writing mode

The title of this article, DEAR IN SETS, may mean nothing to us. Actually, that’s an acronym I used to remember the different fiction writing modes or forms of expression.

Just like essay writing, it has EDNA. No, not a woman but an acronym for its main writing modes: Exposition, Description, Narration, and Argumentation. However, since we’re dealing with fiction, which is a form of narrative, let me explain to you the different modes of fiction writing in DEAR IN SETS.

When we say modes or forms of expression, it is the way we write or present the story. Each mode has its own set of conventions on how, when, and where we should use it in writing. However, there is no consensus within the writing community regarding the number and composition of fiction-writing modes and their uses. But for me to remember these modes, I will use the acronym DEAR IN SETS.

D – Description
This mode transmits a mental image of an element of the story. One of the most widely recognized modes of fiction writing, description brings life into a scene by carefully choosing and arranging words and phrases to produce a desired effect.

E – Emotion
This mode conveys the feelings of the character. Emotions can make or break the relationship between the character and the writer. Connecting the character to his own emotions allows the author to connect with the reader on an emotional level.

A – Action
Action demonstrates events as they are happening in a story. It helps the readers feel as if they were participating in the plot.

R – Recollection
This mode allows the character to remember details or events. It helps writers to convey the backstory or any useful information from the past or before the story began. Although recollection is not widely recognized as a distinct mode of fiction-writing, it is a common tool. Some say that Recollection should be considered a subset of Introspection. Others say that its role in developing backstory separates it from the other thoughts of a character in Introspection.

I – Introspection
Also known as internal dialogue, interior monologue, or self-talk. This mode conveys the thoughts of a character, allowing the expression of normally unexpressed thoughts.

Introspection may also be used to:
*enhance a story by allowing the character’s thoughts to deepen characterization
*increase tension
*widen the scope of a story
*play a critical role in both scene and sequel

N – Narration
This mode shows how the narrator communicates the story directly to the reader.

S – Sensation
This mode portrays the character’s perceptions. It helps the reader feel the actual sensations of things comprising the story. Since the reader can only use the sense of sight, this mode allows the writer to provoke recall from the reader, or convey the experience. This draws the reader in and maintains his interest in the story.

E – Exposition
This mode simply conveys information. Exposition may be used to add drama to a story, but too much exposition at one time may slow the pace of the story. Show, don’t tell, they usually say. (But that’s another article.)

T – Transition
Transitions in fiction are words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or punctuation that may be used to signal various changes in a story, including changes in time, location, point-of-view character, mood, tone, emotion, and pace. This mode allows the writer to move from one scene to the next, or one chapter to the next, etc.

S – Summarization
Also called the narrative summary, this mode condenses events to convey, rather than to show, what happens within a story. The “tell” in the axiom “Show, don’t tell” is often in the form of summarization. As I’ve said, this will be another topic.

Given these modes of fiction writing, I’m sure you have tried all of them in your novel. Have I missed anything? Let me know by writing your comments below.

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