for writers and readers….

Monday creative writing exercise because it’s a good way to start the week — Dramatic Irony

handThe term dramatic irony is used to describe a story where the reader or audience knows something that the characters don’t and that knowledge has a powerful effect on what happens.
A classic example is Oedipus, the mythical Greek king, who having unknowingly killed his father, annuces that he will banish his father’s killer when he finds him.

 That’s a tradegdy but the great American short story writer O. Henry wrote a heart warming story called The Gift of the Magi. A young couple very much in love are too poor to buy each other Christmas gifts their first year together as man and wife. The man finally pawns his heirloom pocket watch to buy his wife a set of combs for her  long, beautiful hair. In the meantime she cuts off her hair to sell it to a wig-maker for money to buy her husband a watch-chain. (This is set in a time where a) short hair on a woman was considered odd, b) combs cost a lot of money and c) men kept watches in their pockets.

O. Henry’s story could be transported to today (He buys her a new CD player and she’s sold all her CDs on Ebay…Sure you can think of something better).

Or a pickpocket gets  his pocket picked

Try it. Allow the reader to know what’s going on and keep your characters in ignorance.

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This entry was posted on May 13, 2013 by in Muse and tagged , , .
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