Category Archives: Meme

Meeting like minds is so refreshing. I so this just for fun.

Toolbox 18: Third-Person Omniscient Point Of View

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.

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While I was soul-searching and reading about writing the mystery genre, I discovered several explanations of third-person omniscient pov.

The pros of third-person omniscient pov:

  • Narrator knows all: which is limited only by the pacing of shared information over time
  • The use of summaries, transitions and bits of telling are acceptable and encourage to maintain reasonable word count
  • Conflict shows each character’s deepest expressible traits during a scene or dramatic moment.
  • Small spurts of backstory—personal or worldwide—can introduce or quickly explain character behavior and social climate within scene.
  • The biggest advantage of the objective point of view is it allows the reader to make up their own mind about the unfolding events within the story.

Cons:

  • The lack of connection and sympathy for the characters because inner thoughts are used sparingly if at all.
  • Depends completely on descriptions of body language, dialogue, and reactions to concrete details to express each character’s emotional state.

Other Cons and their solutions:

  • Head hopping an be avoided by sticking to the narrator’s pov.
  • Info dumps can be avoided by using using restraint when including transitions, backstories, and summaries. Less is more.
  • Psychic characters. Writers must remember that the narrator knows all—not the players.

Objective vs Subjective

Objective (dramatic) third-person omniscient pov is more of a fly on the wall narration. Think of watching TV or a movie. The narrator’s voice is nonexistent. Character’s emotional state is shown through stage direction, body language, concrete details, foreshadowing, flashbacks, and dialogue. No internal thoughts are shared. Emotionally charged words like felt/assumed or angry/sad are avoided.

Therefore, the reader has to determine what each character is feeling and thinking through observation alone.

Subjective point of view has a strong narrative voice. It is intrusive and can be anyone: a child, pet, ghost, etc. The whole story is filtered through the narrator’s tone, attitude and the judgment of the players.

There is less distance, because it is possible for the reader get close to and/or sympathize with the narrator. Especially when done with a slice of comedy.

Omniscient vs Limited pov

Although both are similar enough to be used (almost) the same way during a dialogue heavy scene, they have quite different advantages.

Third Person Omniscient’s descriptors are slightly different in a tell-y kind of way. They can simply state what kind of person a character is: weak but honest, harsh and cruel. It allows for quick explanations. The showing is focused on body language, dialogue, and reactions to concrete details.

Third Person Limited has more show-y descriptors. They are the observations of the protagonist and reflect as much about the person sharing as it does about the character being described. Inner thoughts are deep and limited to the observer comments.

Why consider using omniscient pov at all?

Plot driven stories aren’t completely dependent on the reader-character connection. Depending on the scope of the story your trying to tell, it may help with an unacceptably large word count. Summaries and transitions allow the reader to traverse time and space quickly and easily. It also allows the reader to engage with the story without getting confused or lost in its enormity.

Is there anything I’ve missed? Please share, I’m glad to learn more.

Gleaned from:

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IWSG 58: Villian’s Motivation


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This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

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This month’s co-hosts:

Fundy Blue | Beverly Stowe McClure | Erika Beebe | Lisa Buie-Collard

Before I begin, I’d like to include a disclaimer: I may understand and share many concepts on the art/craft of writing. Unfortunately for me, I find the execution of some of these ideas very challenging.

Anything I share comes from my deep curiosity and willingness to learn more about the craft. This does not mean I’m able to use what I share with proficient skill. Like everyone else I must practice and make it my own.

‘Nough said. 🙂

Optional Question: Whose perspective do you like to write from best—the hero or villain’s—and why?

Lately I’ve been writing in first person and sticking to the hero’s point of view. As my son would say, “It’s a form of wish fulfillment.”

He’s not wrong when it comes to me. Like many, I do dream of being brave, righteous. Following clues, and proving my great mind (which is not all that) is sharp enough to solve the most confusing of crimes.

Evil act by an evil doer

In reality I find villains especially hard to write. Not so much wish fulfillment there. It turns out I don’t have an intentional mean bone in my body. That causes a problem the moment I try to write some evil act from the point of view of any villain.

