Back to Showing again.

I’ve started reading a book called The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.

One thing that has jumped out at me is the way Elizabeth puts a spotlight on things she finds important. Meaning instead of saying

Beatrix hoped her daughter would grow into someone important, Elizabeth wrote:

 

She prayed that her daughter would grow up to be healthy and sensible and intelligent, and would never form associations with overly powerdered girls, or laugh at vulgar stories, or sit at gaming tables with careless men, or read French novels, or behave in a manner suited only to a savage Indian, or in any way whatsoever become the worse sort of discredit to a good family, namely, that she not grow up to be enn onnozelaar, a simpleton.

 

Notice how much information is packed into that small paragraph. We see the Mother’s personality drilled straight to the reader. Mother is

  • Probably a rich woman who came from a ‘good family.’ A lot of pride there.
  • She wants her daughter to have a great and respected upbringing. In other words, she would be a Lady and not a ‘simpleton’.
  • Could the mother be doing this for her or for her daughter? It seems this is more for mom that for the baby. Why not just say, I want her to explore herself and find out who she is in life. To find job that she will love and love life. Instead the mom focused on her daughter being the Star of the family.

That’s the joy of Showing. It allows you, the writer, to dig deep into a character and to find out more of who they are as opposed to a person on a page.

So how do you do this? You start by not worrying about how it will sound to others. You drop your defenses and jump in. You just let it flow out of you. Notice how Elizabeth’s words have almost a rhythem to them like a bubbling creek has a rhythem to it. That’s the place you want to be. The words seem to flow together to become something bigger than words on a page. It has life. The more you worry that the reader won’t get it, the worse a writer you will become, so stop worrying!!! Don’t compare to someone else and PLEASE!! Don’t allow other writers to tell you that your style is WRONG. It’s not ‘wrong’, it’s not their style or how they would direct the story. You’re the captain of your own ship.  Yes, you do need advice on things you are doing wrong, but some writers would take Elizabeth’s beautiful paragraph and tell her to make it simplier. “Just write that the mother wanted something bigger for her daughter.” Boring!!! Not to mention, it’s not Elizabeth, it’s someone else. Boring!! So be you!!!

This is the hardest thing to writing. It’s like learning to ride a bike. It looks terrifying but once you get the hang of it, you will speed onto new adventures. So take a deep breath and just write what comes to your mind. Don’t worry about what others will think, just write until you feel like you’ve connected with your character and start to see them as they really are, not as you want them to be.

It’s hard to explain how to write in your own voice. You write without worrying about what others think or feel. You write what you want to read and explore, not what you think others want you to do. You write what becomes natural to you.

How’s the weather?

So one of my amazingly talented writers asked me a very important question:

So what’s the weather like in your novel?

The weather? Um ….. 70’s degrees and very sunny?

Sigh … I forgot about the weather!! So why is weather so important in the novel? Well, warm and sunny can get a bit, well, boring!!

Using the weather can create drama. Remember the movie Twister? Remember who the bad guy was? Yeap, a Twister. Twister had to have his own dressing trailer and would only eat the red M&Ms.  Very cranky too. But remember the suspense when the sky became dark and Twister was released on the viewers? Wouldn’t work if the weather was 70 and sunny.

Continue reading “How’s the weather?”

I’m back!!

Yeah, I know, I’ve been gone for a while. I’ve been working on the second book of my series, The Last Maul.  My first novel, Hidden Secrets, should hopefully be out next Spring, which is a great time! I don’t like winter. i hate the thought of driving in all that snow.

The things I’ve learned about writing a novel is you have to know how to write and know your grammar! My poor publisher now has writer’s cramp from fixing my boo-boos. So make sure  you know your P and Qs.

Continue reading “I’m back!!”

Twitter

As I said before I signed up for Twitter, then got away from it, and have come back again.  It seems PARNORMAL ACTIVITY used mostly Facebook and Twitter to promote their movie. http://kara.allthingsd.com/20091005/will-facebook-and-twitter-keep-paranormal-activity-from-turning-into-snakes-on-a-plane/ and it was a wonderful success.  They used Twitter and Facebook to push the movie and the “It scare me half to death” emails helped.  So maybe I too can use Twitter and FAcebook to promote the MEDALLION SERIES.   I found folks that love LORD OF THE RINGS and since my novel is similar to it, I followed those folks, then they follow me.  Sure it’s small, but I figure if these folks like LOTR, then maybe they would be interested in the MEDALLION SERIES. Maybe.  Maybe not.  But it’s a small start.  Don’t despise small beginnings.

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Answering the question, why won’t they publish my book????

I found these articles today about selling the novels and thought I’d share them.

First of all, let’s revisit the facts. Last year, more than 560,000 new books were published in the U.S. alone. About half of these were self-published or “print on demand” titles. In addition, industry experts estimate that there are another four million manuscripts completed that have not yet found a publishing home. That’s a lot of competition.http://michaelhyatt.com/2010/01/so-you-can%e2%80%99t-seem-to-land-an-agent%e2%80%94now-what.html

If you want to publish professionally, you may need to step it up a notch and treat it more professionally. That may mean investing more money and time. You’re not going to get free writing advice. You can attend writers conferences and workshops. You can read books about the craft of writing (not just about how to get published). You can look into the possibility of working with an editor to determine the issues in your writing. (Many freelancers offer a “manuscript evaluation” that’s pretty affordable.)http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/2010/01/wake-up-and-smell-coffee.html

 I have to agree with both articles, if you’re not getting any bites regarding the guery, then go back to the drawing board.  Try to see the query from the agent’s pov. Are you being concise, to the point, showing not telling? Each time I get a rejection, I revamp the query and send it out again.  Hang in there and don’t give up.  Revamp, revamp, revamp and keep sending it out, perfect the craft of writing.  Kitty says Hi!! And feed me!!

More on queries

Ok, so my query bombed.  Maahh-Mahaaaa!!  Thankfully, a writer on Mike’s Writing Workshop Yahoo group tore my query apart and showed me the query was very vague, so no wonder the agent rejected it.  Then when I tried to tell the others the plot, I kept running from one plot branch into another.  The story clearly is character-driven, which means the character keeps changing the plot as she/he makes decisions to reach her goal based on circumstances.  So the plot changes and rolls like a river.  It’s not a staight line, go to point A to B.  No, instead it’s go to point A, B, C, D, E, . . . .Z, AA, BB, ect.  You get the idea.  To try to tell the plot is like trying to put toothpaste back into the tube.  ARG!!!!

Continue reading “More on queries”

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