Monday, August 8, 2011

Back At It

I'm still alive and kicking over here in the desert. Right now it's so hot that my sweat is sweating. Honestly I went out and started a fire the other day just to cool down a little.
It has been too long and although I'm still not able to get videos uploaded I wanted to get back to blogging here. These past few weeks have been very eventful, I've been getting some feedback on my first manuscript which means that I'm getting another step closer to releasing Loves Deception.

Overall the feedback has been very positive which is great for me because I won't have as much to rewrite. Of course it's not perfect and there are some changes that must be made. I think the most interesting thing that I'm seeing in the feedback is that as the author I sometimes forget that the reader doesn't know all the background of the characters that I know. It's just like in life, you're explaining something and it makes perfect sense to you because you have all the background information but to the person you are explaining it to might be a bit lost and may even have to make large jumps over the holes in the information you are giving (or not giving).
So in writing, or in day to day conversation, it's really the same: be detail oriented. So how can you be more detail oriented in writing? Start with the scene set up:
  • Where are your characters?
  • What are they wearing?
  • What time of day is it and how is the weather?
These seem so simple but can be easily overlooked as a writer because they are seen in our minds eye as we are writing and therefore are sometimes left out. As you are placing these set up details look for natural areas to place them. If you simply use the first page jotting down every detail you can have the opposite effect of helping your reader see what you see and instead they can become bombarded and actually tune out the details.
Next look at your character and plot details:
  • Are your character's emotions showing?
  • Is the plot moving forward?
Good detail will help to set up future chapters or can simply move the plot forward. If the detail you have in your chapters does neither it may be unnecessary or need additional detail added in.
I love watching movies but many times they cannot show you the deep emotion in a scene the same way that you can when you read it. Now with character emotions you can go one of two ways: tell what the character is feeling or show what they are feeling. Here are some examples:
Mabel's eyes lit up as she saw Henry enter the packed room.
As Mabel saw Henry enter the packed room she could feel the happiness wash over her.

Of course sometimes it might be better to have a combination of the two styles: 
Henry pulled the cell phone from his pocket; it was Jasper calling him. Henry's countenance dropped as it always did when Jasper called.

In this way you can show his emotion but tell that it happens often, the only way to show that it always happens would be to put several scenes in the story where it continued to happen and there may not always be room for that.
Try using both out to see which you like better.

Come back often as I will be revealing the last two characters in Loves Deception and keeping you posted on my writing and sharing tips to improve your writing.

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