Tag Archives: novel

SLIPPERY WHEN WET

HOW TO CREATE A SLIPPERY VILLAIN

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What type of villain are you creating? There are several types, and we are going to take a few days to explore these feats of villainy.

This post will be about the slippery villain. This villain is like a fish that you just can’t keep your hands on. He’s a villain by circumstance, and it only makes you hate him more. Continue reading

MY 100TH BLOG POST!

HOW TO INCLUDE WEATHER IN YOUR WRITING

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So this is my 100th blog post, and I’m pretty excited about it. There are not too many ways to celebrate through cyberspace, so I figured I’d just link back to my first blog: PLOT H LES.

That said, let’s get to it. One aspect of setting that’s often neglected is the weather. Though it is sufficient to write a one-word expression to describe the heat and then leave it alone, I prefer subtle reminders of how the weather is affecting the characters.

As writers, it’s important to remember that we are recreating or creating events. These events are impacted by the weather conditions that the character must endure or enjoy. Continue reading

FROZEN

HOW TO GET RID OF WRITER’S FREEZE

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We have all heard of writer’s block, but what is writer’s freeze? Let me begin by expressing the difference between the two. WB is the inability (assumed or not) to write due to a lack of ideas.

Writer’s freeze is different. It’s a term that I stumbled upon in my own writing as I’ve been hacking and slashing my way through this trilogy. WF is the condition where there are plenty of ideas. But here I am, writing this third book, and I am nervous about which ideas to choose. Continue reading

WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS

HOW TO CHOOSE WHICH RISKS TO TAKE

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Taking risks is unto a purpose. Think of a single raindrop, splashing into the quietly calm surface of a lake. The event is isolated, and you may be inclined to imagine the ripples, but then you await for the water to be calm again.

Now think of a downpour splashing onto a lake. There are very few ripples, but the effect is just as magnificent as the sole rain drop. But in this case, you may not be waiting for the water to be stilled.

Let’s use these two examples to understand risk taking. Maybe your character does something out of the ordinary but it’s momentary.

Continue reading

WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE

HOW TO KEEP YOUR CHARACTERS BELIEVABLE

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Risk taking is what defines good writing. It’s the unexpected that makes the reader’s bottom lip tremble in anticipant trepidation, waiting for your story to unfold. These risks are tough, because we want to maintain a story that’s consistent, and taking those risks teeters on the edge of being unbelievable.

Continuing from yesterday, let’s define something a little more clearly. Even though we are jumping off a bridge, make sure that there is water underneath. We aren’t plummeting to our literary deaths; we simply want to make the thrill ride is exhilarating. Continue reading

TRICKSTER

HOW TO LEGITIMATELY TRICK YOUR READER

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Tricking the reader is a bad game to play. For instance, having a character pretend not to know that someone is the killer, only to find out that she knew who did it the entire time is wrong. That’s not the kind of trickery that I’m referring to.

What I’m describing is keeping something hidden from the reader, while maintaining your legitimate narrative perspective. Here’s an example. Continue reading

FANTASTIC FIVE

HOW TO OBEY THE 5 RULES OF HIGH FANTASY

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There are essential elements that make high fantasy novels come alive, but the characters are the banners. Without having characters that people care about, stories will flop. That said, if the characters are admirable, then the story can sag, and people may still continue to read on.

Fantasy novels must have certain elements if they are to fit into the mold of the mainstream fantasy.

Continue reading

ASK YOURSELF

HOW TO ASK YOURSELF THE RIGHT QUESTIONS FOR YOUR SCENE

Sarai

The beeping wouldn’t stop. Every few seconds the IV reminded us that we were in a hospital. I sat on the chair with my head hanging between my legs, staring at the tiled floor, silently demanding the nurses to come. Next to me, in the bed, lay my wife. She wasn’t saying much, and neither was I. We’d been through this before. But what about this time was going to so be different from the last?

I have a confession to make. I have not written a blog in two weeks. I’ve just had a few of them in the queue, and I’ve responded to messages. But, my wife and I welcomed the arrival of our second daughter on June 26th. Her name is Sarai Rachel. Continue reading

EXPLOSIVE BEGINNING

HOW TO KEEP YOUR CHARACTERS UNDER FIRE

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I’m bubbling up with insight from another James Frey book, How to Write a Damn Good Novel II. It’s amazing the tips that he has, and if you want some deeper understanding about novel-writing, I’d suggest buying both of his books. They’re easy reads, and they’re as suspenseful as a novel, in my opinion.

He uses the term, “Light the Fuse.” The idea is that your characters have to start your novel in a dramatic situation, a tough circumstance. It’s the bomb that’s about to blow if your characters don’t escape. Continue reading

EVIL FEELINGS

HOW TO GIVE EMOTIONS TO THE DEAD

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Empathy deserves justice. Recently we touched on the idea of building empathy for a character. This will, by far, be your most powerful tool for writing. You have to make sure that the reader can connect with the situations that you put your characters through, and the reader must somehow be coerced to pull for your characters within those situations.

Think about it. With empathy, we can make you pull for any character, no matter how sinister he is. The Professional is about guy who wants to protect a little girl, and he just happens to be demolition expert. Well, the writers actually get you to pull for him even though he’s a child molester. Continue reading