Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Links of Interest

48 SELF-PUBLISHING RESOURCES, LINKS:


WORLDBUILDING, WHERE TO BEGIN:


AUDIOBOOKS 101:


RAISING TENSION:


USING THE MYERS-BRIGGS TO CREATE CHARACTERS:


HOW TO FIND YOUR FIRST 10,000 READERS:


WORLDBUILDING, AN INDEX TO ALL TYPES OF FOLKLORE AND FAIRY TALES:


CHOOSING AND SETTING UP A PEN NAME:


EROTICA PUBLISHER STEALS FROM AUTHORS:


TIPS ON WRITING THAT SECOND NOVEL:


BRAINSTORMING A BOOK IDEA:


HISTORICAL RESEARCH, US HOLOCAUST MUSEUM:


HISTORICAL RESEARCH, ARIZONA JAPANESE INTERNMENT CAMPS:


GOOGLE ARCHIVE OF HISTORICAL WORLD FASHION:


MEDICAL HISTORY ARCHIVE:


IMPROVING YOUR EDITING SKILLS:


HOW TO ESCAPE BEING BURIED ALIVE:


THE HERO’S ARC:


DEALING WITH CONFLICTING CRITIQUES:


CREATING A GREAT VILLAIN:




Monday, June 19, 2017

Rereading While Writing

QUESTION: How many times do you reread your book while writing it? I find I am constantly rereading my work over and over. I've probably reread it over a hundred times, I hope I'm on the right track.

Some writers don't reread what they've written until they finish. The advantage is they allow the story to remain organic and grow naturally.  The disadvantage is they can't correct elements of the story that no longer fit, and they many find it hard to delete those moments when they begin their first rewrites. (Sometimes, the longer a scene, etc., remains in the text, the harder it is to remove or change it.  Shrug.  Human nature strikes again.) 

Some keep rereading and rewriting what they've written.  The advantage is very clean text and no loose ends.  The disadvantage is they can rewrite to the point that they’ve sucked all the life and style out of their story.  Plus, they are taking away valuable writing time to do this and may lose the desire to finish the story.  

I do a mixture of both.  I start my day's writing by rereading what I wrote the day before to get myself back into the groove of the story.  I only reread from the beginning if I've lost focus for the story.  The advantage is cleaner text and I'm less likely to lose the main character's voice.  The disadvantage is some of my writing time is spent editing.

Every writer must choose what works best for herself.  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Links of Interest

SOCIAL RULES YOU MUST THINK ABOUT WHEN WRITING:


HOW MANY SETTINGS SHOULD A NOVEL HAVE?


FIGHTING, USING A KNIFE (WEAK STOMACH ALERT):


HOW TO SEND YOUR MANUSCRIPT TO YOUR PHONE:


EARLY HINTS OF BACKSTORY:


BUILDING A MAILING LIST:


WRITING DIVERSE URBAN FANTASY:


WONDER WOMAN, PRESENTING A STRONG FEMALE:


PASSIVE VOICE 101:


WRITING A MENTALLY ILL PERSON:


FILTER WORDS THAT WEAKEN WRITING:


TURNING INSPIRATION INTO STORY:


WRITING ABOUT PLACE:


BODY LANGUAGE AND CHARACTERIZATION:


INDICATING TIME PASSAGE:



Monday, June 12, 2017

Sometimes, You Just Have to Dump

If you absolutely must info dump, here are a few suggestions to make it more palatable for the reader.

Have a character who must learn the information so someone explains it to him.

In Jasper Fforde’s ONE OF OUR THURSDAYS IS MISSING, Thursday Next is in charge of an apprentice who follows her around at her job.  She explains a lot of the technical elements important to the story to this apprentice.  The info dumping isn’t subtle, but it is at least integrated into the scenes, and the give and take between the characters makes the info more digestible.  

A another saving grace is that the apprentice and her knowledge of these technical elements become an important part of the final part of the book.

Never begin info dump dialogue with “As you know.”

