Writer's Fun Zone by Beth Barany
A few months ago I decided on an exercise challenge. After two years of bi-weekly handstand classes I still could not balance on my own in the center of the room. After asking experts I was told, “you need to practice every single day no matter what, for a minimum of two minutes a day. If you do this, in six months to a year you’ll have your handstands.”
Once you type “The End” on your marvelous, ground-breaking manuscript, all is not complete. You now need people to read and adore your book, and sing your story praises to the world. What you need is a book reviewer, someone who spends a great majority of their day just reading books and letting the world know if the book is a hit or a flop.
Passive sentences gained popularity in the mid- 18th century with new scientific research. The agreement between the scientists and the publishers of journals and newspapers was that the scientist (a new term and a new field of study) were to write up their ideas and findings passively.
In the past I’ve discussed my evolving style and methods as I continue to learn the art of comics and the graphic novel. When I look at my past books I can see clearly how my drawing is changing to suit my voice. This graphic novel, Queensgate, contains mostly my hand-drawn frames, and I’d incorporated traced pictures of photographs I’d taken on my first trip to London.
“…the bearded merchants in furred robes conversing quietly as they picked their way along the slimy stones above the water, the fishermen unloading their catch, coopers pounding and shipmakers hammering and clamsellers singing and shipmasters bellowing, and beyond all the silent, shining bay.”
Every format of story telling—written, sung, painted, sculpted, photographed, inked, digitally enhanced—shares a sprinkle of an illusive elixir, a potion which will enable the viewer or reader to step into the magical world crafted from the artist’s mind. It is combination of words, note arrangement, brush strokes, use of lines, lighting, or shading that snag the listener’s imagination and set their hooks in so deep they believe, for a heartbeat or a collection of moments, that the artist’s fantastical world is real.
Do you remember Sister Maria from The Sound of Music? She sang a little song about having confidence before she plunged into the world of Captain Von Trapp and his seven motherless children. As she sang, she acknowledged her doubts and fears, but she didn’t chicken out or turn back.
The goal for every writer has to be writing a book so compelling that readers can’t put it down. Using foreshadowing can help you create that kind of suspense, because it hints at what comes later and motivates the reader to find out what that drama or secret is. Foreshadowing can also convey information that helps readers understand future events.
I remember when I was attempting my first story with the help of a course — a correspondence Writer’s Digest course. Remember those? Recently single, 28 years old, trying to embrace my dreams, I...
Anthologies are often the first place a brand newbie writer can get published. Which is why many colleges and writing clubs collect and print anthologies. Inclusion in an anthology increases the value of group membership and lifts all boats – or in this case, author’s street cred.
In my last post I talked about how you should take every opportunity to talk about your work when you get the chance, to see what others have to say and to learn from the questions people ask. Sometimes they catch you off-guard in a way that makes you have to say something from the gut, and it forces a writer to be in the moment, and to be authentic.