Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I've been writing, and I'm using the word loosely, since I was a young child. It's always been my passion and it's always been what I do. And it wasn't until recently that I started thinking about what it must be like to be on the other side. When I asked someone close to me if it's hard to be a friend or family member of a writer, there was no hesitation. The answer was a strong "yes!" So maybe us writers ought to keep that in mind in the future. Don't forget about what it's like for your friends and family...because honestly, you're hard to live with.
I probably mutter "I'm busy" or "I'm writing" at least once a day to someone who's trying to talk to me. I don't look at the person I'm addressing. I can't, because I'm busy staring at the screen. I've shushed people, I've dismissively waved them away, I've allowed them to talk to me for upwards of 5 minutes at a time without informing them that I am not listening. It's rude, I know, but what can I say? When I'm writing, I'm not in this world. I'm in a different one...so who are all these people who are attempting to invade it?
Friends and family, usually. And like me, maybe you need to remember to look at things from their side, every so often.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
When you're a writer, literary terms are going to crop up all the time. There are many of them that you should know how to define. Otherwise, you may not understand your own reviews.
What's That Mean?
There are actually dozens of complicated literary terms, but some are used more often than others. Know what they are, and what they mean, so you'll know whether or not you're using them when other people say you are.
Monday, August 25, 2014
I tell you, readers, it's a problem. Commas aren't being used the right way...and as an author, you can't let it happen to you. Are you sure you know how to use commas and names -- the right way?
Comma, Comma, Come On!
Using commas gets confusing. Use too many and you've fouled up the sentence. Use too few and there's no natural pause to your narrative. Use them the wrong way, and I'm liable to come after you.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Have you ever laughed until you've cried, or cried so much that you just had to laugh? People aren't equipped to feel one emotion all the time, and that's why they can't read books that are just one thing. Whether you're writing a comedy or a tragedy, all good books have elements of both. That's what makes them good...because life is both.
Walking the Line
By a certain school of thought, all books fall into one of two categories: comedy or tragedy. But within that framework there are infinite story possibilities, numerous twists and turns. No story should ever be all comedy or all tragedy, because every reader will reach a point when they can't laugh or cry anymore. But if you learn how to jerk them back and forth between the two, they won't be able to stop reading.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Above all else, believable characters can make a book believable. The events in The Hunger Games are outrageous, but we buy into the books because Katniss is so real even on the page. That's why you can't start bullying your characters in your books. You have to move them around and make them do what you want, but you've got to find ways to keep it believable. Otherwise, you're just bullying your readers, too.
You've got to make Charac Ter go to the lake, because that's where they will run into Luv Interest. But why is Charac Ter going to the lake? No matter where you're putting your character, make sure you know why they're going there. When you as the author force them there with no good reason, you're bullying the character and you're cheating your readers.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
A lot of authors will tell you to write a certain number of words a day, to plot a book to have a specific amount of words by the time it's done. But I guess I'm not like a lot of authors, because I'm going to advise you to do the exact opposite. If you try to write within some sort of weird word count box, you're not really writing. So stop worrying about the word count. I'll tell you why.
No, I'm not contradicting myself. All my feelings about overly-long books still stand. Overall length is still an important consideration, but not so important that you should be thinking about it every time you put your fingers on the keyboard. Because when you try to write to a certain word count, you're really stifling yourself. And for a writer, that's no good at all.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Like many authors, I like to read. And sure, sometimes I like to sink my teeth into a big, meaty paragraph that takes up half the page. Sometimes I like to really get into a big scene, just slide into it, and lose myself in walls of text. Note that I said sometimes. Run-on paragraphs can be an effective tool...but I also see it get overused -- a lot. Figure out how to tighten your paragraphs up, because short really is sweet.
A Real Cut Up
Long paragraphs are great, but only every once in a while. Visually, those thick paragraphs can be off-putting and scary. Reading one run-on paragraph after another begins to feel boring pretty quickly, and it will make a book feel like it's dragging.
Sunday, August 17, 2014
"Can you imagine a world where people are judged based on their hair color?...This unimaginable place becomes very realistic while reading Hope’s Rebellion."
"These three girls all have completely different pasts, but end up coming together in a battle that will change the world."
Hope's Rebellion has been reviewed at ReadWriteLove28. Visit the blog to read the whole thing. Find Hope's Rebellion at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and everywhere online books are sold.