Creating a Story-Worthy Problem That Will Captivate an Audience – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb provides us with a blog post about creating a story-worthy problem that will captivate an audience. She writes this post in her incomparable unique witty way and still educates us. Thank you, Kristen!


The story-worthy problem is the beating heart of all superlative fiction.

Unfortunately, creating this central core can often be overlooked. This is particularly true for writers relying on school training.

English teachers didn’t mind we used twenty-five metaphors on one page because their goal was to teach us how to properly use a metaphor…not how to write successful commercial fiction.

Creating the core problem and then—possibly (depending on genre)—the many overlapping layers and misdirections, is tough mental work.

Story as Structure

Like any structure, a story demands a strong foundation and sturdy frame. Without structure, it’s easy for author (and audience) to become lost.

Without those elements? The story caves in. But, foundations and framing aren’t nearly as fun as picking out paint, furniture, or drapes.

Face it, for most of us, decorating a house is much more fun than building one. This can be the same for stories. Crafting the perfect sentence, poring over descriptions, tinkering with dialogue is fun.

CONTINUE READING HERE

 

Writing Legal Fiction: 4 Research Tips – Written By K.M. Weiland

K. M. Weiland gives us four interesting research tips when writing legal fiction. Thanks so much for the advice!


On television crime dramas, DNA comes back in three minutes, crimes are solved in less than forty-two minutes, and defendants always confess to everything right there on the stand in front of judge and jury.

While I can see the entertainment value in this type of show, I often want to hurl my remote at the television. Why? Because none of it is an accurate portrayal of the judicial system and how it works.

As someone who’s worked in the legal field for over two decades, it’s beyond frustrating.

Continue reading HERE

 

 

 

 

Is That Me in Your Novel? When Life Imitates Fiction, and Vice-Versa – Written by Anne R. Allen

Anne R. Allen provides us with an experience no author ever wants to make. Read the blog post and you know what I mean. Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Anne.


Recently I got a furious Facebook message from a stranger who accused me of “using her life” in one of my books. It’s amazing how sometimes life imitates fiction.

She had apparently been a Facebook friend, and she dramatically unfriended me after sending a distraught DM describing the traumas in her life that I’d “stolen”.

Since she’d blocked me, I wasn’t able to assure her that Leona Von Schmidt, one of the suspects in The Queen of Staves, is an entirely fictional construct—a comic character who is not meant to resemble any real inhabitant of Planet Earth, living or dead.

When I wrote the book, I’d known nothing about the details of the Facebook woman’s life that she accused me of revealing. (Although of course, I know them now. Some things can’t be unread, alas.)

Continue reading HERE

 

Does Fantasy Have to Be Medieval? – Written By Charles Yallowitz

I found an interesting post published on the ‘Legends of Windemere’ post, written by Charles Yallowitz. He writes about Fantasy and ‘when’ it should take place – medieval times or not? Read, what he has to say. Thank you, Charles!


Various questions come up when someone wants to write high fantasy and many of them are completely understandable. They may deal with magic, various races, and creating a world that isn’t Earth. Yet, there are other questions that you can see why they are asked, but they come off as shocking. It makes one wonder about the entire genre and how it might not have evolved as much as many believe. I’m going to touch on one of those questions here:

Does a fantasy story have to take place in a medieval Europe/Dark Ages setting?

Continue reading here

Fiction Addiction: How Great Storytellers Put the “Meth” into “Method” – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen informs us with her new post about how great storytellers put the ‘meth’ into ‘method’. Thank you, once again, for your educational blog post, Kristen.


Fiction, when crafted to hit that psychic sweet spot, is highly addictive. Which is why soap operas, daytime shows (e.g. Judge Judy & Dr. Phil), and ‘reality’ programs are all going strong with no sign of slowing down.

‘Days of our Lives’ is more like ‘Decades of Our Lives.

Drama is always in demand. In fact, we’ve even added a brand new term to our cultural lexicon to reflect this modern reality—‘binge-watching.’

Between Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Google Play, and the bazillion specialty channels delivered via Roku? Then add in all the devices where audiences regularly inhale ebooks, podcasts, audiobooks, blogs, videos, etc.

Let’s just say cultural appetites for stories in all their forms—from hard-boiled documentaries (Making a Murderer) all across the spectrum to the epic high fantasy fiction (Game of Thrones)—has never been so insatiable.

***I know we’ve spent the past couple posts deep-diving the publishing industry, and I PROMISE to blog about other changes ahead. Alas, I figured it was time for something a bit lighter, and yet still salient to being successful in this industry.

Good news is that audiences crave stories, and they are always hunting for their next fiction addiction no matter WHAT is going on in the publishing world.

Continue reading here

Does Everyone Really Love A Bad Boy? – Written By Charles Yallowitz

On ‘The Legends of Windermere’ blog, written by Charles Yallowitz, I found this excellent blog post about bad boys and how they really are used. Thanks for the great post, which I think to me is quite helpful, Charles.


