Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wednesday's Links to Writing & Marketing Blog Posts

By: Linda Clare

In the opening of many novels, we see a character alone on stage, riding a train, plane, car, or donkey. Many times this character is gazing out a window (unless, of course, she’s riding the donkey), thinking. Some call this “driving to the story.”

Many times this type of “sittin’ and thinkin” scene is so loaded with backstory that readers don’t know when the real story begins—or worse, they don’t care. Let’s look at some ways to fix this kind of Writing that comes across as “nothinhappenin’.”

The Wilson Principle

To hook your readers and get the story going quickly, your POV character needs someone to interact with. If you write only her thoughts, she has no one who will disagree with her. There is no variety or stimulating action. Just the character sitting, thinking. While an occasional scene opening this way can have a place in a novel, writers risk losing readers’ interest by taking this approach.

In the movie Castaway, Tom Hanks finds himself marooned on a desert island. He has no one to talk to, no one to interact with. That’s why he invents Wilson, the volleyball. He draws a face on this ball and gives him some seaweed hair. Voila! Tom Hanks’s character has a sidekick.

In the film, Wilson becomes someone for Hanks to confide in, get angry at, and set off a range of emotions. In your novel, getting at least one more character on stage with your POV character gives this same advantage. Readers are enlivened through the possibilities of dialog, body language, and physical action. You can sprinkle a touch of backstory here, but you no longer must rely so heavily on character memories, which, especially in chapter 1, have little significance to readers.

When you write a scene, note the number of other characters on stage. If your main character is alone, she’ll either have to talk to herself out loud or else play out the purpose of the scene through her thoughts. People are the usual choice to join your character, but pets or even a personified volleyball can provide a way to include dialog and action in your scene. Use the Wilson Principle to keep your audience engaged.

Create a Red Wine Disaster

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Read the full article HERE!

If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
  • How to Sell Your Screenplay (for Absolute Beginners) | Jane Friedman
  • Forget the myths, and WRITE!  | @Belinda_Pollard
  • How to Add Links To Your Ebook's Back Matter
  • Jennifer Represents...: Logrolling in Our Time*, or, You Can't Take Blurbs With You  An agent on blogs...
  • How to Get Readers into Your Story—and How to Keep Them There | Live Write Thrive
  • Writability: You Don’t Have to Get it Right the First Time
  • Ultimate Guide to Social Media Image Sizes Social Media Examiner
  • Building Unstoppable Street Teams with JA Huss (Self Publishing Podcast #161)
  • Building Unstoppable Street Teams with JA Huss (Self Publishing Podcast #161)
  • On Life, Literature, and Being in the “Between Place” | Creative Writing with the Crimson League
  • Why your novel needs professional editing – BookBaby blog
Happy running and writing, Kathy

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