

How much treatment is enough? Smarter to ask what role treatment plays. For some writers treatment is just adjusting mechanical style endlessly, maybe endlessly adjusting clumsy diction. Adjusting mechanical style won't treat an emotionally dead narrative. Treating lackluster voice, structural shortcomings, and limited audience appeal and accessibility requires practice. Lots of practice. No treatment is wasted, since it's good practice, no matter how much time and effort are expended on the process.

However, making the cognitive leaps necessary to develop workable treatment strategies is a tall order.

Sensation writing, for example. Meaningfully describing a scene's setting, characters, and event sensations means describing them as causal stimuli.

Sensation is one of twelve often overlapping writing modes: Description, Introspection, Action, Narration, Emotion, Sensation, Summarization, Exposition, Conversation, Recollection, Explanation, and Transition. DIANE'S SECRET writing modes are part craft and part voice features. Emphasizing and apportioning action, introspection, emotion, sensation, and conversation to a dramtic circumstance is a best writing practice.

Incorporate foreground craft features of Antagonism, Causation, and Tension, ACT, and Setting, Plot, Idea, Character, Event, and Discourse, SPICED, which also to a degree overlap with voice or craft, respectively, and much of a treatment strategy process will be well in hand. Revision's function is to clarify meaning for audience accessibility's sake. Period.

Treatment for craft or voice or appeal might require rewriting, somwhat akin to revision, but they are worlds apart. If a narrative's meaning is clear to a target audience, there's little point in revising. Circling back to a writing principle of consequence for treatment strategies, Audience Accessibilty and Appeal, AAA writing, clear writing provides for audience accessibilty.

What about appeal? Will a narrative portraying a story of a boy orphaned by evil appeal as strongly as a progenitor narrative? Not if it's a weak copycat. How about a narrative about a rock? No, not per se necessarily. If the rock is a personification metaphor maybe. Maybe that would be too deep a meaning though and thus flout the accessibility prerequisite. If a narrative has little, if any, audience appeal, there's little benefit from revising it for publication. Maybe rewriting from scratch is in order.

What appeals to audiences? This is actually not so hard a question to answer as it might seem. The several functions texts, spoken or written word or audio or film, play in society hold important and meaningful answers: entertaining, persuasive social instruction, correction, and control, and initiation, expression, or alienation of identity.

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Grumpy old guy
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extrinsic, for me, audience appeal is being transported from the hum-drum of my daily life into an fascinating and intriguing 'other' reality. As for 'treatment', I'm unsure of what you are referring to; simply because I'm new to writing.

When I re-look at a chapter, scene or 'moment', I'm looking to maximise and increase the 'human condition' contained within it. I search for ways to heighten whatever is the emotion button I'm pressing at that moment, I also look at increasing the 'atmospherics', trying to put the reader in that spot at that time. Sometimes I'm successful, most times I'm not. The caution for me is, keep the original and mess around with 'copies' because I can wrap myself up inside all sorts of convolutions of emotion, atmosphere and illogic.

But you're right, practice this. I am getting batter at doing what I'm doing, it's just so frustratingly slow.

Phil.

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Pyre Dynasty
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Treatment, condition . . . this all makes it sound like some kind of disease.
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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by Grumpy old guy:
But you're right, practice this. I am getting batter at doing what I'm doing, it's just so frustratingly slow.

Phil.

If I had a chance to tell myself twenty years ago what I should do about my writing, I'd say it takes time to learn how to write for others, but that would be a best practice. Your recent project and inquiry about world building suggests to me you're on that path. Accelerating the process might be as simple as making confident decisions.

I believe rushing through writing without fully realizing the dramatic import of a scene hampers creative writers' development. Lingering in scenes until they are fully realized dramatically, then reworking for strongest potential dramatic impact, runs contrary to how writing is taught in grade school. But then revision (reworking, rewriting, etc.) isn't proficiently taught in grade school. This is perhaps addressed by H.P. Grice's "Principle of Cooperation": Provide sufficient quanity of information of sufficient quality and relevance in a timely and appealing manner so that an audience understands and appreciates the intent and meaning.

[ December 10, 2012, 02:45 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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extrinsic
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyre Dynasty:
Treatment, condition . . . this all makes it sound like some kind of disease.

Is not addiction a disease? What is this passion for writing but an addiction? A perhaps healthy addiction, like breathing, eating, drinking, merriment, without which life would be unbearable. A healthy disease—paradox—writing is, for its teaching how to think consciously, critically for one's self.

Regardless, "treatment" is a revision metaphor borrowed from medicine and initially used in scriptwriting for a preliminary draft summary of a concept. "Treatment" is a term I've seen in writing pedagogy and andragogy for post draft writing focused on reworking clarity for audience accessibility and appeal. "Treatment" neutralizes such terms as weak, poor, wrong, and error when speaking about mechanical style. I've also seen the term used in workshops and focus groups about creative writing for the same reason, neutral commentary. Damon Knight uses the term, too, in Creating Short Fiction when discussing "treatments" for plot shortcomings.

[ December 10, 2012, 02:41 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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