Tag Archives: Two minute Tip

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Describing Your Point of View Character

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ How to describe a character in his or her POV without using a mirror…

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

 

It’s rather difficult to describe a character, when you are in that character’s Point of View.  It’s tempting to have a character look in a mirror and describe what they see, or just describe themselves in a way that really isn’t natural, such as:

(We’re in Sally’s POV):

“Sally brushed back her silky blonde hair, which hung down her back in luxurious waves. Her gorgeous emerald eyes filled with tears as her curvaceous body settled onto the sofa.”

Doesn’t really work, does it? The character seems vain and self-absorbed.

Here are a few suggestions/ideas to get you through the tricky task of POV character description:

Have the character think of themselves in comparison to another:

She’d always envied her sister’s sleek blonde hair. Her own dark unruly curls gave her the perpetual appearance of having just climbed out of bed.

Have another character comment on their looks:

“Your eyes are not really blue, and not really green…more a combination of the two, like a Caribbean sea. I could look into them for hours.”

In action, which can be done several ways:

She pushed her glasses further up her nose.

She slid her jeans on over her hips, wishing she had a little more ‘hip’ to fill them out.

He rubbed his hands over the day’s worth of whiskers covering his jaw.

He ducked his head under the doorframe and stepped into the room.

Her hand looked so small wrapped in his.

She twisted her long hair into a knot on top of her head.

I quickly applied eyeliner, grateful I’d inherited my mother’s complexion so I could get by with little make up.

Introspection:

People think because I’m small, I’m a pushover.

I rolled my eyes. Another man who couldn’t see past the blonde hair and blue eyes to the intelligent woman beneath.

It wouldn’t be the first time someone was intimidated by his size.

Don’t describe while you’re in that character’s POV. Wait and let another character describe them when you are in the other character’s POV

Describe sparingly. You need very little description, and you can sprinkle it throughout when it can come naturally, rather than providing an entire list of features all at once. This way you can avoid author intrusion, or having a self-absorbed, egotistical character.

Any tricks you use that you’d like to share?

Until next time…Happy Writing!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

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4 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Some of the Best Writing Quotes

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Today’s a lazy day, so I’m cheating by sharing quotes…

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Let’s just have some fun and be inspired by quotes…

(This first one is something I’m trying HARD to adapt. I’ve been reading and re-reading Chris Fox’s 5,000 Words Per Hour and one of the main takeaways, and the first thing a writer should do, is daily writing sprints, tracking your progress each day, etc. I think this is critical, yet I haven’t made it a habit…yet. It might be a good idea to schedule a certain time per day and do your sprints with other authors, even if you are just starting out with 5 minute sprints a day for the first week) – 

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.
– Jane Yolen

I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.
– Stephen King

A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
– Sidney Sheldon

First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!
– Ray Bradbury

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
—Ernest Hemingway

I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.
– Erica Jong

I do not over-intellectualise the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.
—Tom Clancy, WD

There is only one plot—things are not what they seem.
—Jim Thompson

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.
– William Faulkner

Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.
– Flannery O’Connor

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.
– Robert A. Heinlein

Fiction is about stuff that’s screwed up.

– Nancy Kress

All the information you need can be given in dialogue.
– Elmore Leonard

 

Please feel free to share some of your faves in the comments.

Until next time…Happy Writing!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

10 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Creating an Image Document

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s (VERY) quick tip ~ Inserting your story images directly into your manuscript document

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

(This is going to be an extremely short, quick ‘tip’ post today. More like an idea/suggestion. :))

Most authors are somewhat ‘visual’ and many like to use images for their setting and character as ‘inspiration’ while writing. I have done the same, and sometimes I use a Pinterest Board, sometimes I print out images, etc. But, I’ve found the best way for me is to insert the images directly into my manuscript. That way, each time I am writing, the images are right there in front of me. It’s pretty much a no-brainer, and most of you, if you are interested in using images as you write, have already thought to do it. However, in case you haven’t, I thought I’d share. 🙂

First, of course, you find images that fit your story. You can even find images of a room or landscape that fit a particular scene. Right click on the image and you will see an option to ‘copy image.’ Click on that, then you simply go into your document and ‘paste’ where you want the image to appear.

