Monday, March 1, 2010

Pace and Characterization, CRAFT

Action doesn't preclude emotion, and it can't be all hack and slash all the time.

Years ago, when the INDIANA JONES movies were so wildly popular, a publisher created an action book series with the pace of the opening scene of the original IJ where disaster builds upon disaster upon disaster with no real stopping for breath.

I read the first book, and it was bloody awful because the action became boring and silly at such a lunatic pace, and there was so little personality to the main character or any of the other characters I didn't give a damn one way or the other what happened.

EXAMPLE: A bear chases the hero up a tree, he thinks the tree is safe, but it's rotten, and the bear begins to shove it over, the tree lands in the river, but it's infested with alligators, and there are bad guys on the other side of the river, and a bear on this side. He out swims the gators to a bridge and begins to climb up a vine growing up its side, but, ooops, there's a large poisonous snake right above him, and....

Needless to say, that series vanished without a trace after a few books.

Pace isn’t just violent act after violent act, or the characters moving from one place to another. It’s mixing characterization and elements that move the emotional and action plot forward. It’s giving the reader continual questions about the characters and what’s happening and answering a few of those questions as you move along.

It’s having a quiet moment of introspection or a brief comic moment in the heat of a long battle that reminds the reader why they’re reading the story or why they like these characters.



Crazy Tuesday, March 2nd, 2pm Eastern: Launching "Authors Without A Yacht"

When a proud ebook pirate stated that greedy authors don't need his help pay for their third yachts, a group of authors who can't even afford a canoe formed the "Authors Without A Yacht" social networking groups to answer readers' questions about copyright and to share where readers can legally buy ebooks at the best prices.

Literary agent Richard Curtis, EPIC president Brenna Lyons, Marilynn Byerly, and romance author Carly Carson will share ebook pirate horror stories with host Rowena Cherry.

The audience can ask questions via email and text messages during the live chat. The complete chat will be available later.



I'll be at Stellarcon next weekend in High Point, NC. Be sure to say hi if you come. Special author guest Michael Stackpole will be giving a seminar on writing a novel on Saturday which will be well worth the cost of coming to the con.

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