Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Links of Interest


PLANNING YOUR NOVEL’S ENDING:


PICKING THE RIGHT SOCIAL MEDIA FOR YOU AND YOUR READERS:


OTHER INCOME OUTLETS FOR YOUR BOOKS:


ADDING FACTUAL RESEARCH TO STORYTELLING:


FIVE QUESTIONS THAT WILL HELP YOU CREATE YOUR CHARACTER’S PERSONALITY:


NEW FORENSICS TECHNIQUE FOR IDENTIFYING BULLETS:


MARKETS, MAINLY SHORT STORY:


CREATING MINOR CHARACTERS WITH PURPOSE:


GROUPS OF IMAGES THAT CAN STRENGTHEN YOUR NOVEL:


MAKING YOUR PROSE SING:


SWORDS, DUMB  THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T DO WHEN WRITING A FIGHT SCENE:


KNOWING YOUR CHARACTER’S BACKSTORY EARLY ON:


SUBTEXT IN DIALOG:


Monday, October 20, 2014

The Final Confrontation


The final meeting between the hero and his opponent must be more intense than any other battle before, and to be the winner, the hero must risk everything and lose something of inestimable value in order to win. It is not only a physical battle, but an emotional one.

In this confrontation, the hero's special skill, be it magical, a talent for fighting, or personality, should make the story stronger, not make the hero invincible. Think of Superman, Kryptonite, and the danger of invincibility to a story. Here's two story final confrontations --


STORY A: Several world leaders are held hostage by Lex Luthor who has tied them to Kryptonite poles. Though weak, Superman manages to rescue them and gets far enough away from the Kryptonite to regain his strength to defeat Luthor.

OR

STORY B: Several world leaders are held hostage by Lex Luthor who has tied them to Kryptonite poles. They are surrounded by cameras so the whole world watches.

Luthor wants Clark Kent to act as hostage negotiator, and if anyone else, including Superman, comes near them, an explosion will kill both leaders. Clark approaches but sees the Kryptonite in the poles. If he goes forward and becomes weak, Luthor and the world will know he's Superman. If he backs away, Luthor will kill them immediately.

Superman/Clark’s dilemma -- save two important leaders or lose his identity as Clark Kent.

But Clark Kent is more than a role, it's his humanity. Clark belongs to Earth and fellow humans, and he has a relationship with them. They see him as an equal.

Superman, however, is a superior alien who can never have an equal relationship with humans who see his powers and are afraid or uncomfortable. If he is no longer Clark, he will be totally alone.

Losing his identity as Clark Kent is his greatest emotional fear. What should he do?

Which story is stronger and more interesting? I'm sure you'll say the second one because more than physical danger is involved. Clark/Superman must risk something of great emotional importance to win, and by winning, he will ultimately lose.

To make your story and its ending stronger, find the main character's greatest emotional weakness and hit him there with your plot in the same way as you hit him with his physical weakness.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Links of Interest


PLANNING YOUR NOVEL:


PROMO VIA RADIO, TV AND PODCASTS:


TRAPS, REAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL THAT SHOULD CATCH YOUR CHARACTER:


HOW TO PREP FOR AUTHOR EVENTS:


CONTRACTS, THE DANGER OF GRANT OF RIGHT CLAUSES:


DISCOVERING YOUR CHARACTERS’ SECRETS:


PLANNING YOUR NOVEL’S BEGINNING:


COPYRIGHT SPAM, DON’T REGISTER YOUR COPYRIGHT LIKE THIS:


FIGURING OUT THE WHY AND WHO BEFORE YOU START WRITING:


USING CINEMATIC TECHNIQUE  IN YOUR WRITING:


RESOURCES FOR REBRANDING OR REDESIGNING THE LOOK OF YOUR BLOG:


CYBERSECURITY FOR YOU AND YOUR KIDS IF YOU HAVE THEM:


PLANNING YOUR NOVEL’S MIDDLE:


ADVERTISING YOUR BOOKS:


RETURNING TO OLD MANUSCRIPTS:


AN AGENT AND AN EDITOR DISCUSS CONTRACT NEGOTIATION:


PLOT 101, ROMANCES:


DEVELOPING PLOT AND CHARACTER:


DIALOGUE:


Monday, October 13, 2014

Prologues


Do you need a prologue?

