Monday, October 29, 2012

Some Useful and Rather Unmild Advice

WOW.

I read the article below and I was nodding and cringing at the same time. Nevertheless, I believe this post by author Russell Blake is a must-read for writers.

http://russellblake.com/in-praise-of-bad-writing/

Personally, I'm a fan of having a character arc. Which guideline (aka rule) will you probably always follow?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Conscious and Subconscious Action

About a year ago I watched The Book of Eli, a futuristic/post-apocalyptic type movie that really fascinated me. I highly recommend it!

The main character, Eli, in particular was intriguing.

As I watched, I realized how deeply his characterization was based in subconscious and conscious action. The actor (I think it was Denzel Washington?) pulled off the characterization and hooked the viewer by using the smallest details to portray emotion.

The writers or producer or maybe it was the actor himself used subconscious and conscious action to make the character come alive.

For example, in the movie Eli is traveling when he hears screams. He hides behind something and mutters to himself over and over, "There's nothing I can do." This is a conscious action not to help. He is choosing to remove himself from the situation. His repetition is subconscious though. He's trying to convince himself that it's true...or he's trying to comfort himself. Either way, we feel the weight of his guilt.

Later in the movie, a female protagonist enters the story. She is also almost raped and this time Eli helps her. When she cries, he moves forward and then stops himself. When she hugs him, the camera pans in and I notice he does NOT hug her back. Those are subconscious actions that reflect his internal turmoil.

When we create characters in situations, these tiny details will really show who a character is. The details themselves may not be noticed by a reader or viewer, but their impact is felt.

How do you use gestures and thoughts to deepen your character? How would you describe your main character, and how do you reinforce that personality/character trait in each scene? Do you have any specific quirks or impulses that appear in your daily life and give a clue to who you are?




Monday, October 15, 2012

Diving Into Edits

So I finally, finally finished writing the rough draft of my new historical romance. Talk about forever!

But it's done and now I need to jump into edits.

Some things I'll be looking at:

Dialogue: Is it necessary to the story? Does it deepen tension or reveal something? Is it natural sounding?

Pacing: Are my scenes similar in length? Does the story grow progressively more taut or is there a sagging middle?

Historical facts: Is my research good enough? Do my characters sound like they live in 1920 America?

Scene setting: Are my scenes clear? Did I involve all five senses?

What do you look for when editing? Care to add anything to my list?


Monday, October 8, 2012

Giveaway Winner and a Kid Who Takes After His Momma

Congrats to Loree Huebner!! You won the giveaway for an autographed copy of Stacy Henrie's debut historical Lady Outlaw. Send me your snail mail and we'll get that out to you.
jessica_nelson7590 AT yahoodot COM


And now here's my youngest with a request that mirrors my own (although his asking skills need some work).



Ever wanted something so bad you threw a little fit to get it?

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Irascible WIP

I have maybe 3k left to finish my WIP and I'm going nuts.

This manuscript has taken me almost a year to write and I'm not sure I have a good excuse for it. Sure, I've had a lot of things happen in the last year but there were also times I was just lazy. *cringe*

What is driving you nuts today? Is there anything you can do to change it?