Yesterday was just one of those days where I didn't have enough time to do all the things I wanted to do. Didn't help I was on only four or five hours of sleep. I watched WrestleMania with the guinea pigs to unwind. Got through the tag team championship match, then decided I need to … Continue reading not nearly enough time
I started the Do-It-Yourself Journal way back when and never really did anything with it. Seems like a worthy thing to resurrect on this blog. I wear two hats--fiction writer and publisher. The DIY Journal is all about indie publishing: things I do in my business, things I need to do, what I'm working on … Continue reading DIY Journal: IP Tracking
When I first started learning the craft of storytelling, I really had no fucking clue what voice was. Looking back, especially over some of the old posts I took down yesterday, I was clueless. Laughable now. Back then, I would've been offended if somebody pointed out my lack of control over voice. Voice in fiction … Continue reading the invisible nature of voice
But not really. To date, I have give-or-take 60 publications floating around out there, though mostly under a different pen-name. So I never took a hiatus from writing, at least not of the permanent kind. I've just been busy writing and publishing erotica for the last four years or so. And now the time feels … Continue reading after a long damn hiatus
I’m going to wrap up this mini-series on practice with something few of you expect. Some of you might even be angry at me for bringing this up, if you weren’t already about angry about practice in general. If so, check in with yourself and try to figure out why this stuff makes you ticked. You’re only short-changing yourself by letting negative emotions dictate your writing.
The question for the week is: How do you make a story feel twisted, with lots of surprises? Surprising your reader is a practiced skill in itself, but there are some practical considerations.
You’re a reader. Go find your favorite books, and see for yourself what those authors did to pull you into their books. There’s a thousand techniques to pull readers in, you’ll discover some of those techniques when you analyze the books that pull you in. But there’s a trick to analyzing this stuff. You can’t just read, and you can’t just write your own stories. Do both, for sure. You need to also study.
Now we’re going into the nuts and bolts of how to practice writing. At this point, either you’ve bought my argument that you need practice, or you haven’t. I hope you have, no matter what your skill level currently is at.
Mystery writer John D. McDonald has a famous quote (paraphrasing a bit): You have a million words of crap in you before you can write a publishable novel. The more stories I write, the more I see how true this is. When I first started, I couldn’t plot my way out of a paper bag. I knew jack about character development. I had no grasp of voice, or setting, or pacing. Don’t tell the younger-me any of that.
So now, I’m switching focus from “NaNo-friendly” material, to stuff I really want to discuss. As an ML, there were certain topics I just never brought up unless somebody lassoed me into talking about them: politics, religion, rewriting, and practice. I’d occasionally mention practice in passing, depending on who was across the table from me, but never got into it.