Used correctly, a prologue can add to a novel. The problem is that most prologues are nothing but back story or an info dump which adds nothing but a boring beginning.

Most inexperienced writers believe that the reader has to be told everything up front, or she won't understand.

Readers understand, though, and they are often bored to death, as well, by an unnecessary prologue.

You have just a few pages to grab the reader or that editor so you have to get their attention immediately and hold them through the whole novel.

If the prologue does that and the first chapter can't, then the prologue works. If it doesn't, cut it out and sprinkle the information as needed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Links of Interest


HOW TO RAMP UP TENSION IN YOUR NOVEL:


HOW TO REQUEST REVERSIONS OF RIGHTS FROM YOUR PUBLISHER, AKA HOW TO GET YOUR BOOK BACK WHEN YOUR PUBLISHER FAILS YOU:


HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN GALLEYPROOF WITH WORD:


BOOKS ON MEDIEVAL  FIGHTING:


HOSTING AN ONLINE BOOK EVENT:


MAKING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA:


GOING UNDERCOVER, LINKS:


NINE WAYS TO PROMOTE YOUR AUDIOBOOK:


THE RIGHT VERSUS THE WRONG AMOUNT OF DETAIL IN YOUR WRITING:


TURNING YOUR WRITING CAREER INTO A BUSINESS:


CREATING GREAT ENDINGS:


WHEN TO REVISE WHAT IN YOUR MANUSCRIPT:


BUILDING YOUR CHARACTERS ONE INTERVIEW AT A TIME:


PROMOTION, BUILDING YOUR AUDIENCE WITH NOVELLAS:


Monday, October 6, 2014

Showing versus Telling


QUESTION: Is there one hard and fast way to always show instead of tell?  

If you stay firmly in the viewpoint character's head and feel and see what she/he feels and sees, you will never tell rather than show.

Take the example of fear.  If you are afraid, you don't just think to yourself, I am afraid. If you think that, you really aren’t that afraid.

Instead, you may feel a shiver run down the spine, your heart will pick up speed, your body could tremble, etc., etc. 

If you write about what the fear feels like, that's showing.  If you just say that the character is afraid, that's telling.

How do you get so firmly in a character's head?  Part of it is practice.  Part of it is acting.

One of the most popular methods of learning acting these days is called The Method.  The actor is supposed to immerse herself into the character so that she isn’t acting, she’s actually the person.

One variation of The Method is called Being in the Moment.  I like that as a metaphor for what a writer does.

Put yourself in the moment of the scene.  

When you are ready to write a scene, close your eyes and imagine where your viewpoint character is.  What surrounds her?  Are any of the objects around her of importance?  How are they important?  What are the sounds?  The smells?  Who else is around her?  How does she feel about them?  How will she physically react to them?  

Now open your eyes and start typing.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Links of Interest


HOW TO DEAL WITH CYBERBULLIES AND TROLLS:


SHOULD YOU CUT OUT THAT CHARACTER?


GETTING RID OF “THE STUPID” AFTER THE FIRST DRAFT:


LINKS TO PROMOTION RESOURCES:


WORLDBUILDING A GUILD:


USING ADVERBS THAT ARE STRONG, NOT EVIL:


THE SCIENCE OF SPACE BATTLES (VIDEO):


COMMONLY MISUSED IDIOMS:


YOUR SCENE NEEDS A PROBLEM:


FINDING YOUR BOOK’S AUDIENCE:


MAKING READERS CARE BECAUSE THE CHARACTER CARES:


THE TYRANT AS CHARACTER:


TEN THINGS PEOPLE HATE ABOUT SECONDARY CHARACTERS:


BAD BOYS CAN’T BE TOO MUCH OF A JERK AT THE BEGINNING:


COPYRIGHT RELATED NEWS:


USING RITUAL AND ROUTINE TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITING:


FIVE TIPS FOR PLOTTING A MYSTERY:


ENDING WITHOUT CLOSING UP THE WORLD:


TIPS FOR POV WHEN IT’S COMPLICATED:


HOW MOVIE ADAPTIONS OF BOOKS CAN TEACH YOU WHAT TO PUT IN AND WHAT TO TAKE OUT: