Amazon Kindle, Character building, Encouragement, show don't tell, Writing, writing tips

Three Ways To Skyrocket Blah #Writing To Amazing

"Life in the Wall" project, by M. Ali, photo by Tim Green, flickr.com
“Life in the Wall” project, by M. Ali, photo by Tim Green, flickr.com

 

Last night I read my short story to an audience of 80+. My son, brother, and some friends came out to hear me read and accept my award, which made me a little nervous but their presence meant a lot to me. The positive comments afterward helped lift me up from the weariness I and other writers often experience since we usually work in isolation.

Most writers want to write AMAZING prose. Words so delicious that readers can’t wait to scoop up every tasty morsel and flip the page for more.

We want readers to feel emotion when we compose our sentences, to get goosebumps and shivers of excitement. We want readers to be inside the story. We want them to see what we see, hear what we hear, and be right where we are in our head.

Writers want to take the reader into the ghostly forest, a medieval castle, far-flung flung planet, or inside a prison.

So how do you amp up your writing?

  1. Describe what the characters experience without telling them the emotion, i.e. fright, sadness. Describe the sensory details. Use the five senses: Sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. There are really six, but more about that one later.

    Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. Anton Chekhov

 

This is my stack of books on writing. The ones by Stephen King, Ann Lamott, and Natalie Goldberg are hiding somewhere:

books on writing, books on revision
My Books on the Craft of Writing-www.alvaradofrazier.com

 

All of these are great books for the mechanics of writing but my go to book isn’t in that stack. It’s on my Kindle.

book on writing craft, emotions thesaurus, writers companion on character expression
The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

This book describes the sixth sense: Emotions. There are 75 emotions described by the possible body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for each. I also have the companion e-book called Emotional Amplifiers. (The latter book is free). 

2. Create compelling characters who have strengths and weaknesses, who are unique in their own way, and who have qualities worth rooting for or caring about. Show some physical characteristics, some language quirk and some personality. Give the reader a character worth remembering.

3. Create the mood by describing the setting. Again, the reader needs to be immersed in the story by visualizing the scene.

Here are some helpful tips on how to incorporate sensory details in your writing:

Creating sensory details in fiction
Tips for Creating Sensory Details

 

And here’s some handy tips for creating the mood of your scenes.

Tips on creating mood in stories
Tips on How to Describe and Create a Mood in Fiction Writing

 

These books, The Setting Thesaurus, aren’t out yet, but I’m watching Writers Helping Writers website for the launch date, which right now is June 13, 2016. I’m excited and marked my calendar for their arrival.

I’ve pinned these charts to my “Writing Tips-Fiction” on my Pinterest boards for future reference. You might want to do the same.

 

 

AlvaradoFrazier, BookNook, Character building, Day of the Dead, Dia de Los Muertos, fiction, NaNoWriMo, Writing

Building Fictional Characters

Feliz Day of All Souls or Dia De Los Muertos (DDLM). The last two days have been a whirlwind that rivals the 75 degree Southern California Santa Ana winds that we have today. I began NaNoWriMo on November 1st, while getting my micro mini bookstore, The BookNook, ready for opening this afternoon. The last week has been dedicated to unpacking books, retail labels, printing bookmarkers, and all that kind of stuff.

I had the nerve to take off to Los Angeles yesterday evening to catch “Come Fly Away With Me,” at the Pantages, in a quest to relax before opening day.  Ten minutes before the curtain rose I received a text that my cake pop treats would not be ready for me today after all, ‘so sorry.’ There was a problem at their bakery. I moaned and groaned (not in the text), said a prayer and began searching for other bakery numbers. Everyone was closed for the evening. Curtain rose, the musical was non-stop dancing to Frank Sinatra songs and I was taken away for 80 brief minutes. Turned my phone back on and a sweet mini-miracle, the bakery texted, everything fixed, your order will be ready.

I call the BookNook micro-mini because it is within a consignment shop, very nice, where I rent a small space for new and ‘gently read’ books. At the shop today is a DDLM commemoration and local artists will build an altar within the store for the community. People are free to bring candles, sugar skulls, marigolds, papel picado and Pan de Huevo.

Before I take my crates of books to the car, double check on my cake pops, and gather up my equipment I thought I’d post some references from my favorite sites on “Character” building for those who are interested in using this information for their NNWM challenge. (I’m already behind with only 1,643 words, but there are 28 days left).

Writer’s Digest did a good job on How to avoid Parenting your Characters. If you haven’t visited Holly Lisle  blog now is a good time to follow her and pick up some valuable pointers. IMHO she has one of the most helpful blogs for writers. Over at Kirsten Lamb, who is also a wealth of information and who collaborates with many authors to provide great info, is her article for creating legendary characters.

After my bookstore opening I hope to come back and do some more NNWM words. But in between what I hope are many customers, I will be over at the DDLM altar saying some prayers for the departed and enjoying some Pan De Huevo.