Here is an example. You can click on the link below to see the entire PDF. All the images at the top are ones I will use later. Obviously, not much has been written for each scene so far, but you can see the process.

 

africa-2

africa-images

What do you think? Are you visual? Do you have tricks for ‘seeing’ your scene and characters?

Until next time…Happy Writing!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

1 Comment

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Pssst…I have a Secret

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Using secrets to keep readers turning pages

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Ha, I bet, after reading the title, you’re dying to hear the secret, right? Come on, admit. It’s human nature. We all love to be in on secrets. We love hearing them, having them, telling them, so on and so forth. Secrets in your story can be a great tool to engage readers. There are a few different ways to use them. You can introduce a secret that is being withheld from readers, and they’ll keep reading to learn the secret. You can let the readers in on a secret that your character(s) don’t know, and they’ll keep reading to see how the characters will react once they learn the secret, which is lots of fun, because your audience loves being in on the surprise with you.

Something to keep in mind, though, it’s also crucial to have a big payoff when the secret is revealed. I’ve begun watching the tv show, “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” which is kind of an odd choice for me, because it lacks my two favorite things in shows and movies; humor and murder. (I know, a weird combo). The show is fairly amusing, but totally devoid of killings. However, it caught my attention so I’m watching anyway. There are lots of secrets on the show, but in one instance, the payoff was a letdown. Spoiler Alert: The main couple is divorcing when the show opens. As the episodes play out, they decide to try to reconcile. The man learns that he impregnated his much younger ex-girlfriend, whom he cheated with (or with whom he cheated, I suppose, is the proper wording) during the marriage. Other characters in the show knew about the pregnancy, but his soon-to-be ex wife did not, and these people kept telling him, “You better tell Abby before she finds out on her own” and “Wow, how is Abby going to react?” etc, etc. Since the couple were trying to make a precarious, contentious marriage work, I waited anxiously for her to find out. I just knew she was going to explode. Finally, the episode came where she learned the truth and, much to my disappointment, she took it like a champ. I’m thinking, why all the build-up, waiting episode after episode for her to find out, if she’s all “oh, yeah? no biggie, that’s kinda cool, actually, cuz there’ll be a new baby around” about it. (I paraphrase). But, the point is, she should have lost her freaking mind. SO, don’t make that mistake. If you tease readers with a secret, you need to have a big reveal, and a big explosion.

I’m currently working on two WIPs simultaneously. One is only 12,000 words or so, and there’s not much time for a lot to happen. I have a little suspense, a little romance, but I’ve just realized, I can probably make it more enticing by adding a secret. So, I’m brainstorming a way to include one. My other WIP is my Martini Club 4 story, set in the 1940s. My heroine finds out a horrible secret about her mother, around mid-story. It has just occurred to me that I should let the readers in on the secret early in the book. Then, hopefully, they’ll keep reading because they will be eager for her to find out and see how she will react, how this knowledge will impact her life.

As you’re plotting (or for you pantsers, as your characters are writing the story for you ;)), maybe look for ways to work in a tantalizing secret. Your characters might not thank you, but your readers will. Oh yeah, and about that secret I mentioned in the title? Well, I guess you’ll just have to keep reading my posts to find out what it is. Muwahahahahaha….

