“Why? Because I said so, that’s why.”
That statement might work for parents, but it won’t cut it when we’re trying to support an opinion. (On second thought, does that statement really work for parents?) We need to convince our readers with something more concrete.
One problem many writers have is proper development of a supporting idea. It’s all well and good to declare that Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is the ultimate in cinematic art, but we still have to convince our readers why. We do this by answering the questions that come to our readers’ minds.
There are two methods I use to make sure I include enough information: the Pesky Kid and the Defense Attorney.
The Pesky Kid Method
We’ve all experienced a small child’s persistent (bordering on psychotically annoying) curiosity. We tell them something, and they immediately ask, “Why?” An explanation only produces another “why” until we reach the boiling point and spurt out, “Because I said so!”
When we pretend while we’re writing that we have a child standing there asking that question, we remember that we have to answer the same question for our readers. There are other questions, such as how, when, where, and what, that we should answer, too.
We could say the acting in Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is a superb example of satiric and comedic timing. We could say the 1978 film was a foundation for modern take offs on horror films like 2000’s Scary Movie.
The Defense Attorney Method
If the Pesky Kid Method doesn’t work, we could always pretend we are an attorney who needs to defend Attack of the Killer Tomatoes in the court of public opinion. Attorneys can’t just say, “My client is a great person, so you should acquit her.” The jury would just laugh and condemn the prisoner to a horrible fate.
A defense attorney needs to build solid evidence to present to a jury to convince them of her client’s innocence. The attorney must show the brilliance of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes by providing examples. For instance, the attorney could play the scene where the protagonist is walking, and a shooter is trying to kill him. Instead, the killer ends up shooting pedestrians as the hero passes by them.
It’s all well and good to have an opinion, and people want to consider it. However, We need to support it in order to convince readers that it is valid.