Saturday, 20 April 2013

Marie Harbon - Tips for Writers


Page 1 Page 2 > Page 3 > 
#OBSpringFling


Tips For Writers
by Marie Harbon 

A story follows what a character wants, what she’ll do to get it, and what costs she’ll have to pay on the way. The journey of your character is paramount, as your readers will track what she learns, the decisions she makes, and how her life changes as a result. This is the essence of myth – which is a journey leading to oneself. Myth relates to all stories, not just fantasy. You can use a physical journey as the basis for this, even if it’s only from one side of a city to another. A good example of a journey is in ‘Stand By Me’, when four boys walk on an adventure to see a dead body. Along the way, they discover a lot about themselves.

Flow is one of the most important elements of a good story. Ensure ease of reading for your audience, so that they’re not jarred by complex language or names that are difficult to pronounce. They’ll just substitute gibberish instead, and the human eye singles out difficult words. While you believe you’re being clever, most likely, your readers will find it a turn off.

Another key element is pace. A slow plod will cause the reader’s interest to decline, although it allows for greater detail. A hectic pace will take the reader on an adrenaline saturated rollercoaster ride, although it will exclude detail. This pace is perfect for suspense, whereas a slower pace is more appropriate for literary fiction, as it allows character development and analysis. Most genres strike a balance between the two.

My third key element is emotion. This is what really drives your story, not your flawless prose or your technical genius. Readers must feel what is happening to your characters, be joyful in their successes and tearful in their heartache.  They must travel the journey by your character’s side, and care what happens to them. Make your reader feel excitement, tears, triumph, disgust, annoyance, and laughter.
Some authors give strict technical advice about the use of adverbs, semi-colons and prologues, to name a few. 

Excellent flow, pace, and emotion trumps technical factors, because readers don’t pick up a book to check out how many adverbs an author used. They read to be transported to another world. Perfect technicalities cannot mask a lame and pointless story. Many of Amazon’s best sellers are not works of technical genius: they merely take the fantasies of readers, translate them into words using the authors’ hearts and souls, and sell them back to the world.

What are the ingredients of a good story? Make a wish list of everything you’d like to see in a book or film, what interests you passionately, what entertains you, and the themes that capture your imagination.  Choose some key elements that naturally intersect, and build your vision from there.

Don’t neglect the depth of your story world. It’s not necessary to describe everything down to the trees and the soil, but you should seek to capture an evocative snapshot of your world. Sometimes a bold metaphor can perform this job more effectively than a whole paragraph of description.

Play around with ‘what if’ scenarios. If it can happen, then let it.

When developing your lead character, remember, he/she must drive the action.  This character doesn’t have to be instantly likeable or perfect. Sometimes, the most fascinating characters are those who are challenging, complex, and make mistakes, just like us.

Don’t develop one character and neglect the dimensionality of your supporting cast. Where relevant to the story, allow them to express themselves, without sidetracking. See all your characters together as part of an interconnected web, who interact, and affect each other’s emotions and decisions.

Buy at Amazon
Genre - Science Fiction (PG13)
Connect with Marie Harbon on Facebook and Twitter

Buy at Amazon
Genre - Science Fiction (PG13)
Connect with Marie Harbon on Facebook and Twitter
Reactions:

0 comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom

SherbetBlossom

Blog-A-Licious

Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife

Blog-A-Licious

My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo

tbaoo

Blog-A-Licious

Powered by BannerFans.com

Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun

Greatfun4kids

Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

Powered by BannerFans.com

Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max


Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry

BlogNostics

My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

Book Blogs Community

Indie Author Blog Hop


indie author blog hop
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next

In Support Of

In Support Of

Support Me - KIVA

Celebrating Authors

Book Signing @

Read Me - E.Zine Articles

Copyscape

Protected by Copyscape Online Plagiarism Software