Monday, April 23, 2012

A to Z Blogging Challenge: T is for...

For my entries in the 2012 A to Z Challenge, I will be focusing on writing elements that I find important and that I want to incorporate into my work.

Today, the topic is TRIAD.

The power of three.

In musical terms, it takes three notes to create a full chord – a root, a third, and a fifth. This base chord is then the starting point for all harmonic structure with alteration (minor, diminished, augmented) and extension (seventh, ninth, sixth, etc).

In writing, I also think there is a certain unity and cohesiveness in a triad. At some writing resources, this is even foramlly presented as 'The Rule of Three.'  Three elements joined together can  provide a tightly woven writing construction, both at the macro level (story structure, plot, characterization), and at the micro level (sentence construction).

A story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A plot has a build, a peak, and a resolution. A character has a past, a present, and a future.

The rule of three can even add a certain strength to sentences and descriptions. I think it can help develop rhythm, provide flow, and make things easier to read.

I tend to do it a lot – grouping things into three, often automatically, subconsciously, and as a normal part of the flow of my writing. It just seems to be a natural thing for me to do.

One thing, though – I DO adhere to the Oxford comma in my lists of three. We can debate about the 'proper' way to do it, but for me, that comma before the final item in a list is natural, expected, and correct.

That's just how I roll.

So are you like me and lean on the rule of three?

Thanks for visiting -- see you the rest of this month for more alphabetical fun!

Don't forget to visit HERE to see all the bloggers taking part in this A-to-Z challenge, and try to drop in on as many of them as you can!


Simon Kewin said...

Fascinating! I must get on with the second volume of my trilogy ...

Karen Walker said...

I really like the rule of three the way you present it here regarding writing. I am turning 63 tomorrow and started piano lessons a few months ago. I am just up to understanding the triad in chords.

Peggy Eddleman said...

I do, but not consciously. (Is that why I chose three main characters in my book?) I, too, love the Oxford comma. I heard that they officially got rid of it, so I've been removing all of them from my ms. It's a little painful! I kind of like them there.

Margo Berendsen said...

I'm a visiting A-Z blogger and new follower...I've heard of the rule of three before, but I never think to apply it to my writing. I should though, because I know my writing tends to lack sensory details - need to check that each scene as at least three. Some other great examples you give here.

Chris Fries said...

@Simon: Thank you, Sir!

@Karen: Thanks! I hope you enjoy the piano, too! I really appreciate the visit and the comment.

@Peggy: Who is this "they" who have decided to get rid of the comma? Convention is driven by commen usage -- we can bring it back! We have the power!!! And thanks for the visit and the comment!

@Margo: Thank you for the viit, the comment, and the follow! I am in a CAD training class this week so I have little free time, but I will retunr the visit ASAP. Best of luck with the A-to-Z Challenge!

.jessica. said...

I am all about the rule of three! AND the Oxford comma. Threes provide cohesion in a story and (hearkening back to your "R") can do a lot to help with rhythm in sentences and paragraphs.

In other words: yes, yes, and yes. :)

Nicole said...

I do really like the rule of three. I find myself using it for characters, too. There's just something powerful about three close characters - good dynamics there.

Chris Fries said...

@jessica: Thank you, thank you, thank you!

@Nicole: Me too! I agree with you, Nicole! Thanks for the visit and the comment!