Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Links of Interest


VILLAINS ARE PEOPLE, TOO:



HOW TO ADD MEANINGFUL SUBPLOTS TO YOUR NOVEL:



HORROR SUBGENRES:



QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU SELF PUBLISH:



THIRD PERSON LIMITED POINT OF VIEW:



WRITING THE SEX SCENE:



PAINTING YOUR SCENE:



HOW GOOD A PROMO TOOL IS FACEBOOK?



DIALOG THAT WORKS:



HAIR DESCRIPTIONS, HOW TO DO THEM AND A LIST OF TERMS:



USING DREAMS TO FUEL YOUR STORIES:



IS KINDLE UNLIMITED (LENDING LIBRARY FOR KINDLE EBOOKS) GOOD OR BAD FOR AUTHORS, SIX VIEWS:



20 QUESTIONS SELF-PUBS MUST ASK THEMSELVES ABOUT MARKETING:



DEEP IS NOT THE ONLY POV:



HOW INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL CONFLICT CREATE STORY:



CREATING CHARACTER NAMES:



GOOD ADVICE TO YOUNG (OF AGE) WRITERS:



HOW TO WRITE SCENE TRANSITIONS:



CREATING CHARACTERS THAT GIVE THE READER A WRONG FIRST ASSUMPTION, (AND THAT’S A GOOD THING):



LINKS TO ARTICLES ON VARIOUS DANGERS AND LEGALITIES OF BEING AN AUTHOR:



ARE YOUR SCENES MOVING YOUR STORY ALONG?



SECONDARY CHARACTERS HAVE NEEDS, TOO:



Monday, July 21, 2014

What is Romance's Appeal?


Some time back, a reporter asked a number of romance writers this question-- "Can you give me the deep reason for the romance novel's appeal to women? I can't ask my mother -- that would be too weird."

Here's my answer--

There is no one deep reason, but I can offer you one of them. 

I've never had the time to learn about football. To me, it's just a bunch of big guys chasing each other and a ball on the field. But I'm told that a football fan understands the subtle tactics, the skills, and the rules of the game. 

In the same way, many women understand the subtle tactics, the skills, and the rules of the game of love. The romance novel offers them a front row seat at the most fascinating and important game of all -- love and marriage. 

Many who don't read romance say all these books are the same, but they are no more the same than every football game is the same. 

Romances offer a more important payback than football because they are teaching women more about the emotional dynamics of men and women so they can play the game and win for themselves and society by creating a monogamous, stable relationship for themselves and for the successful rearing of children which takes two committed parents. 

And, yes, there is usually sex in these novels, but romances aren't about sex. If they were, they'd have more than the ten to twenty pages of love scenes in the average 400 page novel. The love scenes are there because they are another part of the emotional dynamics, and how the man acts afterward usually defines the problems and the possibilities of the relationship.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Links of Interest


SIX GREAT PODCASTS FOR WRITERS:



WHAT A SCENE NEEDS TO BE THE BEST SCENE POSSIBLE:



SOCIAL MEDIA LAUNCH PARTY BASICS:



TWO BESTSELLING AUTHORS ON CHARACTER, GENRE, THE WRITING PROCESS, ETC.:



THE SEVEN ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF A BESTSELLING NOVEL:



25 SMART IDEAS ON STORY:



USING PERSONIFICATION:



CREATING CHARACTER AS YOU GO ALONG:



POOR CRAFT RED FLAGS TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR WRITING:



PROMO, NEWSLETTER BASICS FOR AUTHORS:



PROMO, NICHE WRITING TECHNIQUES TO FIND READERS:



TWITTER ETIQUETTE BASICS:



THE TWO “P’S” A WRITER NEEDS:



DOES WRITING A LOT MAKE YOU A GOOD WRITER?



THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS OF PROLOGUES:



WHAT IS THE PERFECT ENDING?