Until next time…Happy Writing!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

4 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Flesh out Characters Using Facebook Games

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Using the ‘getting to know’ you games on Facebook to get to know your characters

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

We’ve all seen them, and, admit it, many of us have played them. Those Facebook games where we answer a list of questions about ourselves, then challenge our Facebook friends to do the same. It occurred to me, if this helps us get to know our FB friends, might it also help us get to know our characters? Below are a few examples of the questions that have found their way around Facebook:

Set One:

💉Tattoos…….
🚼Children……….
😷Surgery….
🔫Shot a gun……
✌Quit a job……..
✈Flown on a plane…
🚙💨100+miles in a car….
😨Gone zip lining…
😢Cried over someone…
😍Fell in love….
🏃🏽‍♀️Skipped school….
👶🏻Watched someone give birth? 
💀Watched someone die?
🍁Been to Canada…
🚑Ridden in an ambulance..
🌴Been to Hawaii?..
🐫Been to Europe…
🏦Been to Washington DC
🌞Visited Florida…
🏖 Visited Texas …
🎲Visited NY, NY….
🎤Sang karaoke….
🐶Had a pet………..
🏂Been sledding on a big hill…
🎿Been downhill skiing…
💨Rode a motorcycle…
🐎Rode a horse…..
🏥Stayed in a hospital….
💉Donated blood…
🚗Driven a stick..
🚓Rode in the back of a police car..

Set Two: (Forgive me if some are repeated)

1. Are you named after someone? 
2. Last time you cried? 
3. Do you like your handwriting?
4. What is your favorite lunch meat? 
5. Do you have kids? 
6. Do you use sarcasm? 
7. Do you still have your tonsils? 
8. Would you bungee jump? 
9. What is your favorite kind of cereal? 
10. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? 
11. Do you think you’re strong? 
12. What is your favorite ice cream? 
13. What is the first thing you notice about someone? 
14. Football or Baseball? 
15. What is the most favorite thing you like about yourself? 
16. What color pants are you wearing? 
17. Last thing you ate? 
18. What are you listening to right now? 
19. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? 
20. Favorite smell? 
21. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? 
23. Hair color? 
24. Eye color?  
25. Favorite food to eat? 
26. Scary movies or happy? 
27. Last movie ? 
28. What color shirt are you wearing?
29. Favorite holiday? 

 

Of course, not all of the questions are applicable. If you’re writing a historical, you won’t answer the ones about the last movie they watched or who they last spoke with on the phone.  Others might not work for various reasons, but if you answer at least a portion of these for your character(s), it seems to me like it would help to make them more real, more well-developed. And, for some of the questions, you might want to expand a little. If your character has been in the back of a police car, what’s the story there? For me, the answer is ‘yes’ but not because I was arrested. I attended a Citizen’s Police course where we had the opportunity to ride in the back of a police car while an officer took us through the obstacle course. Your character might have a MUCH more interesting experience. 🙂

So…the next time you see a post asking you to share intimate detail about yourself, consider answering them about your character instead, or in addition to, it’s your life. 🙂

Until next time…Happy Writing!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

5 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – A Quick & Easy Character/Plotting Form – December 20, 2016

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Using Google Forms to plan out your novel

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

If you’re like me, although, thank God, very few people are… Each time you are ready to begin a new novel, you approach it differently. Even after writing 25 plus novels and short stories, I am still working on my process.  I end up having notes scattered here and there, in different files, documents, in email, notepads, flash drives, etc. In an effort to organize and condense my notes, I decided to try Google Forms., and I thought I’d share my tip with you.  The questions can be as brief or as in-depth as you wish, from just a brief character sketch, to plot, to scene notes. Even pantsers might find the Google Form method handy.

Here is the link for Google Forms: https://docs.google.com/forms/u/0/

You simply create a new form and add whatever questions you want to use for your story. For each question, I suggest changing the ‘answer’ method to ‘paragraph’ to give you the most room for each one.

Here is a sample with the questions filled out (these are not the exact questions I use, but just an example)

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf561D59SjE1cB_QPY0jkA5rxIpIBX3Mv8uWTWYn3nKJvRKIg/viewform?c=0&w=1

A partial screen shot of the above form:

character-form

You can email this form to yourself and you can click on the option to have the form appear in the email. Then, you can go to the email, or to Google Forms, and fill in the blanks. You can download as a CVS file, although that’s not the best format to work with, in my opinion. Instead, you can access your completed form on the Google Form site by going to ‘responses.’ You can print from there if you’d like.

