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Showing posts from January, 2017

The First Time Writer by Mary Deal

Some people seem unable to get a first story started no matter how many exciting plots they have rattling around in the attic. The advice given in some articles is meant to motivate would-be authors to begin. That same advice is sought by those already established in their careers and wishing to improve their talents. You will... ·have a story when you begin and then finish writing it. ·develop your voice after you begin to write. ·thoroughly understand character development when you realize how much fun it is to create story people. ·learn all aspects of building a story. It happens naturally as you recognize your need to know more about composition. ·learn to edit your work to perfection and will realize that the editing process begins from the moment you start to formulate sentences, paragraphs and then chapters. ·discover ways to polish your prose and make it uniquely yours. ·learn how to promote yourself even if thinking yourself a wallflower.
However, none of this can happen unless you r…

Character Arc by Mary Deal

Writing a great character arc happens when using descriptive writing. Your writing objectives should include interesting story people who are never stagnant but change as the story progresses. These changes are known as character arcs. Knowing the story you wish to write, some pre-planning is advisable. You’ve written character sketches. You’ve plotted the story line. You should now be able to detect how your characters evolve as the plot proceeds. You will begin to understand the evolution that story people experience as you begin to flesh out the details. A character arc is the overall view of how a character changed from the beginning of the tale till the ending. When you read other books, try to perceive, even pin point, the evolution the main character goes through and how they had changed by the time the story ends. This applies to all characters, but at least your main character requires a character arc. Approach the overall view of the arc with the intention to put your story peo…

Character Sketches by Mary Deal

How to bring your characters to life.
Assuming you’ve chosen your POV, you will already be thinking about your characters. True, too, you may have been thinking about your characters before choosing your POV. The two go hand in hand, or word-for-word. In order to flesh out your characters and give them ample zing, it’s a good idea to make lists of attributes for each player in the plot. However thorough, you must then write your scenes to fit each character. That is, each scene that you write when a character appears in the story should reveal what you planned for him or her when you made your list, and how you planned for them to act. Of course, as the story develops, any character may take on a different persona than you first imagined. That’s not a problem. Amending the original sketch will suffice, keeping in mind how the new character image affects all the other characters and the plot overall. I've always been interested in how characters are set up in stories. It's no longe…

The End of Sagging Middles by Mary Deal

Many books I’ve read start off with great beginnings and even end with surprises. However, their middles left me wondering why I should keep reading. Truth is, the beginning had set up a situation I wanted to see to completion, so I read to the end, but getting through the middle was nearly an arduous task. You’ve heard the term sagging middles, right? Many books begin and end in a spectacular manner but the middles offer little. In order to keep your story from developing a sagging middle, you must keep the action going. In a crime investigation, have some clues show up, only to be disproved. Or have the perpetrator almost caught but gets away. In science fiction, when the hero flies to a distant planet to rescue his love, have him meet with landing bays locked down tight with no other access to the dying star which will eventually explode. He further meets resistance from ships guarding the planet who want to see it explode into oblivion, taking all inhabitants with it. In a romance, ha…

Frozen January by Patricia Crandall

Bagpiping through the forest winds tear at leaves clinging to branches whorling to crystalized ground

Thoughts on Books signings: Yes? No? Hmmm?

There is considerable discussion out there about whether in-store book signings are of any value to the author - or to the book store itself for that matter.
As far as the retailer is concerned (particularly with e-books and online availability and everybody and his brother writing stuff, good or bad), as long as purchasing sufficient quantities is not a bookkeeping nightmare, they have everything to gain and nothing to lose.  Other than the expense of purchasing your books with guaranteed returnability (a biggie!) and perhaps providing a quickly whipped up blurb on their website, and maybe a little on-table poster, there is virtually no expense to them. Some places will offer you a cup of coffee.  No big deal.
As far as the author is concerned, this can be a little hairy.  If you are a mega celebrity like Stephen King or Madonna, there is no problem. Your publisher takes cares of all expenses and the books stores stand in line clamoring to play host, ditto the customers. If you are …