Think about your favorite novels. There might be a ripping good story and great writing, but I bet it also stars characters that leap off the page. Even if the characters inhabit a fantasy world and have two heads and green fur, they feel as real as the person sitting next to you. That being feels…real to you. You care what happens to she/he/it. Ever wonder how writers do that? I can’t speak for all writers, but here are a few secrets some of us use to take our real life experiences into fiction. Continue reading
Mark Twain once said that the difference between the right word and the wrong one is the difference between lighting and a lightning bug. I choose my words with care and like to think I get them all in the right order, but it’s done for a reason. With intent. I hate the idea of some app that will strip my intent because of a few words some readers might find “objectionable.” I don’t think I”m all that salty, but still. There’s a reason I’m all over the interwebs crowing about Banned Books Week every year. Because words mean things. And a watered-down version does not have the same meaning. Thank you, DV Berkom, for posting this.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (or editing your manuscript, or are on safari in the depths of the DRC) you’ve probably read about the uproar surrounding the Clean Reader Ap. I’ve read several posts about it and thought I’d share the two I enjoyed most: Charlie Strossand Chuck Wendig.
Gotta say, Ernest Hemingway’s turning in his grave right now. I remember picking up a used copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls years ago and being puzzled by his word choices (unmentionable was used several times in place of his original text. I freely and somewhat sheepishly admit it took me a couple of pages before I realized I had a censored copy as I’d never run across one before.) The replacement words absolutely destroyed Hemingway’s intent, not to mention totally messed with my reading experience. Talk about jarring the reader…
Thankfully, Mark Coker over…
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Plotting versus pantsing… AC Flory lays this out so well, unbearable GPS and all.
Most writers who identify as pantsters do so because they can’t or won’t use outlines for their work. They like the thrill of the unknown, of putting finger to keyboard and jumping into a story without any idea of where it’s going. I know this because I am one. In fact I can’t outline to save my life.
But plotting and outlining are not quite the same thing. A plot is like a road map; it defines the destination of the story, and offers possible pathways for getting there. But if you don’t want to take the highway, or even those twisty country lanes, a plot will allow you to set off cross-country with just the position of the sun as your compass.
Outlines, on the other hand, are more like a GPS device. They tell you when and where to turn. They can even tell you how long it will be…
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Those of us in the community of independent writers and readers might know there are few book review sites that focus exclusively on indie authors. Big Al’s Books & Pals is one of those sites. They also keep the bar high. Name recognition might get you moved up the list, as blog founder Big Al himself said in an interview with Martin Crosbie, but you know that review is going to be fair: no passes here. That’s why I’m so excited Playing Charlie Cool was nominated for one of their 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards in the category of contemporary fiction. Out of the thousands of books that Books and Pals received last year, just over three hundred were reviewed. And an even smaller selection made it into the thirteen categories for the award. I love writing Charlie, and even though we’re on a little hiatus right now, I’d definitely pour him a scotch and put some Sinatra on the playlist if he decided he had more stories to tell me. I’d like to ask for your vote, if you think Charlie and I are worthy, in the contemporary fiction category. It’s easy and you don’t have to vote for every single category, although the more votes you submit, the greater your chances to win some goodies, including a selection of the nominated books and a sweet, sweet $75 Amazon gift card. Just click here to go to the Rafflecopter page where you can vote. Scroll down to see the instructions and categories, and click on the category name to see the nominated books. (Note: Older versions of Internet Explorer don’t like Rafflecopter much, so if you use a different browser, it might work better.) A few of my author compadres were also nominated, so I hope you’ll check out the stellar work of Lynne Cantwell (Scorched Earth, nominated in Fantasy), DV Berkom (A One Way Ticket to Dead, nominated in Thrillers), Julie Frayn (Mazie Baby, nominated in Women’s Fiction), Donna Fasano (Following His Heart, nominated in Romance), Jackie Weger (No Perfect Secret, nominated in Romance), and Shawn Inmon (Rock ‘N’ Roll Heaven, nominated in Paranormal). Thank you for your time, and thank you for continuing to give independent authors a chance. Voting ends March 28.
It’s been a while since I flashed you. So here are a few of my contributions from Friday’s Word-a-Palooza and barn-raising also known as 2MinutesGo at JD Mader’s blog. As usual, only lightly edited for your protection. ‘Cause that’s the way we roll. If you’re in a writing mood, maybe you’ll come by next week and play. Or at least read the awesome, awesome writing going on there.