Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Links of Interest

WHAT YOUR FIRST 50 PAGES HAVE TO HAVE:


WHAT ARE YOUR NEWSLETTER PLANS, PART 5:


WHY GENRE MATTERS:


TEN SELF-EDITING TIPS:


AUTHOR BEWARE, THREE SMALL PRESSES:


THE ELLIPSIS AND DASH:


DEVELOPING A STORY, PART 2:


NEW BOOK PROMO SITES, MAINLY SELF-PUBBED:


SELF-PUB COSTS AND TIPS:


FACEBOOK ADS, CASE STUDY:


DEALING WITH THE EDITORAL LETTER:


HISTORICAL RESEARCH RESOURCES:


USING A CHARACTER AS A FOIL:


10 TIPS FOR WRITING ROMANTIC SUSPENSE:


THE COST OF SELF-PUBBING:


YOUR BOOK HOOK IN ONE SENTENCE:


USING LIVE PERSON RESEARCH SOURCES:


TEN MINUTE MARKETING:


MORAL STAKES:


PROMOTING YOUR FRIENDS’ BOOKS:


THREE THINGS TO CONSIDER, AUDIOBOOKS:


GETTING YOUR RIGHTS BACK USING THE 35-YEAR CLAUSE:


CANADIAN COPYRIGHT INFO:


DEEP POV:


BACKSTORY:


ADDING CONFLICT TO YOUR STORY:


SECONDARY CHARACTERS AS ARCHETYPES:


USING FIVERR TO CREATE A BOOK TRAILER:



Monday, December 5, 2016

Narrative and Viewpoint

Narrative is the prose in a story as opposed to the dialogue. It tells the reader what is happening and gives her images to visualize what is happening. It also tells her even more about the viewpoint character because what is seen and how it is described tells as much about the character as the dialogue.

One character might see a plane crash scene and visualize it like this--

The plane's pieces were scattered over the valley like clothes dropped by a drunk on the way to bed.

Another character who is more analytical would think--

The gouge of earth left by the plane's moving fuselage led him to a boulder. The left wing tip lay against it. The furrow veered violently left there, and bits of wing then fuselage littered the area around it. When there was nothing left of the plane to break apart, the gouge ended.


Narrative is one of the most important tools you have to hook the reader.  Make it visual and use the senses, and make it reflect the viewpoint character which will make both the setting, action, and the character more real to the reader.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Links of Interest

EXPLOSIVES 101:


WEAK WORDS TO AVOID:


USING COLOR IN YOUR SCENES:


QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN YOU ARE DEVELOPING A STORY:


WORLDBUILDING, WHAT TO RESEARCH WHEN WRITING FANTASY:


PROMO FOR YOUR BACKLIST:


AUTHOR WEBSITE ADVICE:


TOO MANY CHARACTERS?


USING POV FOR WORLD BACKGROUND:


CHARACTER TENSION:


CAUSE AND EFFECT IN YOUR STORY:


CREATING A GREAT VICTIM IN A MYSTERY:


ESTATE PLANNING/WILLS FOR AUTHORS:


8 FEMALE ARCHETYPES:


WHAT MAKES A GOOD ENDING?


HORROR RESEARCH, A DEMONOLOGIST TALKS ABOUT EXORCISMS:


GRAMMAR, ABBREVIATIONS:


GRAPHS OF THE STORY ARCS OF FAMOUS WORKS INCLUDING HARRY POTTER:


THE 10 THINGS FOUND IN EVERY BESTSELLING BOOK:


CREATING MORAL STAKES:


WHAT TO DO AFTER NANOWRITE:



Monday, November 28, 2016

Two or More Brains in Viewpoint

"Keeping the Reader Reading," Part 7

Another very common problem with viewpoint is writing a scene from the brains/viewpoints of two or more characters at the same time. We are privy to what each character is thinking. Here is an example.

"Did April come with you?" Austin asked. He whispered a prayer that his daughter wasn't in the hands of the children's kidnappers.

Pleased to tell the old man good news, Faith said, "No. The doctor wouldn't allow it. That's one reason I was sent."

"What do you mean the doctor wouldn't allow?" Alarms ringing in his head, Nick sat up. "What's wrong with April?"

Boy, he's not going to like this news, Austin thought. "She's pregnant."

