Crazy, I know. When you write a novel you spend weeks, months, even years creating an amazing tale that a reader will consume in a matter of hours. I spend that much time on a hand full of pages. But it isn’t about you. It is all about the reader. You are creating this for them. You need to write a story that is interesting enough to keep their attention and write it in a way that draws them in emotionally and intellectually. Never underestimate the reader. They will have at least a base level education. They are a reader after all and hopefully picked up your book to read. Write to that person.
“It ain’t about me?” Um…nope. The world revolves around the awesomeness that is me. Yeah, I said it. Tell me I’m wrong and I will not listen–so there. I am off to get a refill of my cuppa. If you are as cool as me, you will join me. I made homemade blueberry muffins. Help yourself, but make sure you grab a napkin cuz crumbs, ya nasties. You don’t have to clean the reading rug, I do. Now hurry along. I’ll get the rug ready and get my copy of The Novel Writer’s Toolkit by Bob Mayer. Have you gotten your copy yet? There is still plenty of time and a ton of pages. Get yours today. **Start thinking ahead to what you would like to cover next. That will give us all plenty of time to get our copy. **
Avoid the Lecture
The whosie whatsit? The lecture is when you keep hammering on a topic, feeling, or action that was clearly stated the first three times. Say you have a character who is upset about something. The last thing you want to do is describe this by having them scream, then fume, then pound a fist, then attack, then…We get it. This character is ticked off, but don’t treat your reader like they don’t understand. Not only will this bore them to tears, but it could also annoy them. You can survive boredom, but it is hard to come back from annoyance. Don’t let your emotional attachment to a scene cause you to falter with your reader. Sometimes the part we love the most, as writers, is the part that will drag down the story. Cut it.
There is value in cutting. Now, I have said this many times before– cutting should not mean deleting. You may remove a section from this story but save it in a file for later. Create a document where you can place all the masterful bits and pieces that didn’t fit. Mine is labeled Awesome Extras because that is what they are. When you are writing another story, you can go back and find those gems that will fit within those new pages. Waste not, want not as they say.
Foreshadowing– dum, dum, duuuuum…dumb.
Watch your set-ups. You can over kill your foreshadowing. Surprises are a good thing in a storyline. It keeps your reader on the edge of their seat. There is a kind of rule to follow here. Mr. Mayer calls it his Chekov rule. It is: If you have a gun in chapter one it should be fired by chapter three. But do not speak of it often. Just enough to let your reader know it is there. Keep it in the back of the reader’s mind to keep the suspense moving.
Read, read, and read some more.
Mr. Mayer’s final word on finesse is: READ. Read to learn about style and ideas. Read terrible works so you know how to avoid the pit falls. Read the great works to learn why they are great. Look at the new book lists at the library and bookstores. Have you noticed we go in cycles? Vampires to zombies to comics? Just like fashion, things come back. See what is drawing people’s attention today. Write better than what is on the best seller list. I have faith in you.
Coming up next: Tool 8: Your Submission
I will have to pay closer attention to this section. Apparently, there are things you must do BEFORE you market your novel. Who knew?
Polish your sparkle and keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends!
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Universal Code for O-B*tch-uary: https://books2read.com/u/bOZe8o
Universal Code for Sin Full: http://books2read.com/u/m2Vdqd
Author Page: amazon.com/author/nellawarrent