I learned to approach the problem from the villains-are-the-hero-of-their-own-story angle. They don’t believe for one minute that anything they do is wrong.

Villainous motivation are based on:

  • The protection/defense of self and/or their loved ones.
  • Grief. The loss of a loved one that may lead to revenge or warped justice.
  • Unresolved family issues and a desperate need for their acceptance. To prove their worth or to earn the love of a family member.
  • Facing a rival and proving they are the best.
  • Greed comes in many forms. A deep need for more. More love, more property, more power. But if the need is only about money, the motive comes across weak to me.
  • Fear. Two ideas are prominent here. (1) The villain’s concern for the future and is willing to do anything (no matter how evil) to change it. (2) Or they see the hero as a threat to humanity because absolute power leads to absolute corruption.
  • The search of knowledge, Which raises the question if they can physically do something (change genetic code, create a cleaner power source, etc), should they? The most innocent creations have been weaponized.
  • Ultimate power over a person, place or nation.
  • Jealousy or envy is also a great motivator.
  • Escaping/achieving their destiny. Think superheroes/villains.
  • In some cases they don’t have motives. I’m thinking of the Joker in the Dark Knight.

Almost all these motivations come from the past. Check out my previous post on timelines if you want to read more.

It’s amazing how much a person can gain over time: a good job, spouse, children, and position in community. Turns out it is a lot to lose.

Add a vile act (best) forgotten and left in the past.

But someone (the antagonist) has a long memory. This memory has been festering and eventually must be acted upon.

The rest evolves into a story.

Where do your antagonist’s motivations come from? In your case, maybe the villain is a rival or an eventual lover; tell us about it.

Gleaned from:

Toolbox 17: Tracking Timelines—Story and Reference Material

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.

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Whether telling a story chronologically or not, there should be a record of what happened and in what order.

It simplifies things.

I started writing a little document for each story about how the suspects knew each other before the inciting incident (usually murder in my case) and their motives behind their behavior afterward.

This evolved into other reference documents.

historical event timeline:

Whether in bullet form or in a short description, the incident must have a detailed timeline. Because it is in these facts, the murder and its motives are rooted.

The frenemies of the suspect pool share a common point in their histories—a wedding, a funeral, a picnic, etc. Something happens there and this historical event changes all of them to some degree.

Whatever the occurrence, it is the source/motive of all their following interactions… with the murder victim as the linchpin in both events.

Because the relationships between the characters were solidified long before they met again, their resulting interactions are more organic.

Think of a family stricken by a death and the member’s individual reactions. Some may feel guilt or react so strongly they that it can’t be contained. Words are said that can’t be forgotten, and/or forgiven. Violence may break out.

Just as likely,  a love affair may be abandoned because of the event. Leaving one of both lovers pining or dreaming of what might have been.

Everyone goes back to their usual life, but their feelings rub raw over time.  These rifts, bonds, scars, obsessions, and unfinished business overflow into the story timeline.

historical event touches the story Timeline

Later in the story, the characters will reveal certain events which may not be correctly remembered by everyone or had festered within one individual, warping their memory. No matter what happened, however, these recollections are up to the reader to interpret when the frenemies finally have it out.

The chaos between the suspect pool provokes fake alibis, lies, motives to kill, and deep dark secrets revealed.

MURDER Timeline

In theory every suspect should have had an opportunity/means/motive to harm the victim. Only one commits the crime unless it’s an Orient Express retelling.

Again, whether in bullet form or not, a copy of the murder must be written down for reference.

Why?

Because if something in my mystery timeline prompts a change, I can easily update all my reference material.

Story Timeline

In MS Word, I use the chapter/scene headings and table of contents to track my timeline. In each heading I note the day and time. As I re-rearrange my work so it will read better, I update the table of contents which supplies a new list of headings.

Reading it, I can easily see if something needs to be fixed.

In Scrivener, I use the meta-data or scene/chapter synopsis section and track my timeline from there.

For both, I simply use: “Day One AM” or Day One PM”. I break it down further only if necessary.