A while back, somebody suggested I write a few posts on the ‘Bad Boy’ concept. I agreed thinking it shouldn’t be too hard. Now, I’m sitting here trying to figure out what I was thinking. Seriously, this feels like it’s outside of my ballpark because ‘Bad Boy’s in my mind don’t really appear outside of romances and dramas. Then again, I’m using a very narrow definition. Let me try to enhance it by some stream of consciousness writing.

Continue reading here

7 Tips on Writing Characters with Healing Factors/Regeneration – Written By Charles Yallowitz

Thank you very much, Charles Yallowitz, for providing us with great tips on writing fantasy. I personally found your post phenomenal and I’m sure not the only one.


One power that I use a lot in War of Nytefall is the regenerative powers of the Dawn Fangs. They can heal quickly and keep fighting as long as their head and enough limbs are attached. That second part is debatable for some characters too. Parts can be reattached if pressed to the wounds as well. It means that their fights can be very bloody, but only because of how I use this power. I consider every usage to make sure it still fits, which makes me realize how healing factors might not be as easy to write about as I thought. It can fall into abuse before you know it. So, what are some things to consider?

Continue reading here

My Personal Top Ten Blogs For Non-Fiction


 

Lately, I had not much to do and was thinking about the blogs I follow. From A through Z there are blogs of fiction authors (yes, the one or other has written a book, based on a true story, of course!), but I don’t deny I prefer reading fiction.

There are several reasons for that. For once: there’s plenty of horrors, cruelness, blood, killing, and death around. I prefer reading about all this where I can be sure it never had happened.

And second: I’m an empath, reading true, sad and horrible stories make me cry like a puppy and getting nightmares occasionally.

Occasionally I like reading history and biographies. (Provided they’re not biographies of bloodsoaked dictators who should have died in jail in Den Haag… but that’s a story for another time.

While I’ve been thinking about non-fiction books I had to admit non-fiction writers don’t get plenty of attention from me – and definitely not enough recognition!

I spent days to research blogs that are written by non-fiction writers or dedicated to non-fiction books.

To me, the following are the best of the ones I found:

https://brevity.wordpress.com/

https://nonfictionauthorsassociation.com/category/blog/

https://www.biographyonline.net/blog.html/

https://www.sarahsbookshelves.com/announcing-nonfiction-november-2018/

https://www.writermag.com/blog/interesting-nonfiction-books-fall-2018/

http://asuen.com/nonfictionmonday/

https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/books/g19404777/best-nonfiction-books-2018/

https://www.bustle.com/p/10-nonfiction-books-about-other-books-because-the-history-of-literature-is-fascinating-10239943

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/non-fiction/

http://bookbloggerlist.com/category/non-fiction/non-fiction-biographies-memoirs/

 

I have to say I need to give non-fiction authors more credit than I did until now. Their work is as hard as ours and I wouldn’t want to go through all the research, the fact-checking and everything they have to come up with to make their book a success.

Let’s say they’re experts on something, or someone and write a book about it, one tiny mistake can ruin them forever. My respect, therefore, is extremely high!

Are you a non-fiction writer? Do you know a non-fiction writer? Let us hear about your/their writing process and how it is to work with facts more than relying on fantasy. Let us know. We’re curious.

Flawed Characters vs. “Too Dumb to Live”: What’s the Difference? – Written By Kristen Lamb

Kristen Lamb published a phenomenal blog post about flawed characters and the difference to “Too Dumb To Live”. Thanks for another educational as well as entertaining post and your wonderful humor, Kristen!


 

Which is more important? Plot or character? Anyone currently doing NaNoWriMo is all, “WORDS! ONLY WORDS MATTER NOW! Get off my case, Blogger Chick. I’ll figure out plot and character later.”

*awkward silence*

To write great fiction, we need both. Plot and characters work together. One arc drives the other much like one cog serves to turn another, thus generating momentum in the overall engine we call “STORY.”

If we goof up plot? Readers/Audiences get confused or call FOUL. Watch the movie Ouija for what I am talking about *shakes head*.

Goof up characters? No one cares about the plot.

New writers are particularly vulnerable to messing up characters. We drift too far to one end of the spectrum or the other—Super-Duper-Perfect versus Too Dumb to Live—and this can make a story fizzle because there is no way to create true dramatic tension.

To continue reading the entire blog post go to:

https://authorkristenlamb.com/2018/11/flawed-characters-dumb-characters/

15 Thoughts Every Writer Has When They Aren’t Writing

On DSM Publishing I found a link to this blog post, written by Michael Cristiano on ‘A Writer’s Path’. Thanks Michael. I’m convinced many of us have exactly the same thoughts. (or at least most of the ones on your list.)

A Writer's Path

by Michael Cristiano

Not being able to write is a sad fact of life for a writer. There’s laundry to do, there’s food to cook, there’s sleep to be had. Worse, I have this pesky illness that eats up a lot of my time. I toil day in and day out to keep it at bay and under control. Sometimes, it creeps into my evenings, just when I think I’ve escaped. Worse, the horror of it all often keeps me awake at night and the dread fills my dreams with terror and sadness.

Oh, I’m not sick… I have a 9-to-5 job.

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