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Posts Tagged ‘writing tip’

Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

Crafting a Snappy Synopsis

By Lorraine Ambers

Hello fellow creatives,

I don’t know about you, but the thought of writing a synopsis is daunting. After months of plotting, writing and revising our novel, we’re finally faced with crafting the Perfect Pitch and whittling the bare-bones of our story down to a one page overview – the synopsis! . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Lorraine Ambers’ blog

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

Why Writers Procrastinate

By Lorraine Ambers

Hello, fellow creatives!

Ah, procrastination! Ever find yourself filing a tax return when you’re supposed to be fleshing out a character? Or maybe, clearing out the airing cupboard instead of starting the first round of edits? Yes, we’ve all been there. Suddenly, gardening is far more appealing than plodding along with a draft once you hit the middle of a project. Procrastination can be a . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Lorraine Ambers’ blog

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Friday Features

We talk about

Miss directions

My husband and writing partner discussed the building of a cabinet pantry. We spent the better part of an afternoon talking about the size and construction of the pantry to make sure it was exactly like I wanted it. Afterwards, he went to Home Depot to get the lumber.

While holding the front door open so he could carry the lumber in I noticed the first piece was shorter than I thought it should be. When I commented he answered as he went back out the door saying, “Didn’t you want it counter height?”

No, I thought as I closed the door behind him. I didn’t. Didn’t he remember what we’d discussed? I peeked through the side window curtain anxiously wondering what he’d bring in next.

The next piece was short too, and I became concerned. He laid the second piece on the floor next to the first and my angst jumped. They were definitely the wrong size. Did he have all the pieces cut wrong? I awaited the next piece, hoping it wasn’t going to be short too.

The third piece came in and I gave a sigh of relief. It looked like the right length. Then fourth and final piece came in and I could envision the size of the cabinet we had discussed.

“You scared me,” I said. “I thought you’d cut it wrong.”

He laughed and replied, “The other two pieces are the top and the bottom.”

My husband had purposely led me on, leaving me with a new question each time he brought in a piece of lumber.

As writers it is our job to lead our readers on, posing new story questions that will make them want to turn the pages. Each scene and each chapter should leave your reader with new questions about the plot you are constructing, the reasons your characters are acting and reacting, and how they are going to resolve their conflicts.

For example, in The Wizard of Oz, the over arching story question is will Dorothy ever get home? But along her journey in Oz a number of other questions pop up like:

  • What is going happen to her because her house fell on the Wicked Witch of the East and killed her?
  • Are the characters she meets along the way going to be friends or foes?
  • How do Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man figure in the story?
  • Will the Cowardly Lion sleep forever in the poppy field because his companions couldn’t carry him out in time?
  • Who is the Wizard …really?
  • How will the Wizard grant their wishes? Or can he even do that?
  • Will the Wicked Witch of the West get Dorothy before Dorothy and her companions get the witch, and thus secure Dorothy’s way home, a heart for Tin Man, a brain for Scarecrow, and courage for The Cowardly Lion?
  • When the Wizard’s hot air balloon leaves without Dorothy is she going to be stuck in Oz forever?

Each one of these questions moves the story forward, posing new problems that the characters must solve in order to reach their final goals—going home, getting a heart, a brain, and courage. A story with only one question is a simple story that will not hold readers’ interest for 300 or more pages. Baum answers his story questions fairly quickly after he has posed them, but it’s not necessary, nor desirable to do so, in today’s stories. We want our readers to keep turning those pages to find those answers.

But beware one thing—the questions you pose must be answered before the book ends. There is nothing more frustrating to a reader than to finish a book and discover you, the writer, have left out an important answer to a burning question you posed.

I forgave my husband his little joke, but only because he got the pieces right and made me a beautiful cabinet. Make sure you do the same thing for your readers.

Hope you enjoyed a little look into our lives as writers and learned something as well.

Links for our books are on our book page or under the menu at the top of the post.