Below is an example of a completed form (Click on the below link to see the entire form):

character-plot

A screen shot of part of the completed form:

completed-character-form

What do you think? Is this something you might try? Feel free to share any tips you have for your method of organizing/gathering story info.

Until next time…Happy Writing!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

6 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Writing the Emotional Love Scene

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Infusing feeling into romance

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Those who know me might be surprised about today’s topic because, quite frankly, I suck at love scenes. They are not my favorite part of a story to write, or read. However, I can still recognize when they are well-done, when they evoke emotion and make me truly believe the depth of the characters’ feelings. Now, since I can’t write those kinds of scenes myself, I am using examples from someone else’s book. I don’t know exactly how to advise you in creating romantic, compelling, emotional love scenes, but I believe it has something to do with getting inside a character’s heart and ‘showing’ the feelings they have for the other person, the effect the moment has on them, and actually playing out what is in their mind, their soul, their sensations, rather than just listing the actions.

This is a brief love scene, and to me, is dry, with no emotion:

He moved to kiss the corner of her mouth. She opened her beautiful green eyes and stared straight into his. He lost it. Coming apart, he ground his mouth to hers. Her lips seemed to be made for his. Heat soared between them as their tongues mingled in a dance as old as time. He skated his hands down her sides as his mouth continued to devour hers. Fully erect, his hardness pressed against her center. She lifted her hips closer to him. If they didn’t stop soon, they wouldn’t be able to. He almost couldn’t bring himself to break off the kiss. When he did, he immediately missed the contact with her soft body.

This, however, is a love scene that is played out more, showing the action, the emotion, the sensations:

He trailed his lips to the corner of her mouth, his tongue darting out to take the barest of tastes.  He heard a resounding gasp of surprise from her, and he kept going, blazing kisses along the line of her jaw as if sipping from her, drawing in the very essence of her desire.  Finally, he reached that spot behind her ear, the cool, pale skin beckoning his kiss.  But he backed away, and he watched her eyelids flutter in confusion.  But before she could fully open them, he pressed his lips to that spot, felt the shudder course through her body, and he reveled in her reaction to him.

Derek moved slightly then, drawing her closer, pivoting so that he leaned into her.  Her head slid along the back of the sofa until it fell loose, her neck exposed to him.  Pausing again, he just looked at her.  The graceful lines of her throat, the careful angles of her face.  In the dim light of the lamp, she looked almost ethereal, as if she were not quite of this earth.  And in that moment, he almost believed it.

For his good luck had never brought him a woman quite like Jessica.  Had never brought him anything that may bring him pleasure the way she did.  But it was something more than just fleeting pleasure that he found in her arms.  It ran deeper than that, hotter than that, and he feared that it may never go away.  Looking at her then in the flickering light, he asked himself if he had ever truly imagined taking a wife.  And then on that thought came another.  Could he live without her?  Could he live without Jessica?

Without answering himself, he leaned forward, licking his way down the long, white column of her throat.  She exhaled, and he felt the rush of her arousal as it shimmered into him.  Her hands gripped his upper arms, and he knew she hung onto him, clinging as if she might fall if she let go.

Reaching the delicate curve of neck melting into shoulder, he scooped her onto his lap, tilting her all the way back into the crook of his bent elbow.  She rested there, safe within his grasp, and he felt her response almost immediately.  Her body went loose about him, her hands coming free of his arms to slide inward, trailing along his chest until they pressed into his core.  He felt the heat of her skin through his shirt.  He thanked whatever deity it was that made him garden in only a lawn shirt for he did not think he could take the disappointment of so many layers of clothes between them.

See, as far as the steps taken, not much more happened in the second example than the first, but I bet you ‘felt’ a lot more with the second one, am I correct?

