My source of craft learning for March was from a few sources: Margie Lawson's Deep Editing class, the first third of Emotions, Character, and Viewpoint by Nancy Kress, and some writing magazines/journals I get. I think I'll start from the end and work my way to the beginning.
From ACFW Journal, the April The Writer and the March/April Writer's Digest:
- Each successive problem, opponent, hurdle, weakness, fear or setback that occurs in your story must be greater than those that preceded it.
- Read books in your genre - by NEW authors - to determine what's selling.
- Writing well requires practice - practice of things you don't do well until you do - whether they're craft or content
- You don't want readers to admire your writing: you want them to be so engaged in the story itself that they don't notice the way you use words to shape it.
- To create effective characters, you must learn to be three people at once: writer, character, and reader.
- Which character you choose as a protagonist determines what the story will be about.
- Choose physical details that subtly reinforce the impression you want to make of your character.
- You can build more plausible, complex characters if they want not just one thing, but two that are in conflict.
- The key to keeping track/control of the many elements of fiction is to write in scenes.
- Before you write, you should know exactly what the scene is supposed to accomplish.
- Rhetorical devices can make a huge difference in the power of your language.
- Backloading picks up the pace, but flow should trump backloading.
- Use of scene-themed words can make a big emotional impact.
- Avoid cliches like the plague (cliche alert!) - unless you "twist" it a bit.
- If a scene is written well, if your character has a strong visceral response, your reader will have a visceral response.
- Every word counts.
- Read your work out loud (yeah - this one was on my list from last month - but I NEED it!).
- Slip slivers of backstory into your manuscript in active ways.
- As you review your pages, ask if what you've got there deepens the characters and/or moves the story forward. Otherwise, cut it.
- Make sure your story starts at the right point.
- Work just as hard on middle and later chapters as you do on those first few chapters.
- Compress time when you have boring things going on - expand time to spotlight thought processes, action, and/or emotional reactions. .
- There are at least ten gazillion ways I can improve my writing.
Questions? Comments? Observations?
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength