Category Archives: Meme

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

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.

~~~oOo~~~

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.

Gleaned from:

Advertisements

IWSG #56: Just Trudging Along

~~~oOo~~~

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.

~~~oOo~~~

Co-Hosts:

Patricia Lynne | Lisa Buie-Collard | Kim Lajevardi | Fundy Blue

OPTIONAL Question: What are your favorite and least favorite questions people ask you about your writing?

My favorite question: Can I read your work?

It’s exciting and frightening (even now) and a leap of faith into the abyss. I get mixed reactions which can be hurtful, helpful and depend completely on the reader’s ability to share their thoughts constructively.

Wattpad has helped with this—a lot.

Worst question: Why do you keep going?

The answer is I don’t know.

I’m in the dumps when it comes to my writing. It’s hard to stay positive when the rejections keep coming. All my fault. I’m the one submitting. Anyway, so things have been tough. I keep writing though and that is good.

I’m struggling with my next project big time and don’t expect what I’m working on to go anywhere, but still keep going.

I’m like the mule that sees the carrot and knows it’s a trick. I don’t have the heart to stop. It would make it all too real. And the worst part is then I won’t move forward.

Sorry for being a downer this round. I just can’t help it.

Pacing (Non-Toolbox Post#2)

Pacing Trouble:

Many things can destroy pacing. The reader could be struggling the the dialogue–slang, accents, etc. Slogging through an info dump or getting caught up in bad grammar and worse punctuation. But what if that’s not the problem.

If the language is clear, and poses flow, how can there still be a pacing problem? 

When to Slow it down

Has a reader complained that a scene made them feel uncomfortable or nervous? Maybe, even upset. These are all symptoms of pacing being too fast.

Every reader needs to breathe. Process. Gather their thoughts.

T0 slow the pace:

  • Add inner thoughts
  • Write longer sentences with descriptive detail
  • Use language that is more relaxing
  • Insert some passive sentences
  • Slow time down and stretch it out with more details

I’m not suggesting a writer use all of these techniques, however, selecting what works for them will help when revising.

When to Speed it up

If you are getting feedback about the chapter being boring, not holding the reader’s attention, or they are skimming/skipping ahead; pick up the pace:

  • Use short, quick, simple sentences and paragraphs
  • Throw in some sentence fragments
  • Punchy words. Energetic, and active language.
  • Avoid linking verbs
  • Fewer inner thoughts
  • Less overall description

Again, the writer will have to select what works best for them and not go too far. Or they are back at too fast.

Pacing needs balance

Depending on the genres, the pacing may tilt more one way than another. Faster paced for thrillers, and more of a slow burn for some romances.

A well balance story entertains your readers and compels them to read to the end.

Gleaned from:

 

IWSG #55: I Want to be a Diverse Writer

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.

~~~oOo~~~

OPTIONAL IWSG DAY QUESTION: 

What are five objects we’d find in your writing space?

Coffee, bobble-head Groot, dog treats, pen, and notepad

Co-Hosts:

  J.H. MoncrieffTonja DreckerPatsy Collins | Chrys Fey!

i’M NOT GOOD AT Diverse writing BUT i want to learn:

I read about diversity all over the place. And I support all people of any belief system, orientation, challenge and heritage. I won’t refer to the news (although I just have) for the reasons I want to write about all types of people.

I’m a person of love. I wish everyone was.

I don’t want to hurt or offend anyone. In my clumsy way of learning, I’m afraid of offending someone or being misquoted in some hateful way.  

I’m  not a weapon.

That said, it’s time to put on my big-girl pants.

I’m asking for VOLUNTEERS to correct me:

  • I need training to use the right words
  • I need to see where I go wrong and how to fix it
  • I need to be able to fail so I can succeed
  • I’m already sensitive but I need to see through another’s eyes

I’m white in non-diverse community and have no idea what I’m doing but doing it anyway. Let’s put some diversity on the page and widen our minds.

Thanks for the support.

Some Reading For All of Us:

Adding Website Tabs (Non-Toolbox Post #1)

 

To everyone that is writing for NaNo2018: Congrats! and Best of Luck!

No toolbox post this month or the next. But that little detail isn’t stopping me.

I’ve been collecting and posting of info about writing since I started learning the craft. But I figured I was just following the same path as everyone else.

I did it to save time. My collection of info stopped me from having to look up same thing a dozen times before I remember it.

But recently someone asked me where one of my posts were. They had some trouble locating it. Well, reaching out that way filled my enabler’s heart with joy. Not because they couldn’t find it or they had a bad memory. Nope. I actually helped someone.

Stand back cuz here I go.

I’ve gone through and organized my old posts and other info in the new tabs up top. Take a look around and remember all suggestions and feedback are always welcome.

Thanks for dropping by. Do you have a homemade how-to book too? Tell me about it. I’m sure we’d all like to take a look.