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This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Muse: The Rule of Three



So, last Saturday I babysat two  super fun, energetic, and happy little girls. Toward the end of the evening as it got close to their bed time, we sat down, *phew* and watched a really fun and educational cartoon called Umizoomi. It was during the viewing that I noticed something that I had never noticed before. The story had three segments, each segment had three obstacles, each obstacle had three hurdles to overcome. Wow! The rule of three really stood out.

What is the Rule of Three?

The "rule of three" is a principle in writing that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. A series of three is often used to create a progression in which the tension is created, then built up, and finally released.

But is there something really to the art of writing with the rule of three? Does it really make your writing more effective, more engaging, more entertaining? I'm not sure, I have not really experimented with writing with this particular rule. However, it does make a lot of sense. And when I look back at some of the children's books I have read, where the element of three is used, the books are definitely more appealing.

So, just what makes it more appealing? Well, what I have learned so far is that:

three is the smallest number of elements required to create a pattern
* three is easier to remember because of its brevity
three is often used to create increasing tension in a story and finally release usually with a twist.
* our brains are wired to respond to things presented in groups of three

And every day I am learning more. Now it is time for me to go back to my manuscripts and see if I can apply this rule to my stories and see if it improves them, make them more effective, engaging and entertaining. :) And to think all this came from watching a kid's cartoon! :D

Check out these blogs 
Copy Blogger: How to Use the "Rule of Three" 
The Write at Home Blog: The Rule of Three

4 comments:

Heather said...

I've never really thought about it like that. But now that you mention it, I think I'll add a check for this to my editing process! Thank you!

Ms Saba (aka Teacher007.5) said...

I know what you mean Heather, I have started editing my pb books and testing the rule a bit. :)

Tina Cho said...

Great observations! Lots of what we do in writing is also shown in TV & movies, screenwriting!

Susanna Leonard Hill said...

You know, I've never really thought about it or noticed it in kids' TV, but it's certainly important for writing!


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