In this short bit of dialogue, the effect of multiple viewpoints isn't too bad, but in a scene, it can be very annoying or confusing as it becomes a mental ping-pong match among multiple players. The reader ends up with mental whiplash or nausea from all that back and forth between brains.

Other viewpoints also take away the reader’s interest and emotional investment in the important character or characters.

When I point out the multiple viewpoint error, the most common comment I get from new writers is, "But I have to explain what the other characters are feeling about what is happening."

My answer is, "No, you don't. Give the reader clues by describing the physical actions of the characters, or their tone of voice, or by trusting the reader's knowledge of the character, then let the reader fill in the blanks. Filling in the blanks is an important part of the enjoyment for the reader."


If Nick's face goes blank with shock as if someone has slapped him unexpectedly when he hears his ex-wife is pregnant with her new husband's baby, the reader can figure out what is going on emotionally with him without being privy to his thoughts.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Links of Interest

FOUR WAYS TO USE HUMOR:


AVOIDING POINTLESS CONFLICT IN YOUR STORY:


USING VISUALIZATION TO HELP YOUR CRAFT:


OFFERING THE UNEXPECTED:


THE VOCATIVE COMMA IS OUR FRIEND:


CHOOSING THE RIGHT SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MARKETING:


BACKING UP YOUR WORK:


A LIST OF MARKETING AND PUBLISHING CHECKLISTS:


AUTHOR WEBSITE TIPS:


DON’T LET A NEW IDEA DISTRACT YOUR FROM YOUR CURRENT PROJECT:


ONE AUTHOR’S LIST OF WRITING SERVICES, ETC., THAT WORKS:


WORLDBUILDING, HOW FLIGHT CHANGES A FANTASY WORLD:


FIGURING OUT THE PERFECT BOOK EXCERPT FOR PROMO:


MALE ARCHETYPES:


WHERE SHOULD A STORY START?


CRIME, WHO HAS JURISDICTION OVER A CRIME?


FIGURING OUT THE BEST PRICE FOR YOUR EBOOK:


BOOKBUB SELECTION PROCESS EXPLAINED:


REVISION CHECKLIST:




Monday, November 21, 2016

Viewpoint as Camera or as Participant

"Keeping the Reader Reading," Part 6

The most common mistake in viewpoint that many new writers make is they become a camera rather than the actor in the scene. In other words, they are sitting in the corner scribbling away as they describe the movie going on in front of them.

As a camera, the writer would write:

Faith struck at him with the edge of her hand, but he caught her wrist and held it.

"Don't," he said harshly.

She clawed at his eyes, but he dodged. Yanking free, she came to her knees but paused.

He took advantage of her slowness by throwing himself on top of her and pinning her to the bed.

She kicked at his groin and missed. Screaming and twisting, she tried again.

The correct place for the writer to be is in the brain and body of the viewpoint character. She should describe what the viewpoint character SEES and FEELS to make the scene come alive. Here's the same scene through the filter of Faith Cody

Faith struck out with the edge of her hand, but the self-defense blow which should have smashed his windpipe was as clumsy and slow as the rest of her drugged body. He caught her wrist in steel fingers.

"Don't."

His hard-voiced command spurred her from her hopelessness, and she raked at his eyes with her free hand. His hand loosening her wrist, he dodged. 

Yanking free, she came to her knees in bed. She wore only a large tee shirt.

Shocked by her vulnerability, she paused before attacking again or fleeing. In that moment, he threw himself at her, pinning her to the bed, his hands manacling her wrists to the sheets.

Her knee seeking his genitals, she twisted, but her knee glanced off his inner thigh. Screaming like an angry jungle cat, she writhed beneath him as she tried to hit him again with her knee.

The trick to being in a character's head rather than watching from the outside is to create a reality for the reader. Use visual language. Make the reader see what the character sees. Make the reader feel what the character feels.

Don't say, "Pamela was afraid." Say, "Shivers ran like cold fingers down her back." In other words, show, don't tell. If a character is angry, don't have him shout dialogue or "say angrily." Use his actions instead. If he's grinding a wadded paper to pulp in his hand while he's talking, you can be darn sure he's mad.

If the reader is in the viewpoint character’s head, you can be guaranteed they will be hooked.