Monday, August 15, 2011

The Four Basic Writing Stances : Ox

The Ox.  Source

The ox stance (or Ochs in German) provides adequate defence while providing a direct threat.  The hilt is held next to and above the head, pointing downward at the opponent’s neck or face.

Because of this, it is not the most stable of stances, but it does allow for a quick attack by means of a straight thrust (which is automatically aimed at one of the opponent’s weakest spots—the face or neck.

When using this stance in writing, you head directly in, not stopping for outlining.  This is a very aggressive stance and you play it by going directly for the throat per se, getting to know your characters and developing the story from there.

This stance offers you a great opportunity to get a nice flow and get in touch with the events in the story.  Each event is spawned by the last, so each comes spontaneously.  If you do it right, your characters will feel more natural because there is little opportunity to “force” them to do things by means of plot. 

However, you give up stability.  The story you write could easily sway around aimlessly until you just give up (or worse, end it right there and declare it a novel).  Also, it leaves a lot of room for not knowing what to write (which often leads to said aimlessness as mentioned above).

The ox is a powerful stance if you know what you’re doing.  As long as you revise at the end, you shouldn’t have any glaring plot holes or forgotten events and you will be rewarded with characters that feel natural and a plot that flows smoothly.