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

The Benefits of Imagining Who Would Play Your Characters if Your Book Was Turned into a Film @BeautySwot #Writers

By Lucy Mitchell

The idea for this blog post came to me whilst cleaning my bathroom. I’d just finished Bettina Hunt’s fabulous romantic comedy; ‘A Tempting Trio‘ and all I could think about (with my head bent over the bath and scrubbing like mad) was who I’d want to see cast in the leading male roles if Bettina’s book was turned into a film.

This is what a good book can do to you. It will infiltrate your thoughts days after you’ve finished it and will make you think about . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Lucy Mitchell’s blog

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

People Come Into Your Life For A Reason, A Season or A Lifetime. Why I Believe the Same About Characters #Writers

By Lucy Mitchell

I read a good blog post which talked about the following:

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Lucy Mitchell’s blog

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Friday Features’

Guest talks about

fantasy settings

by

Jaycee Jarvis

One of my favorite things about writing fantastical settings is the excuse to research anything that strikes me as a cool world building detail. I’m a bit of a world building magpie, in that I’ll collect cool factoids or interesting discoveries to incorporate in my writing. I’m a natural history hobbyist, and always amazed by the rich natural world around us. Of course, I also sometimes need to seek sensory details to bring a fictional world to life.

For example, there is a bridge in Secret Courtship connecting two settlements on opposite sides of a river. While the bridge only appears in a few scenes, I wanted to understand what such a structure would look and feel like, particularly in my low tech setting. It was quite fun to go down the research rabbit hole, looking up various ancient techniques for crossing rivers. I was lucky enough to be in Washington DC last summer and visit an exhibit about the Inka empire in the National Museum of the American Indian. The Inkas built ingenious woven grass suspension bridges over vast chasms in the Andes. The museum had a life-sized partial bridge on display with a full explanation of the process of making it, along with stunning photos of the completed bridges from different time periods. I was enchanted, and knew I’d found the perfect inspiration for the bridge in Trimble. I modified the manuscript to add a few rich details, and was thrilled with the result.

Getting the setting just right is very satisfying to me as an author, and I hope my readers enjoy it too. To be totally immersed in the land of Destin, check out my recent release, Secret Courtship.

Blurb:
Devoted to the Goddess of the Future, an elegant beauty is blessed–or cursed–with near-perfect foresight.

Han-Mystic Ophelia d’Marana lives a rich life as the strongest seer in the bustling tropical town of Trimble, but still she feels alone. She aches for a family with every beat of her heart. She would take comfort from a prophesy predicting the birth of her child, except the foreseen father is Han-Builder Ulric.

The rude, crude earthworker has no place in her pious life, and has never seen her as a woman worthy of a tumble, until a passionate night proves him susceptible to her beauty. Emboldened, Ophelia hopes to share her destiny with him. But Ulric can’t risk his heart, not again. Instead, they enter into a loveless arrangement to beget a child, each keeping painful secrets close.

When Ophelia’s most ominous prophesy comes to pass, the uneasy lovers overcome their differences to work together against a mysterious plague threatening the city. As their passion burns hot, Ophelia finds she has more in common with Ulric than she ever dreamed. She’s in danger of losing her heart to a man in love with a ghost . . .

If she doesn’t become a ghost herself first.

 

Excerpt

Ulric slowed as they approached their home. Only a lonely meal warmed by the house charmaid waited for him inside.

Fighting the melancholy dragging at his feet, he scratched the top of Racon’s head. In return Racon bumped his skull against Ulric’s hip, a happy sound in his throat. A spark of warmth lightened Ulric’s heart. At least with his waccat at his side, he was never truly alone.

A shadow moved behind the stained-glass window on the ground floor. Ulric frowned. He expected Gracie, the charmaid, to be resting in the heat of the day. Curious, he took the three steps into the house in one stride, Racon trailing behind him.

“Ophelia.” A tightness in his chest relaxed. He wouldn’t be alone after all.

Han-Mystic Ophelia had trained to become a Hand the same season as Ulric. She and Ulric’s roommates, along with Han-Bursar Quintin, had formed a tight-knit group of year-mates. Ulric often felt on the outskirts of their comradery, tolerated more than understood, yet he welcomed even their backhanded affection.