Now, for me, I am not interested in page after page of detailed, explicit sex scenes. But, if I am reading–or writing–a romance, I definitely want to be ‘shown’ that these two people have a deep, emotional connection, even before they’ve completely recognized, or declared, their love. What about you? Do you agree? Are there any tips or secrets you use for ‘showing’ and evoking feelings of passion and love between your characters?

Until next time…Happy Writing!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

7 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – How to Get Characters from Point A to Point B

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Using smooth transitions when moving characters through your story

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Do you have problems deciding exactly how many of your characters’ movements you should reveal? I sometimes do. It can be tough to capture the correct balance between noting every tiny step/detail and having them appear and disappear like the witches in Bewitched. Over the years, I’ve gotten a little better at naturally moving my characters around, but it can still be a challenge. And, based on some of the books I have read, I’m not the only one who has difficulties. Here are a few examples…

From Haunting at Spook Light Inn (Formerly Devil’s Promenade):

I slept fitfully in spite of the comfortable bed. The next morning, I awoke groggy and annoyed with myself. Ghosts, pshh. If I weren’t careful, I’d become one of those gullible sheep I targeted in my books. I showered and dressed in worn jeans and a ruby red mock-neck knitted sweater. I pulled my long hair back into a ponytail and decided not to bother with makeup.

It was eight, and I’d missed the communal breakfast at seven. No worries. I’d just as soon grab something and have a bite alone.

The maid from last night—Jean, Declan had called her—was in the kitchen, which was attached to an informal dining room. It was large with a marble center island and copper pots hanging from racks along the walls.

The above is an example of how I transferred the character down the hall to the bathroom and back in her bedroom upstairs and then downstairs to the kitchen with just a few transition sentences, rather than something like this…

I got out of bed and left my bedroom and walked down the hallway to the bathroom. I went inside and stepped into the shower. After my shower, I got out and left the bathroom. I went back down the hall and into my bedroom. I dressed and opened my bedroom door and left the room, closing the door behind me. I walked across the landing to the stairs and went down them. I crossed the living room to the kitchen at the back of the house. I went inside the kitchen.

Yes, this is a bit of an exaggeration and most authors would not do this (hopefully), but you might be surprised at the times I’ve seen every little detail of motion played out.

Then, you also have issues at the opposite end of the spectrum where a character is suddenly in a new spot without a transition. Have you read passages like this?

“It’s over. I’m sorry.” Mary sat back into the sofa cushion and sipped her coffee.

Dexter paced over to the window and stared outside. “It’s because of him, isn’t it? You always were a slut.”

Mary gasped and slapped him across the face. “How dare you!”

Whoa, whiplash! How did she slap him when she was sitting on the sofa and he was over by the window? Unless, she’s Inspector Gadget or Elasticgirl…

16354048571_39e31d5028_b helentrioa_sm

In this example from Soul Seducer, my character goes from the nurses’ station, down the hall into a patient’s room in, what I hope, is a smooth transition:

Audra raised her head from the notebook, and something down the hall caught her attention. At first, she wasn’t sure what it was. Nothing unusual that she could see; a few patients meandering along, hospital employees bustling about, performing their tasks by rote.

Then, she spotted something that was definitely out of the ordinary. A figure outside Mr. Neufeld’s room. Entering without opening the door she’d shut behind her. Walking right through solid wood.

Fear seeped into her chest, growing into panic and settling in the pit of her stomach. She skirted the desk, starting down the hallway, her speed increasing to match her heartbeat. She barely heard, didn’t acknowledge Tonya’s shouted, “Hey, Audra! What’s up? Everything okay?”

She reached Mr. Neufeld’s room and entered—using the door like a normal person.

Only moments before, she’d wished the man gone. Now he was. But she hadn’t meant it this way. His vacant stare pointed to the ceiling, his arms outspread, lying limp at his sides.

“Mr. Neufeld?”

No response. Although she didn’t have to check to know, she rushed to the bed and pressed her fingers against his wrist, then to his neck.

Movement from the corner grabbed her attention.