My motives are simple. These three documents help me keep the facts in order so I won’t paint myself into a corner. It gives me an opportunity to update one central document as I rewrite. It also helps me find plot holes and gives me an opportunity to look objectively for plot twists.

I hope I’ve made my thoughts clear. If not, I welcome questions? Feel free to ask away.

IWSG #57: DIY Book Covers

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This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.

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Co-Hosts: Raimey Gallant, | Natalie Aguirre, | CV Grehan, | Michelle Wallace!

OPTIONAL IWSG Day Question: Besides writing, what other creative outlets do you have?

I’ve messed around with covers. What do you think?

It’s amazing what a person can find online these days.

Here’s the YouTube that started it all:

It’s a how-to series. I followed the advice and my heart and this is where I landed. Didn’t hurt that I got Photoshop (not the subscription but the disc) for Xmas in 2018. I’ve played. I’ve had fun. Learned a lot. A LOT!

Graphic design is nothing like drawing (I only dabbled in sketching, etc.). Some say I have the eye. I know what I like. It’s all subjective like choosing the perfect read.

On another note: still in a funk. Will it ever end?

Have a great month! This time you’ll need to do it for both of us. 🙂

Toolbox 16: Engaging the Reader

This post was written for the Author Toolbox Blog Hop where we share our new discoveries on the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, and blogging tips. Posted every third Wednesday of the month. For rules and sign-up click here.

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I don’t know about you but I’ve been asking myself this for some time. What engages a reader? That fell flat on its face, so I move on to why do I read.

  • Biggest reason is I’m looking for the next big story.

While I’m looking I’m okay with:

  • visiting to another world (fantasy or not)
  • enjoying a good laugh, surprises, crazy antics
  • solving mysteries

I thought long and hard about what makes up a great story. The Five (TV Series) comes to mind. It blew my mind, but I’m not talking. You’ll have to watch it yourself.

And The Magicians + the Wayward series (the books) were definitely good.

I Googled it. Online says its all about the characters. I’m not sure it is only the characters, but I have to start somewhere.

WHAT MAKES CHARACTERS COMPELLING?

My problem is don’t necessarily connect with the characters immediately but I do accept them. I’m like that with the people I meet as well. Be warned: it’s a personal thing that may slant my point of view.

Online suggests to write a compelling story, we must start with a compelling character.

Some traits to include:

  • well-rounded and random characteristics from all walks of life
  • a driving need, desire, ambition or goal
  • a deeply hidden, possibly shameful, secret
  • coping/not coping with a contradiction and vulnerability (ex. bravery = deep need vs fear)
  • showing vulnerabilities beneath a tough exterior (to the reader at least)
  • the constant pressure of the consequences of success and failure
  • the drive to face an opponent that has a better chance of succeeding than they do

What’s a hero without a villain

Something I love to see the protagonist and antagonist are both sympathetic characters. I love understanding and even agreeing with both sides. It makes for an undetermined outcome. (Rarely found in a mystery.)

Lets say we’ve done all this and the readers are still not connecting. What then?

Characters carry the reader with them throughout; but occasionally, it takes time to get to know them. Stalling for time….

The world

We might have a very strong woman on a vestroid in the Asteroid Belt. We don’t know why she’s there.

Why do we care?

We might not. But hey! we are experiencing the Asteroid Belt. Hopefully that’s cool enough until the reader gets into the murder, industrial espionage and characters.

I’m thinking of the Magicians and Wayward. Sometimes the world can draw a reader in.

The Stakes

It isn’t the actor as much as what they face that brings out the egads in us.

Our actor faces an incident that could shatter their outer world as well as their inner reality, leaving them changed forever. The consequences leading to something more unimaginable. And will not only destroy the protagonist, but everyone else in their world.

For example check out an episode of Manifest.

Whether or not we used the stakes as a draw, we need to express them as early as possible.

OUR MISSION AS WRITERS

All of us need to find a way to engage our readers. They’ve checked out our cover, and read the blurb. They’ve scanned the first few pages. Lets not lose them now.

Anything you’d like to add? I’m all ears.

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