Slowing the pace or resolving a major character conflict at the end of the chapter or scene gives your reader an opportunity to: 1) put down your fabulous writing2) turn off the light3) and dream about some other author’s characters Not quite a Kiss Goodbye – but too close for any aspiring author who has designs on a Best Seller list. Make your readers hang around and hang on, forcing them to read through what would be a natural place to break. How? Use strong hooks. As writers, we WANT to finish the thought, to build to the end – always pushing the conflict up the next notch. BUT – and it’s a huge BUT, […]
Virgin or Seasoned PRO – Details
Each week, I download multiple books to my e-reader. Some I will finish and be excited that I’ve discovered great writing, a new author. Some I will finish because I’ve discovered an innovative plot line.Some I will finish because there is witty dialogue, superlative character development, or the use of literary device that is a struggle for me. Many . . . many, I will not finish. I’ll return them through my Kindle Unlimited – or simply delete from all my devices and take a hit on the cost. Why? Because reading time is precious and obvious mistakes in the first few pages of a book, does not bode well. Sound pompous? Sorry for that, […]
Sly as a Fox
Common phrases can be trite and throw-away. Or they can layer on depth and provide alternative options to explore characterization. Today animal phrases are roaming (pardon the pun) through my brain. Why? On an early hours’ walk, a fox crossed my path. Not unique for loads of people who enjoy country living, but considering that I’m buried in a ‘metropolis’ of suburbia, pretty unusual for me. So the fox crosses my path and now I’m wondering (at a quick pace, I might add) what does it mean? Is it like the crossing of a black cat? (bad luck) Is it like crossing paths with a crow? (change on the way) Is it like a path-crossing […]
The Brilliance of Layering
I am a bit of a DIY nut. Not the most talented rehab expert, but darned persistent when I need to learn a task in order to complete a make-over. When necessity demanded, I’ve tackled walls and ceilings: tape & bedding, trim-out work, baseboards, texturing, priming then painting, tiling (yes, you can tile a bathroom wall), to floors that have been stripped, sanded, leveled, prepped, tiled, grouted and finally sealed. At our home, we’ve changed light fixtures, ceiling fans, plumbing fixtures, even a few main internal water lines. I’ve removed old, leaky doors, sealed framing, stuffed installation, and floated in a couple of walls. Then there were old dated external doors out and new insulated […]
Characterization . . . should be this real!
As writers, all our characters should be this alive: She’s addicting, isn’t she? We watched this video over and over in my office. Whether the viewers had kids or not, found her annoying or adorable, or even liked chatter or not; everyone was mesmerized. When characters hit the page, writers often flatten them out — cardboard imitations. Watch the video again. Note each movement. Notice how she attempts to engage those around her. Take in the reaction of her father, and the voice in the background that I assume is mom. This little girl’s chatter should be burned into your mind. This is true 3-D, and as authors, each writer has the job of bring […]
Sorry to have been out of touch. My family is experiencing a state of emergency, and I haven’t been by the blogs in awhile. Promise to do better. However, I went through one of my ‘many’ journals yesterday and found a great writing exercise. Snapshot! Now, it can be done with any of our senses, but the point is to take a moment — one that you’re experiencing — and list sights, sounds, smells, . . . well, you get the picture. Two years ago, my son was admitted for an emergency appendectomy. They sent us home, then he developed complication and we returned to the hospital for another 72-hour-stay. While all was quiet and […]
Still learning . . .
As mentioned before, I substitute teach. Exclusively at the elementary level — I’m no dummy. If I’m running the asylum, I want to make sure I’m the biggest inmate in the group. Size does matter when teaching. This week, I reverted to 3rd grade. Amazing how I always learn something new, something I’m positive I didn’t learn the first time. Science is one of those subjects, being a total left-brainer, that is more difficult for me. It’s all practical facts, while I live in the world of make-believe. However, after my day with 9-year-olds, I believe I’ve found the correlation. The science lesson for the day consisted of MATTER. Yep, MATTER. Okay, I’ll be the […]
Character analysis . . . how do you do that?
I finished watching The Count Of Monte Cristo with my collegiate and extraordinarily literary daughter. She mentioned how the book had been more than a bit boring, but the character development and analysis was awesome. From a writing perspective, authors have a certain . . . I hesitate to use the word, but we do have a formula that helps develop characters. Buzz words are goal, conflict, motivation, mentors, allies, enemies, accepting the quest and the list goes on. However, I wondered from a purely literary viewpoint (my daughter is an English Lit major) what did she look for? My first surprise was that it strongly depended on whether the book was a single title […]
I’m Sparkling today at SPARKLE THIS! Come over for a visit on An Unlikely Hero. Until next time,~Sandra
What’s in a character’s name? How does a writer select the perfect name? Is it the symbolism behind a name? Some personal preference? Just what comes to mind? I recently watched I, Robot. Great film, heavy symbolism, terrific imagery – well worth the invested time to watch. However, it was one character’s name that stopped traffic for me, one name that held center stage, the robot: Sonny The meanings behind such a simple name captured my attention. Was the robot so named because . . . 1) The doctor considered himself to be the figurative father of all these robots, but specifically this one that existed only because of his creative powers. He made Sonny […]