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Fun Friday: Hugh Jackman Singing “Who Am I?” from WOLVERINE, THE MUSICAL

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fun Friday 2013

Some eye- and ear-candy for your Friday. :-D

R. A. Salvatore on the Motivation to Write

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Excerpt From Part 5 (“Having a Driving Reason to Write”) of Chapter 1 “A Portrait of a Novelist” in The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists (ed. Andrew McAleer)

101 Habits

There’s way too much pain in this business for anyone who doesn’t have to write. I always tell beginning writers, “If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, you’re a writer.” I’m not being facetious. The idea that writing is a way to get something else, be it fame or fortune, is ludicrous. The odds are astounding, and I’d wager that they’re even more astounding against someone who doesn’t love the power of the word.
~R. A. Salvatore
(quoted from pp. 11–12)

About the book:
Learn from the MASTERS!

In The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists, more than fifty of the greatest fiction writers of our time show you how they practice their craft. You’ll gain insight into every aspect of fiction writing, including:

Coming up with ideas
Knowing what makes a great story
Developing dialogue
Overcoming writer’s block
Creating a pitch synopsis
Promoting yourself

The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists is a “who’s who” of today’s great fiction writers that will quickly become your most trusted writing companion!

__________________________________________
Work Cited:

Salvatore, R. A. Quoted in “Having a Driving Reason to Write” in The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists. Andrew McAleer, ed. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2008. 3–20. Print.

Mary Balogh on the Gift of Observation in Creating Characters

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Excerpt From Part 3 (“Being a Natural Observer”) of Chapter 1 “A Portrait of a Novelist” in The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists (ed. Andrew McAleer)

101 Habits

The ability to create realistic characters obviously depends very largely upon one’s ability to observe other people. Being an introvert is probably an advantage here. But it is not enough merely to look and listen and get to know people from external signs, however detailed and accurate one’s observation is. It is more being able to put oneself right inside the body, mind, and soul of another person, to be able to imagine what it is like to be that person. True understanding and empathy can come only from that type of observation.

Characters in a book can seem as real as living persons to the reader if the writer has the gift of portraying them from deep within, from the level of their very being, with all the myriad factors that have made them the unique individuals they are.
~Mary Balogh
(quoted from pg. 8)

About the book:
Learn from the MASTERS!

In The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists, more than fifty of the greatest fiction writers of our time show you how they practice their craft. You’ll gain insight into every aspect of fiction writing, including:

Coming up with ideas
Knowing what makes a great story
Developing dialogue
Overcoming writer’s block
Creating a pitch synopsis
Promoting yourself

The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists is a “who’s who” of today’s great fiction writers that will quickly become your most trusted writing companion!

__________________________________________
Work Cited:

Balogh, Mary. Quoted in “A Portrait of a Novelist” in The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists. Andrew McAleer, ed. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2008. 3–20. Print.

Creativity, Originality, and Storytelling (from THE 101 HABITS OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL NOVELISTS)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Excerpt From Parts 1 (“Being Creative and Original”) and 2 (“Being a Natural Storyteller”) of Chapter 1 “A Portrait of a Novelist” in The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists (ed. Andrew McAleer)

101 Habits

Your novel is what your thoughts make it. Your life is unique and like no other. There will never be another one of you. Your singular experiences help make you who you are and what you are about. Inside of you are your unique novel, characters, and storyline. Only you can create the novel you wish to create. No one else can do it but you. …

Readers want, indeed demand, and are entitled to originality. They want to explore the new world you have created and to meet the original and exciting people who exist in your mind and not in some other writer’s work. …

[T]he natural storyteller requires more than just wanting to tell a story. Storytelling is having a love and full appreciation for the art of telling a story and how the story is created from its inception. Storytelling is an appreciation for the way someone else tells a story and for how it sounds and how it appears in short form, on the big screen, and in a novel. How was this story told and how might you tell it? What makes this story a failure? Storytelling is more than just words, words, words.
~Andrew McAleer
(Quoted from pgs. 4–6)

About the book:
Learn from the MASTERS!

In The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists, more than fifty of the greatest fiction writers of our time show you how they practice their craft. You’ll gain insight into every aspect of fiction writing, including:

Coming up with ideas
Knowing what makes a great story
Developing dialogue
Overcoming writer’s block
Creating a pitch synopsis
Promoting yourself

The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists is a “who’s who” of today’s great fiction writers that will quickly become your most trusted writing companion!

