writing craft tagged posts

Talk to me – no, never mind.

January 15, 2015

This post was written by CBramkamp

Newbie Guide  No comments

Need a time machine?So many new writers start their books with pages, even chapters of back story. They want to tell the reader all about the creation of their fantasy world. They want to make sure the readers understands every nuance of Mexican politics in 1956 because it will be critical to the to the plot on page 103. Promise. They want to make sure the readers understands every feature of time travel.

Then their writing coaches or editors innocently suggest that instead of including all this material in the opening chapters of their book, the author should create back strong through dialogue. Ah ha, the author thinks, dialogue, of course. And instead of jettisoning their precious descriptions and explanations, they simply put quotation marks around it.

Problem solved.

Except none of your charactersRead More

Way Too Much Plot

December 24, 2014

This post was written by CBramkamp

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What if the future sucks?Do you have too much plot getting in the way of your story?

This happened

Then this happened

Then this happened

And finally, that happened.

But, the reader asks. How did the heroine feel?

What did the hero do?

What did the forest look like?

Often new writers worry about their character getting from point A to Point B. They get caught up in the admonishment of show don’t tell and consequently devote pages to describing the morning routine of a character: Sam woke and stretched, the sun poured through the windows and made him squint. The coffee maker burbled to life and he remembered when he purchased the expensive machine, it was right after Veronica left him. . . or a detailed description of how a character traveled from there to here resulting in lengthy descriptions of the passingRead More

Writers who explain too much

December 18, 2014

This post was written by CBramkamp

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Send the girlsDo you explain too much?

We read to experience another world and another life. We read to fall into a world. Excessive explanation takes us out of that experience and talks at us rather than guides us through a fantastic journey. If we wanted a lecture, we wouldn’t have sat in the back of the dark lecture hall either nodding off, or reading a novel, that if well written, was the polar opposite of the boring telling lecture taking place at the front of the class.

As Elmore Leonard commented: Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

In the opening of my second Future Girls book, Future Gold, I agonized over how to get the heroine, Jordan, from her time (2145) back in time (1861). I wanted to explain why she was in the Duck and Screw. I wanted to give the reader Jordan’s backRead More

Tips from a real editor after reviewing a real manuscript.

September 10, 2014

This post was written by CBramkamp

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If I wasn’t convinced before that Beta Readers are the new black, then the notes from the editor of Eternal Press for Future Girls clinched the deal.

This is what my editor said after reviewing the manuscript for Future Girls:

“Congratulations on a wonderful novel!  In general the writing was excellent and I felt fortunate to work with a writer who knows her craft. I quite enjoyed editing it and I hope that you find my suggestions useful.

“There are suggestions which I make that you can ignore.

“There are things in which my hands are tied, and these are items are from the EP Style Guide.

“”Said” and “asked” are the best (dialogue) tags because they are invisible. He declared, she announced, etc. all draw attention to themselves. I’ve pointed out a few of them, and when not necessaryRead More

Episode 138: “In Soviet Podcast, We Listen To You!”

July 3, 2014

This post was written by Damien

Newbie Writers Podcast  No comments

The Newbie Writers’ Podcast

Writing is difficult on a trip, most of us travel with family, or even in a tour group. And that’s fine, but what happens when the trip does exactly what you hope, and you become wonderfully inspired?

You can’t just stop everything and take time off to record your thoughts, there are stately palaces to tour, museums to visit and beer to drink.

So what can you do?

Be messy: Any writing is a win in this situation. When you do find a place and time to write, just make notes.

Make notes - a notebook or scratching away on purloined pieces of hotel stationery is not very intrusive and can be done anywhere.

that’s nice but where can I even find time?

Do laundry. I needed to babysit our laundry – couldn’t really abandoned it. So I spent a good hour and a halfRead More