Ophelia looked up at the sound of her name. Radiant as always, her blue sari covered her hair and drifted over her shoulder. The embroidered fabric glimmered in the light from the window. With her grace and elegance, she brought to mind the Goddess she served.

“You’re home,” she said, relief clear in her voice. Her gold and white waccat Felice rose and padded over to sniff his fingers. “How is Racon?”

“Racon?” As pleased as he was to see his year-mate, he suddenly realized the oddity of her presence. On Maranasday, Ophelia had a duty to cast fore-tellings at the temple scrying pool from dawn to dusk. How had she managed to escape? “Why are you here?”

“The Goddess sent me.” She stood and gestured at his waccat. “For Racon.”

Apprehension shivered down Ulric’s spine. There was no reason for Marana, the Goddess of Water, to take an interest in his waccat.

“Racon’s fine,” he said, refusing to believe otherwise. “You want to eat?”

A frown marred her perfect features. “I’m not here to dine with you.”

He grunted and headed to the courtyard at the back of the house. He was hungry even if she wasn’t.

Ophelia sighed, somehow managing to make the tiny sound more exasperated and condescending than any scold.

Bio:


Jaycee Jarvis has been an avid romance reader since devouring all the Sweet Dreams books her middle school library had to offer. Also a fantasy fan from an early age, she often wished those wondrous stories had just a bit more kissing. Now she writes stories with a romantic heart set against a magical backdrop, creating the kind of book she most likes to read.

When not lost in worlds of her own creation, she resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children and a menagerie of pets.

Jaycee is a Golden Heart® finalist and author of the Hands of Destin series. The first book in that series, Taxing Courtship, released in June 2018.

Where to find Jaycee:
Amazon
Website
Twitter
Facebook
Bookbub

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

Plot Twist Thrill Seeker

By Lucy Mitchell

Important question: are you a plot twist thrill seeker?

Check out the signs below to see whether you are one:

    1.You crave . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

Lucy Mitchell’s blog

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Tell Again Tuesday

A blog series where we shamelessly share posts from others that we have enjoyed.

 


 

How To Survive Taking More Than Half An Hour To Explain Your Story Premise

By Lucy Mitchell

If you’ve never experienced this situation as a writer – you haven’t lived!
You have been hammering out your story for ages. In your head this story is AMAZING! You only have to think about the opening scene and your heart starts to gallop. It’s so different and unique. There is a lot going on too with a cast of thousands and an array of plot threads, but that doesn’t both you. This is an epic tale which, if turned into a film would be at least….six hours long.
When you are not writing you . . .

For the rest of the blog go to:

https://blondewritemore.com/2017/07/02/how-to-survive-not-being-able-to-explain-your-story/

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We’re over at the SMP author blog today with a repost of an earlier blog from this site entitled Skeletons, Secrets, and Scary things—What is Your Character Afraid of. To read the post, follow the link.

For those who don’t want to read the repost, here’s today’s related writing tip.

Make your characters grow by making them face their fears. Nothing shows character better than how a person reacts when he come up against the thing he fears most. Heroes are not people who have no fear, but those who continue to function in spite of their fears. If your character has nothing to lose your readers won’t care about him.

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Last week we talked about repetitive word usage and challenged readers to write an essay without repeating any words. We took our own challenge. On our guest blog at SMP authors, you will find a 263 word piece entitled Words–How Many Can You Write Before Repeating Any. Since Catherine knocked out last week’s little paragraph with ease, she thought, “How hard can it be?” and started on the guest blog that same day. Hours later, and at least four runs through the software program Donald purchased, she finished.

Here’s a sample of the SMP Blog.

Distinctive choices matter when penning books. Readers won’t always see repetition nor understand why they like something better, yet will notice differences between tomes which provide fresh communication over and above those that do not. Terminology overuse creates dull writing, lacking snap, sizzle, sparkle–things booklovers desire.

To see the rest of the blog, hop on over to the SMP Author blog site.

Today’s writing tip: Make a list of the words you know you use over and over and keep it nearby when writing. A quick glance before you start writing will help you remember your pitfall words. Over time, you may be able to eliminate a great deal of your repetitive words on your first draft.

Do you know what your most overused words are? We’d love to know.

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