Friday, September 02, 2011

Frioday Fun Facts: A Long Flight West

So I'm heading to Idaho for the long weekend, to visit my sister. Yes, Idaho. Anyone ever been there? Anyone ever live there?

I'll post pictures and a report when I return ~ who knows, maybe I'll be inspired...One Night in Boise??

Enjoy your holiday weekend - write like mad!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Writers' Wednesday: Tips from Maass

My favorite tips from Donald Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel (yes, has a workbook as Marianne mentioned on Monday, that I want to tackle next):

1. Layer your premise. Don't give in to stereotypes or the "easy" plot turn or obvious choice. Choose the non-obvious option when it comes time for plot and character development.

2. Make the stakes high - and then higher. What happens if your character fails in his/her journey? Is it big enough? Make it bigger. This doesn't have to be "world-ending." But it should, in some sense, be the end of the world as your characters know it. Give them discomfort. Make the risks huge, and worth it.

3. Make your reader care about your characters. How? Give them WIT, SPONTNEITY, FORGIVENESS, AND SELF-SACRIFICE. What great qualities, really. How can you work them into your own novel?

4. Give the beginning high tension. The ending should somehow, someway, be suggested in your opening sentence/paragraph/section. Make the reader want to continue. What tension exists? Draw the reader on. This is a tough but crucial one.

So...I went back to the drawing board and am tackling the opening chapters again, with these thoughts in mind. I think it makes a difference - it seems to so far. We'll see!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Mentionables: Surviving the Storm

Well, did everyone survive Hurricane Irene? Here north of NYC, it wasn't nearly as bad as they had predicted. Lots of evacuations helped, I think. We had some moderate flooding in places (a couple pics below) and a lot of power outages, but nothing too bad. At our house, we escaped even losing power!

Today I'm a little stir-crazy and need to leave the house, though. What did I do all day yesterday? Well, I did try and be productive: read Donald Maass' book on craft, Writing the Breakout Novel and made 3 pages of notes for revisions as I tackle my WIP, Beacon of Love. I'm sure at least some of you have read it as well; if you haven't, you're missing out! He gives great, concrete advice and examples on how to amp up all areas of your novel. Definitely gave me some good places to consider. Wednesday I'll share some of my favorites :)

So, what does post-Irene look like in your neck of the woods?

Parking lot of a local mall, flooded

Highway in my area, flooded (I did NOT take this picture - I wasn't crazy enough to be on the roads in that weather!)