Playing Jenga with your writing

Jenga is a popular game of both mental and motor skills. Players take turns to remove a block from a tower and balance it on top, creating a taller structure. The game requires strategy. You have to know which block to remove so that your structure does not topple over.

Why am I talking about Jenga here? I have realized that while reading and writing short stories, you sort of play Jenga with your work. You have to take away a phrase or a sentence from the beginning and place it somewhere in the middle or toward the end to give depth to your story. You also have to make sure you don’t take away/delete something and place it somewhere distorting your work. The positioning of a paragraph, a sentence, a phrase, even a word is extremely important especially in shorter pieces of work.
There are stories where the main character’s looks are described as soon as he/she is introduced and then there are stories where the physical attributes appear when the reader needs to be made aware of them. “His long limbs helped him to swim faster.” This can appear somewhere at a time of crisis when the character is trying to save somebody rather than saying,”he had long limbs” right in the beginning.

Also, there are emotions that turn out at the beginning of the story when the author could have safely tucked them away in a compost pile and let them loose somewhere toward the end. That way the reader could get a chance to form their own opinions about the main characters. Both the examples could very well be used other way round. To each his own.

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