Are You Writing Text Bricks?

Reality Coaching for Writers

Are you giving readers text bricks? In this episode we’ll discuss how text bricks create:
* Reader Fatigue
* Lack Clarity
* Reveal Poor Content Organization
* Offer Overwhelming Information
* Reduced Engagement

We’ll also give you three tips for how to turn text bricks into memorable moments.

In this episode of Reality Coaching for Writers, we discuss the issue of writing text bricks. Text bricks are long passages of text that lack white space and can be overwhelming for the reader. In writing, we want to prevent “fire hosing” or “text bricking” which happens when too much information is presented at once, making it difficult for the reader to grasp and retain the main points.

As writers, it’s crucial to keep the target reader in mind, ensuring that the information presented is not excessive or extraneous. If your target reader loves long, detailed passages, then text bricks may be fine. If you’re writing for a younger audience (YA and middle grade) then shorter, smaller “bricks” may be preferred.

To address the challenge of creating engaging scenes, especially when a character is isolated, the use of inner dialogue or a playful back-and-forth conversation in the character’s mind can be effective. This technique provides a break from text bricks and keeps the reader engaged.

Humor plays a significant role in both fiction and non-fiction. It serves as a tool to relax the reader and deliver information effectively. Incorporating humor, especially self-deprecating humor, helps readers connect and engage with the material.

When editing and dealing with text bricks, be open to cutting out unnecessary parts — of flipping those passages into dialogue between characters. Editors may suggest removing certain blocks of text, and writers should consider if those portions truly contribute to the story or message. The key is to maintain a balance between providing information and ensuring an engaging reading experience.

Finally, writers should be willing to defend their choices when it comes to keeping certain elements in their writing. It’s crucial to keep the writer’s voice.

Eddie Jones and Diana Flegal offer personalized coaching for writers.
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