Saturday, October 12, 2013

Using Lists in Writing

Sometimes lists in writing can provide rhythm and rich detail for a strong effect.

"The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien has excellent examples.  For instance:

The things they carried were largely determined by necessity.  Among the necessities or near necessities were P-38 can openers, pocket knives, heat tabs, wristwatches, dog tags, mosquito repellent, chewing gum, candy, cigarettes, salt tablets, packets of Kool-Aid, lighters, matches, sewing kits, Military Payment Certificates, C rations,and two or three canteens of water.  Together, these items weighed between 15 and 20 pounds. . . .

In one of my humorous short stories, my father used a flip chart listing the basic reasons why my mother should marry him.  She liked the presentation and accepted his proposal.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks. I love using lists - even if they serve to get me more focused on possibilities.


Progress On My Second Novel

The main problem in my second novel is drawing out the female protagonist. She is 21, admitted to a psych ward of a hospital after a suicide...