Gaylen leaned against the wall, smiling, his golden eyes feral with excitement. She opened her mouth to speak, but her throat froze, and no words came out. Didn’t matter anyway. Gaylen gave her a wink, then faded through the wall.

Just keep in mind that you can convey activity without giving a list of choreographed steps, yet you don’t want to have a character suddenly appear somewhere without some kind of transition. 

How about you? Is this something you struggle with or have you mastered it?

Until next time…Happy Writing!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

7 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Stop Showing, Start Telling?

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Lee Child’s advice: Tell, don’t Show

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Lee Child is one of my favorite authors. I LOVE the Jack Reacher books. He, like a lot of my favorite suspense/thriller authors, does not write with a lot of emotion. It’s a style that is part of that genre, and it works well for me. I don’t need a ton of emotion, especially when I’m engrossed in an intense thriller. I hadn’t really thought about his voice/style, but after reading his advice on ‘showing,’ I wondered if he did a lot of telling, which is supposedly a no-no, and I just hadn’t noticed. Here is what he had to say about it:

Picture this: In a novel, a character wakes up and looks at himself in the mirror, noting his scars and other physical traits for the reader.

“It is completely and utterly divorced from real life,” Child said.

So why do writers do this? Child said it’s because they’ve been beaten down by the rule of Show, Don’t Tell. “They manufacture this entirely artificial thing.”

“We’re not story showers,” Child said. “We’re story tellers.”

Child said there’s nothing wrong with simply saying the character was 6 feet tall, with scars.

After all, he added—do your kids ever ask you to show them a story? They ask you to tell them a story. Do you show a joke? No, you tell it.

“There is nothing wrong with just telling the story,” Child said. “So liberate yourself from that rule.”

Child believes the average reader doesn’t care at all about telling, showing, etc. He or she just wants something to latch onto, something to carry them through the book. By following too many “rules,” you can lose your readers.

I think he has some good points. We don’t want to get so bogged down in rules that we lose our story.  Also, you can overdo it with the showing. However, I think Mr. Child does more ‘showing’ than he would lead us to believe.

Excerpt from “Worth Dying For” by Lee Child:

Reacher checked the window. There were four tires in total, big knobbly off-road things, all of them on a Ford pick-up truck. The truck had a jacked suspension and lights on a roof bar and a snorkel air intake and a winch on the front. There were two large shapes in the gloom inside. The shapes had thick necks and huge shoulders. The truck nosed slowly down the row of cabins and stopped twenty feet behind the parked Subaru. The headlights stayed on. The engine idled. The doors opened. Two guys climbed out.

They both looked like Brett, only bigger. Late twenties, easily six-six or six-seven, probably close to three hundred pounds each, big waists made tiny by huge chests and arms and shoulders. They had cropped hair and small eyes and fleshy faces. They were the kind of guys who ate two dinners and were still hungry afterward. They were wearing red Cornhuskers football jackets made gray by the blue light from the cabin’s eaves.

The doctor’s wife joined Reacher at the window.

“Sweet Jesus,” she said.

Reacher said nothing.

The two guys closed the truck’s doors and stepped back in unison to the load bed and unlatched a tool locker bolted across its width behind the cab. They lifted the lid and one took out an engineer’s ball-peen hammer and the other took out a two-headed wrench at least a foot and a half long. They left the lid open and walked forward into the truck’s headlight wash and their shadows jumped ahead of them. They were light on their feet and nimble for their size, like football players usually were. They paused for a moment and looked at the cabin’s door, and then they turned away.

Toward the Subaru.

They attacked it in a violent frenzy, an absolute blitzkrieg, two or three minutes of uncontrolled smashing and pounding. The noise was deafening. They smashed every shard of glass out of the windshield, they smashed the side windows, the back window, the headlights, the tail lights. They hammered jagged dents into the hood, into the doors, into the roof, into the fenders, into the tailgate. They put their arms through the absent glass and smashed up the dials and the switches and the radio.

Shit, Reacher thought. There goes my ride.