Many years ago, this was a prime way to info dump in hard science fiction stories. These days, if someone knows something, they don’t need it explained to them in detail.

If both characters know the information, they can still discuss it.  Here’s how I did it in the opening scene of TIME AFTER TIME, a romance about reincarnation.  The hero and heroine’s guardian spirits are talking.

Celeste's expression softened as if she were trying to reason through a solution to their problem.  "Thinking of all their lives....  It's strange how some of the same patterns and events occur in each one."

Although she knew the answer already, Walter prompted, "They're the same people whatever life they're living.  They need reminders and lessons to reaffirm their strengths and fight their weaknesses."  

Celeste grabbed his wrist.  "That's it, Walter.  A way to give him a will to live.  Remember Gerard?"

In both cases, however, the info dump isn’t massive, just a few paragraphs or pages of explanation.  

I have also seen bits of factual info like diary entries and quotes from other books used, most often at the beginning of each chapter.  Some work, others do not, depending on the reader and the cleverness of the entry.  The biggest disadvantage to this type of info dump is that the reader must pull himself out of the story each time, and that can mean the loss or disinterest of the reader.  

However you info dump be very sure that this is the only way for the story to work, or you risk boring your reader.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Links of Interest

SELF-PUBLISHING 101, LINKS TO EXCELLENT ARTICLES ON WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:


VILLAINS, THE ARCHITECTS OF YOUR STORY:


THEME:


TRENDS IN PUBLISHING:


DISCOVERING YOUR STORY’S BIG MOMENTS:


WRITING BETTER DESCRIPTION:


PRICING YOUR SELF-PUB BOOK:


SUBPLOTS:


HIRING AN EDITOR:


FIGHTING, CLOSE QUARTERS BATTLES (REALLY EXCELLENT):


WRITING A BETA HERO:


GETTING INTO YOUR CHARACTER’S HEAD:


COPYRIGHT, OVERVIEW OF DIGITALIZING PAPER BOOKS FOR LOAN WITHOUT COPYRIGHT OWNER’S PERMISSION:


PROOFREADING TIPS:


MAKING YOUR CHARACTERS FRIENDS:


PLANNING YOUR CHARACTER’S ARC:


RESEARCH, LIBRARY OF STAGE MAGIC:


RESEARCH, ONLINE SEARCH ENGINE OF THE STAGE MAGIC LIBRARY:


WORDPRESS PLUG IN MANAGEMENT:


PROMO, USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO SELL BOOKS:


FORENSICS, A POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENT IN FINDING BLOOD STAINS:


PROMOTION, IDEAS FROM BOOKEXPO:




Monday, June 5, 2017

Info Dumping is Bad for Your Book's Environment

You have figured out the complex worldbuilding for your novel, and you begin to write your story.

Eagerly, you explain the details of your world and its creatures.  Ten pages in, your main characters still haven’t shown up, or they’ve not done anything to move the story along, but your world is detailed and exciting.

You show your work to your critique partner, and she promptly starts yawning.  

The problem?  Info dumping.

Most inexperienced writers dump a bunch of worldbuilding into the first few chapters, and they don't realize that they are writing it for themselves to get everything straight, not for the reader who doesn't need that much to get into the story.  Most of that worldbuilding should be deleted in the first edit.

To show you how little heavy-duty worldbuilding you need to get into a story, read the first chapter of STAR-CROSSED I’ve posted on my website. 


I’ve put the worldbuilding in bold print. 

The short prologue of sorts sets up the hero's situation, the longer next section sets up the heroine and her world and the deep poo the hero and his best friend have fallen into as well as the heroine's goal for the novel.  

I don't go heavily into the plague and how it changed Arden until evil Cadaran explains that deep poo to Kellen a bit later, but the heavy details aren't needed until then.  Even then, I manage to set up the history in a bit of dialogue, not long narrative.

Next week, I’ll talk about those times when you absolutely, positively must do some info dumping and how to do it without boring your audience.