HOW TO STEAL A CHARACTER
We talked about plot stealing in the last post. Now, I’m going to increase my thievery. We can even steal characters. Wow, that’s hard to hear. For some reason there’s the writers’ hubris that we must birth everything from our literary wombs.
That’s insane. How many times in an interview has the question been asked: “So where did you get your inspiration?” I’ve heard all types of artists respond by saying, “I modeled this after that.”
HOW TO ADD TEXTURE TO YOUR STORY
Anyone can author a book. Not everyone can be a storyteller.
Have you ever listened to someone tell a story and think, “Man, that had all of the elements of a great story, but something just didn’t hit home”? Or have you ever listened to someone tell a story, but you found yourself filling in the details? These are two instances that the person telling the story was not, at that particular instance, being a good storyteller.
Were they telling a story? Sure. But were they being a storyteller? Not exactly.
Here’s an example:
1) There were two children, and one of them ended up getting kidnapped. It was pretty sad.
2) A boy of eight and his younger sister drifted away from their parents at the supermarket. No sooner had they left their mother’s side did a nondescript man of no less than forty invite the two of them to follow him to his car with promises of treats. The boy and his sister were never seen again.
Number 1 is just facts. Something you hear and shrug off. Number 2 gives those facts texture. It lets you put the children in a situation where the reader sees danger coming but can do nothing about it.
What happens with many authors is that they have a tendency to want to finish the story rather than tell the story. Having facts and events and emotions doesn’t make a story. Stories need movement and transition and momentum, kind of like pistons in an engine. Slowly they build and build until there’s a fluid motion.
It’s not enough that your hero came from rags, found a sword, and now must save the world. There needs to be texture to it.
Here’s another example.
1) The hero found a sword and he went to save the world.
2) Stout-hearted Hayden reached down and wrenched Excalibur from the stone. “If this is what I must do, then let it be done with honor.”
The two statements are saying the same thing, but one of them tells the progression of facts, as a reporter does with the news, and the other lets the motions of the character tell the story.
“Motions of the character tell the story.”
Let me reiterate that point. A good storyteller is able to tell a story…without telling a story. What the heck does that mean? It means that the characters are experiencing the story which allows the story to be told.
Look at the example above. One tells you that the hero found the sword. Two lets you see the hero find the sword and understand what he realizes he must do with the sword.
You’ve heard of the “show, don’t tell” adage. Well, this is what this is. Telling is reporting. Showing is storytelling. And if we want to be appreciated as authors, we in effect, cannot be authors. We must be storytellers! Story is King.
HOW TO ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES
I’m not a huge fan of Natalie Portman. Actually, I’m not much of a fan at all. I’ve tried to like her, but I’ve never been able to get past the lowercase acting. I know I’m going against the grain here, but guess what: This is my opinion, and I have a right to it.
What does this have to do with writing?
Everything! Continue reading →
I’ve just released my first Urban Fantasy novel entitled, SEIZE THE SOUL. It’s the first book in a series called Confessions of a Summoner. Take a look, and if you’re interested, grab a copy and let me know what you think!
HOW TO INCORPORATE RHYTHM
A lot of novels tend to veer away from the poetry of prose.
The “poetry of prose”, in the way that I’m using it, does not refer to the flowery language that demands the reader to observe just how flighty it is, therefore keeping the meaning hidden.
That’s not good novel-writing, generally speaking. Often times authors who use poetic prose end up cloaking the true meaning from the reader, in which case, the novel is better left unread.
The “poetry of prose” is essentially the rhythm of your words, how they swim and move and flow as you write. Continue reading →
DECIDING ON THE RIGHT BOOK COVER ART
Getting the right cover designer can be a headache! And a pocket ache, might I add.
I’ve spent my share of dough on covers, and quite frankly, I’d much like not to do it anymore, if I don’t have to. If you’ve ever had to get a cover done, you know how much of a pain it can be.
Here’s what I’ve found regarding cover designers: Continue reading →
Thanks to everyone who grabbed a copy of The Girl with the Scar. Since the free campaign was such a success (#234 in free category with #3 in epic fantasy category), I’ve decided to extend it for ONE MORE DAY. Free digital copies will be available for download until midnight 4/13. Get it while you can!!
—— As a tribute to The Black Lands‘s scheduled release date of 5/23, take a free digital copy of The Girl with the Scar today!
As a tribute to The Black Lands‘s scheduled release date of 5/23, take a free digital copy of The Girl with the Scar today!
(Offer ends 4/12)
HOW TO MAKE BELIEVABLE CHARACTERS
Making a believable character whom we can all route for is tough. Yet, I was able to find a great example of how to draw the reader in with this video clip of Katy Perry’s “Roar”. Remember, you promised not to judge. Continue reading →