Character in a nutshell

Can you describe your character’s essence or their raison d’etre, in a short phrase? How about Sam Gamgee’s “Some things are worth fighting for.” Or Scarlett O’Hara’s “I’ll never be hungry again!”

Our major characters are usually so deep we need a whole novel to flesh them out. But haven’t we chosen a character because she or he embodies a specific dramatic purpose? If this is true, we should know what that is. We should know it so well, we can say it in a phrase.

Sounds hard, but bear with me. Ask yourself what does my character want or believe in their very core? Read More…

I’m teaching a novel seminar

Categories: News |

Creating the Novel

I’m giving a 7-week novel seminar for Write on the River!

For beginners and mid-career writers wishing to pursue a publishing career. The class is limited to six students and will be held in Wenatchee, WA. Sessions consist of an hour of instruction and an hour’s critique of a student manuscript by the instructor and the other students.

The sessions will be designed to deepen students’ abilities to evaluate their writing with an eye to marketplace considerations as well as compelling fictional elements.

Some of these are useful tools.

DATES AND REQUIREMENTS

DATES: Sessions will be held every other Wednesday, February 12 through May 6.

TIME: 6:30 – 8:30 PM

COST: $300

REQUIREMENTS

  • Please apply to attend. Details here.
  • Membership in Write on the River.
  • 18 years of age or older.
  • Have at least 30 pages of a novel written and ready for critique by February 12.

Read More…

Drawing Winners

Categories: News |

Thank you to my newsletters subscribers who entered to win my latest drawing!

I am pleased to send to the following winners a paperback copy of Dystopia, my science fiction short story collection: Craig. J., Ana I. and Sanjuanita M.

Craig, Ana and Sanjuanita, your book will be on the way soon. Congratulations!

The prize for the drawing, my first short story colleciton.

And just to mention: My recently published second story collection!

 

My SF novel at $.99

Categories: News |

Grab it while it’s under a dollar — The Seeds of Time

NOW through Sunday, October 13

 

Clio Finn is a time travel pilot on the run from a dystopian and graying Earth. Now she’s found a planet with what could be viable, saving biota. If she can get home from across the galaxy. With the enemies Clio’s got, that’s a very big IF. One week only, the eBook is reduced to $.99 at all e-retailers.

The Seeds of Time, a reader favorite.

Click here to purchase: books2read.com/seeds

Is This Scene Worth It?

Don’t let tepid scenes suck the juice from your novel.

One simple step can save you time — and perhaps your novel.

Recognize this situation? You’ve just re-read the last scene written, and now it’s time to write another. You have a sort-of-good idea for it. And maybe when you write it, it will improve “in the telling.”

On the other hand, you’re thinking, you could just explain the action in a narrative bridge. Or perhaps tuck the information bit by bit into several scenes? In other words, you’re not sure the scene is worth it.

So how can we decide whether to bring this nugget of action on stage in a scene?

“Forward the plot” is the usual scene advice. But even following that criteria it’s  easy to write tepid, low-interest scenes.

Let your intuition help.

Here’s a quick way to help you judge if your idea for the scene is good enough: Give it a title. (You won’t use these titles in the manuscript, this is just a quick test for drama.)

The title doesn’t need to be catchy or meaningful to anyone else. But to you, it reflects the dramatic essence of the next story bit. Examples from my planning notebook for a recent novel:

Blood on the silver screen Read More…