Yes, there are a number of techniques. I've used the old Shakespearean cliche of having the weather change with the main character's emotions. Think of the storm at the end of the book and the flood. The flood is almost a refreshing feel. The storm is a tempest of feelings.
Imagery is also strongly used. Look at the prologue. There are lots of words that portray one animal (the police) hunting down another (Brett). The name Frog also portrays a small helpless creature, which Robbie Scully is. I originally had Frog called that because he was a bed-wetter. “He always wakes up in the morning in a puddle!'' But because of the story's length that had to be chopped out.
I use onomatopoeia - sound words - quite a lot in my writing. Raw has less of it than the other books but the horse ride has cicadas, the bush and birds making noise.
I love short sentences. It's one thing that's always stuck in my mind from high school. I also use the journalist principle KISS when writing - Keep It Simple Stupid. There's no use in writing big long descriptive pieces in novels. They're boring. And rain is rain! It's not: “Long silvery sheets of cold refreshness filled the air from the heavens.''
I like oxymorons - such as harsh happiness - but very few are used in Raw. But my basic two secrets for writing are scenery and conflict. Paint interesting scenes that are easy for the reader to picture and try never to return to exactly the same scene. Also, conflict creates pace and pace keeps readers interested. Conflict can come as character versus character, character versus the system, or even character versus nature
In institutions, there are always power structures. Individuals either use power (Tyson) or are victims to it (Frog). Brett swaggers into the Farm thinking it will be a pushover. He's always been the big fish in a small pond. However, the new pond he's thrown in is run by sharks. Brett realises he is at the bottom of the power structure...
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