REACHING READERS ON PINTEREST:



FIVE REASONS TO CAST YOUR NOVEL:



WORLDBUILDING, DON’T NEGLECT THE LANDSCAPE:



USING A SCENE OUTLINE:



FORENSICS, TIME OF DEATH ACCORDING TO ODOR:



Monday, July 14, 2014

Stop That Reader in Her Tracks!


Don't you just hate it when someone keeps reading your book?  

Me, too! 

Here are a few tips on how to stop that reader before the end of the first chapter. Heck, if you do it right, most readers won't read more than a few pages.

1.  Start your story off with

* your main character eating popcorn and watching a movie or TV show in their living room.  Give details of the movie's plot.

*your main character waking up, getting breakfast, and dressing for the day.

*your main character at her workplace or job doing something mundane that has nothing to do with the plot.  Be sure to go into great detail to insure boredom!

*your main character running into a hot former flame but immediately leaving then spending many pages remembering how screwed up their relationship was.  Whatever you do, don’t let those ex-lovers talk about those old times!

*a prologue that has little to do with the rest of the novel but gives lots of back story the reader will never really need.

*so much information about your worldbuilding and character's magical abilities that the reader is totally confused.

*introducing so many characters that the reader becomes hopelessly confused.

2.  Make sure your first chapter has the right percentage of dialogue, narrative, and introspection.  

10% or less:  Narrative which includes action (John flinched as she wagged her finger in his face.), immediate emotional comments (Mary fought her desire to strangle him with his tie.), and description (Clothes littered the room like confetti at a ticker tape parade.).

10% or less:  Dialogue, particularly dialogue that gives information ("I know that Mary murdered John!  I hope they hang her."), shows conflict between characters ("You're a liar.  Mary loved him.  She was framed."),  or moves the story forward.  ("And I'll prove she didn't do it.") 

80%  or more:  The viewpoint character's introspection about the past.  Give that reader back story, internal whining,  and emotional navel gazing until she is screaming for mercy and throwing that manuscript down!

3.  Have the main character or characters wander around aimlessly with no goal or motives.

4. Have such poor grammar and spelling that no one can understand half of what you write.  

5. Love your writing so much that it is impossible to cut out anything. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Links of Interest


ROMANCE SUBGENRES:



USING FIND AND REPLACE TO DEAL WITH FORMATING CHANGES:



SUBMISSION CHECK LIST:



KEEPING INFORMATIVE SCENES TENSE:



DOING YOUR OWN AUDIOBOOKS:



WHEN IS IT TIME TO SEND OUT THE MANUSCRIPT:



HOW TO KEEP BACKLIST VALUABLE:



PROMO, TWO WAYS TO CUSTOMIZE YOUR FACEBOOK UPDATES:



INTERNALIZATION, SHOWING VERSUS TELLING:



HOW TO CREATE IMAGE QUOTES FOR SOCIAL MEDIA:



SHOWING EMOTIONS OUR CHARACTER TRIES TO HIDE:



THE FBI AND WRITER RESEARCH SOURCES:



FIVE ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT YOUR MAIN CHARACTER:



SMASHWORD SURVEY DETAILS EBOOKS SALES AND VARIOUS SUCCESSFUL PRICE POINTS FOR BOOKS:



Monday, July 7, 2014

The Story So Far, The Idiot's Version


In recent years, I’ve noticed that lighter documentaries for TV tend to repeat information after each commercial break.  

Do these film editors believe that people can’t remember what has been presented so far?  Heaven knows that commercial breaks have gotten ridiculously long, and attention spans ridiculously short, but are viewers that stupid?

Apparently, some novelists think so because I’ve noticed the same pattern in recent novels.  The main character does a mental story recap of the important things that have happened and have to happen.  And this isn’t for complex mysteries where the clues can be confusing.  

Is this a good thing?  

I don’t think so.  Most readers aren’t stupid or are in dire need of a clue.  Nor do they like to be treated like idiots.

If important points have been lost, and the reader has to be reminded of what the main character needs to do to reach his goal, then the writer has allowed the plot and the characters to wander off point.  That’s writer stupidity, not reader stupidity.