__________________________________________
Work Cited:

McAleer, Andrew. “A Portrait of a Novelist” in The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Novelists. Andrew McAleer, ed. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2008. 3–20. Print.

Donald Maass on Setting (from THE FIRE IN FICTION)

Monday, March 31, 2014

Excerpts from Chapter 4, “The World of the Novel,” in The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass

The-Fire-in-Fiction

Do you ever skip description in a novel? I do, too. Obviously, merely describing how things look, sound, taste, feel, and smell is not, by itself, going to bring a location to life. Something more is required. Is it a setting that is unusual, exotic, or unexpected? If so, our job would be easy. We merely would have to find a spot on the face of the earth where a novel has not previously been set. …

The trick is not to find a fresh setting or a unique way to portray a familiar place; rather, it is to discover in your setting what is unique for your characters, if not for you. You must go beyond description, beyond dialect, beyond local foods to bring setting into the story in a way that integrates it into the very fabric of your characters’ experience.

In other words, you must instill the soul of a place into your characters’ hearts and make them grapple with it as surely as they grapple with the main problem and their enemies. How do you do that? It takes work but the basic principles of powerful settings are not exceptionally hard to grasp.
(quoted from pages 81–82)

About the book:
Discover the Difference Between a So-So Manuscript and a Novel Readers Can’t Forget

We’ve all read them: novels by our favorite authors that disappoint. Uninspired and lifeless, we wonder what happened. Was the author in a hurry? Did she have a bad year? Has he lost interest altogether?

Something similar is true of a great many unpublished manuscripts. They are okay stories that never take flight. They don’t grip the imagination, let alone the heart. They merit only a shrug and a polite dismissal by agents and editors.

It doesn’t have to be that way. In The Fire in Fiction, successful literary agent and author Donald Maass shows you not only how to infuse your story with deep conviction and fiery passion, but how to do it over and over again.

__________________________________________
Work Cited:

Maass, Donald. “The World of the Novel” in The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose, and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great. Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books, 2009. 81–116. Print.

Fun Friday: Tom Hiddleston and The Pirate Fairy

Friday, March 28, 2014

Fun Friday 2013

Some eye- and ear-candy for your Friday. :-D

Donald Maass on Exposition and Backstory (from THE FIRE IN FICTION)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Excerpts from Chapter 8, “Tension All the Time,” in The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass

Maass on Exposition:The-Fire-in-Fiction

How do you handle exposition? Are there passages of interior monologue in your manuscript that are just taking up space? If there are, you can cut them, or possibly you can dig deeper into your character at this moment in the story and find inside of him contradictions, dilemmas, opposing impulses, and clashing ideas that keep us in suspense.

To put it another way, exposition is an opportunity not to enhance the dangers of the plot (exposition doesn’t do that) but to put your characters’ hearts and minds in peril. Remember, though, that true tension in exposition comes not from circular worry or repetitive turmoil; it springs from emotions in conflict and ideas at war.
(quoted from page 204)

Maass on Backstory:

Backstory is the bane of virtually all manuscripts. Authors imagine that readers need, even want, a certain amount of filling in. I can see why they believe that. It starts with critique groups in which writers hear comments such as, “I love this character! You need to tell me more about her!” Yes, the author does. But not right away. As they say in the theater, make ‘em wait. Later in the novel backstory can become a revelation; in the first chapter it always bogs things down.
(quoted from page 208)

About the book:
Discover the Difference Between a So-So Manuscript and a Novel Readers Can’t Forget

We’ve all read them: novels by our favorite authors that disappoint. Uninspired and lifeless, we wonder what happened. Was the author in a hurry? Did she have a bad year? Has he lost interest altogether?

Something similar is true of a great many unpublished manuscripts. They are okay stories that never take flight. They don’t grip the imagination, let alone the heart. They merit only a shrug and a polite dismissal by agents and editors.

It doesn’t have to be that way. In The Fire in Fiction, successful literary agent and author Donald Maass shows you not only how to infuse your story with deep conviction and fiery passion, but how to do it over and over again.

__________________________________________
Work Cited:

Maass, Donald. “Tension All the Time” in The Fire in Fiction: Passion, Purpose, and Techniques to Make Your Novel Great. Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books, 2009. 188–231. Print.

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