Tag Archives: tips

THE RHYTHM IS GONNA’ GET YOU

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

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DON’T JUDGE ME…JUDGE YOUR CHARACTER

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

DON’T SAY WHAT YOU MEAN TO SAY

USING DIALOGUE TO CRANK UP TENSION

“Straight-forward dialogue can be a bit…eh…how should I say…. Well, I’d rather keep my opinion to myself.”

Here’s an example of a character backing off from a comment where the meaning is implied. These kinds of lines gave a novel a lot of body and create tension when tension is hard to find, especially if you have a man and a woman drinking wine at a romantic dinner date in the woman’s apartment. Continue reading

IT’S ALL PART OF THE PLAANNN

HOW TO WRITE WITH A PLAN

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When creating a writing process that works for you, you have two choices (generally speaking): you can plan your work from start to finish, or you can write from the hip. I believe that both processes are valid, and I’ll tell you about my experience with each.

PLANNING

I chose to plan the entire second book of the The Pioneers.

And here’s what I did. Continue reading

DEVELOP YOUR PROCESS

HOW TO DEVELOP A WRITING PROCESS

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One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how I come up with my ideas. I hadn’t thought about it much because usually they just come and then my pen responds in kind. But that doesn’t help the novice writer out too much.

In fact, I often find myself wondering the same thing about the greats: Robin Cook, Stephen King, and the JD Rob types (whom I haven’t read much of but I do respect). I mention these few because they come out with different types of books — not just selling one mega story such as Game of Thrones or Harry Potter. It’s much simpler to continue a story that has begun, but more difficult to create fresh characters and a fresh new plotline that people still want to read. Continue reading

CURTAIN UP!

HOW TO CREATE STAGE PRESENCE

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Stage presence is a very difficult thing to achieve, especially in writing. First, the question comes up: what is stage presence? Think of it this way: if you’ve seen the Dark Knight with Heath Ledger, then you know stage presence. Every time he’s on the screen, there’s a heavy feeling that comes – the whole what-the-heck-is-he-about-to-do kinda’ thing.

Another example would be Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. Whenever she’s on the set, your attention falls directly on her. Tyrion Lanister from A Song of Ice and Fire has a strong stage presence, as do all of the Laninsters, in my opinion – probably his father more so. Anyway, you get the point. Stage presence is the ability to take the spotlight. Continue reading

YOU PROMISED!

DECIDING TO WRITE FULL-FANTASY OR HALF-FANTASY IN YOUR NOVEL

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Maybe one day we’ll get to the skill of the George R.R. Martin (the Tolkien of our day – in my opinion). Some will argue – as some typically do – but I truly think that GRRM has redesigned fantasy…although in some cases to a fault.

I know that sounds oxymoronic. But I’ll explain, though I must start by admitting that I did not get on the George Martin train until last year. **William covers his face as the stones start flying** I know, I know. How dare I claim to write fantasy without having first read the fantasy standard. My only rebuttal to that is: “I wasn’t ready…” Continue reading

TRILOGY TROUBLES

DECIDING TO WRITE A SERIES OR A SINGLE BOOK

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Writing a series is a definite way to make some cash, ultimately because people who may have only slightly enjoyed your book 1 will perhaps continue through the latter books just to see how the story ends. An even greater reward is when someone praises all three books, detailing how they enjoyed each book in the series. So there’s some definite satisfaction when your readers talk like that.

I’ve noticed trends in my sales with The Pioneers where someone will purchase book 1, and within a few days, I’ll see sales for book 2 & 3. What does this imply? Well, it makes me think that someone has bought the first book to test it out, and then that same person decides that 2 & 3 must be equally as good. So by writing a trilogy, I have in effect been able to sell 3 books at once. Continue reading

I HATE HIM!

HOW TO CREATE A LIKABLE CHARACTER

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When it comes to understanding the main character, a lot of times it’s difficult to near impossible to figure out what characteristics are actually “likable” and what characteristics are despised by readers.

Honestly, this doesn’t vary much from genre to genre, and quite frankly, it doesn’t vary from male characters to female characters.

Will there be some subtleties in how likability is executed from a female character to a male character? Of course, there are some keys that will ensure that your readers won’t roll their eyes at the characters you’ve developed.

1. Confidence Continue reading

NOT ALL VILLAINS ARE CREATED EVIL

JUST SOME OF’EM

We are still on the issue of character, and even when we leave this issue, we will return…to this…what’s the word I’m looking for here…issue? One of the most important characters in your novel is and will be your villain.

Continue reading