“My husband’s punishment,” the doctor’s wife whispered. “Worse this time.”

The two guys stopped as suddenly as they had started. They stood there, one each side of the wrecked wagon, and they breathed hard and rolled their shoulders and let their weapons hang down by their sides. Pebbles of broken automotive glass glittered in the neon and the boom and clang of battered sheet metal echoed away to absolute silence.

Reacher took off his coat and dumped it on the bed.

The two guys formed up shoulder to shoulder and headed for the cabin’s door. Reacher opened it up and stepped out to meet them head on. Win or lose, fighting inside would bust up the room, and Vincent the motel owner had enough problems already.

The two guys stopped ten feet away and stood there, side by side, symmetrical, their weapons in their outside hands, four cubic yards of bone and muscle, six hundred pounds of beef, all flushed and sweating in the chill.

Reacher said, “Pop quiz, guys. You spent four years in college learning how to play a game. I spent thirteen years in the army learning how to kill people. So how scared am I?”

Sigh….when you’re Lee Child, and your character is Jack Reacher, who needs showing? However, lines like this: ‘Pebbles of broken automotive glass glittered in the neon and the boom and clang of battered sheet metal echoed away to absolute silence.’ In my opinion, are showing. As far as emotion, you don’t need melodrama. I felt the emotion in that scene, easily. Even though Reacher is not given to hysterics, and even though it was brief, the doctor’s wife’s emotions were clear. And, Reacher’s intent to do bodily harm was clear. I was completely in the scene. I could see it, feel it, hear it. I will say that, writing in first person helps. You naturally ‘show’ more when in first person. 

Bottom line, I think it’s about a few things…

  1. Don’t worry about showing in the first draft. Write it as quickly as you can, just get the story out. Perhaps even write in first person (you can switch to third in the second round) so you’ll be inclined to ‘show.’
  2. When you are revising, look for places where you can make the scene a little more vivid by using senses and unique descriptions and avoiding ‘filter’ words such as ‘saw’ ‘heard’ ‘realized’ ‘noticed’ ‘felt’ etc.
  3. Find a balance between showing and telling. Like in the excerpt above, a few well-chosen words can put us immediately in the scene, right with the action.

Until next time…Happy Writing!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

9 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – The Lost Art of the Beautifully Turned Phrase

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Evoking imagery with lovely literary lines

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest. 

Although beautiful, unique, metaphoric phrases and similes are normally associated with literary works, there is no reason that non-literary authors cannot use them as well. It’s not something I do well, or that I have even attempted in my writing, but when I run across it in other books, I get the warm fuzzies, and just a tough of envy. A book I’m currently reading, THE KIND WORTH KILLING, has some great lines. I’ve shared a few below.  

  • It had been raining in Boston, but in Maine, the rain had become biblical, my wipers on full speed barely able to clear the windshield. 
  • I had watched Lily, in the course of her short speech, become briefly passionate, her face pushing toward me like a sun worshiper tilting toward the sun to get most of its rays. 
  • Deep shadows accentuated her curves, and her face, cast in the TV’s light, seemed a black-and-white version of herself.
  • I’d been waiting for two things since killing him. Waiting to get caught and waiting to feel bad. Neither had happened yet, and I knew that neither would. 
  • The following morning the rain was done, the clouds all swept out to sea, and it was one of those October days that sell calendars.

A few of these are more vivid description rather than great lines, but they still evoke an image of the setting, the character, etc. But, I still thought they were memorable, melodious. Although I know part of this is ‘voice,’ and comes naturally, I also know that, if we work at it, we can come up with cleverly turned phrases of our own. Or, at least, I’m going to try. 

What are some lines you’ve read in contemporary fiction that stick with you? Or, perhaps some lines you’ve actually written? Please feel free to share in the comments. 

Until next time…Happy Writing!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

ONLY 99 cents!! 

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

2 minute writing tip final

 

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

11 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor, Tuesday Two-Minute Tips