Writer to Writer - May 2006
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Quote of the Month:
Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.
Please note: Language is set as "English - Australia" - words are not spelled incorrectly. (Not intentionally, anyway!)
The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes & Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes
Tami Cowden, Caro LaFever, Sue Viders
Lone Eagle Publishing Company (2000, 200 pgs.)
Reviewed by Beth Morrow© All rights reserved
Whether you pen sci-fi, detective mysteries, historical romance or anything in-between, one undeniable element drives your story and compels readers to, well, read: characters. Uninteresting characters equal uninterested readers, plain and simple.
If creating dimensional, engaging characters gives you fits, or if you're just interested in finding out what makes people tick, check out The Complete Writer's Guide to Heroes & Heroines.
After a brief introduction of the history of character archetypes, the authors dive headfirst into the eight main types of hero archetypes. With each archetype is an in-depth explanation of that type of character, possibilities and reasons he may have become that type of hero (for example, the CHIEF character may appear unemotional but in reality is a much more sympathetic guy than he lets on). From that, we learn about that archetype's qualities, virtues, flaws and backgrounds, broken into two possible styles, or ways, that character might interact with others in your story based on their life experiences. Several career suggestions are also listed for each archetype, and in the margins, the authors list a variety of movie characters who also embody that archetype.
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Interesting Articles Found On the Net:
A Balancing Act - Putting the Romance into Suspense by Maggie Nash ~ A Workshop (in pdf format)
Go to: http://www.maggienash.com/Articles.html to download this informative article.
Gosh I can't believe it's almost been a year since the last time I contacted you. Time flies when we are having fun! :) I'm writing to you again with more good news ... I have finally gotten my website up and running. Check out http://www.pencilsproofreading.com . Woo-hoo! :)
Best wishes for your continued success.
Congratulations Ken and Laura!
**If you have any news, please send it along. (Dont be shy we wont bite!)
Public Service Announcement:
Vance Agee, writer, husband, teacher, and devout Christian, has written a wonderful book, Where Our Spirits Meet, a collection of about 150 of his original stories and poems . He has graciously offered his book as a fundraiser for Storytime Tapestry and it is available to you, at the special price of $8.00 (American); please include shipping and handling (approx 4.00). The suggested retail price is $19.95 before shipping costs.
This is your opportunity to buy for yourself, family, friends, or launch your own fundraiser for your church or other community organization. You will be helping out Storytime Tapestry, and your own special needs group as well. But the ministry does not end there; Vance has his own special cause. You'll be helping to pay for a double lung transplant (see introduction below), a project which Vance is very committed to.
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Resist the Urge to Explain By Cynthia VanRooy © All rights reserved Have you had the experience of reading a book and, while there was
nothing specific you could put your finger on, the writing came across
as clumsy and immature? Most likely that writer had violated the Resist
the Urge to Explain rule. What do I mean? Read the following examples
and note the words and phrases in parentheses: Jaw tight, Amanda set her mug down with such force coffee
splashed out on the freshly-cleaned counter. "I can’t believe your
nerve," (she said angrily). Marilyn sat at the bus stop, her shoulders sagging, and watched with
disinterest people enjoying the spring day. When was the last time it
had mattered to her that the sun was shining? (She felt so depressed.) Susan had never laughed so hard in her life. (Jerry’s remark had been
hysterically funny.) What all these phrases have in common is that they are explaining
things the reader should have been able to glean from context. The
writer should have resisted the urge to explain. When you explain
emotions to the reader, you are guilty of two sins—lazy writing and
condescension. You are saying to the reader you don’t think they are
bright enough to get the point without having you tell them outright. In
the first example Amanda’s actions and words say it all (I hope). If
they don’t, the answer is to rewrite the scene, not tell the
reader what I’m trying to convey—that Amanda is angry.
Resist the Urge to Explain
Cynthia VanRooy © All rights reserved
Have you had the experience of reading a book and, while there was nothing specific you could put your finger on, the writing came across as clumsy and immature? Most likely that writer had violated the Resist the Urge to Explain rule. What do I mean? Read the following examples and note the words and phrases in parentheses:
Jaw tight, Amanda set her mug down with such force coffee splashed out on the freshly-cleaned counter. "I can’t believe your nerve," (she said angrily).
Marilyn sat at the bus stop, her shoulders sagging, and watched with disinterest people enjoying the spring day. When was the last time it had mattered to her that the sun was shining? (She felt so depressed.)
Susan had never laughed so hard in her life. (Jerry’s remark had been hysterically funny.)
What all these phrases have in common is that they are explaining things the reader should have been able to glean from context. The writer should have resisted the urge to explain. When you explain emotions to the reader, you are guilty of two sins—lazy writing and condescension. You are saying to the reader you don’t think they are bright enough to get the point without having you tell them outright. In the first example Amanda’s actions and words say it all (I hope). If they don’t, the answer is to rewrite the scene, not tell the reader what I’m trying to convey—that Amanda is angry.
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Making Love in Public—An Interview with author Phyllis Curott
Copyright Allyson E. Peltier – All Rights Reserved
Phyllis Curott is the author of Book of Shadows, which has sold over 100,000 copies in the U.S. and is an international bestseller. Ms. Curott is a respected civil liberties attorney honored as one of the 10 Gutsiest Women of the Year by Jane Magazine. She is also a Wiccan Priestess, Interfaith activist and a member of the Assembly of World Religious Leaders who teaches internationally. Her most recent memoir, The Love Spell (Gotham Books, 2/05), has just released in paperback.
Readers and writers of romance novels are familiar with the tired litany of sexual buzzwords that frequent the pages of such books. Throbbing. Swoon. Explosion. But have you ever tried describing sex without using clichés? Nothing could be more challenging…unless, of course, you’re writing about your own sexual experiences.
In her memoir The Love Spell, her third book, author Phyllis Curott struggled to write about her most personal, private experiences in a way that was informational, sexy, and entertaining at the same time—without worrying what her friends and family would think when they read it! She took a moment out of her hectic speaking schedule to talk with me about the lessons she learned, and the tale she learned to tell.
AP: The Love Spell isn’t your first book, but it’s the first that deals with sex and sexuality—in particular, your sexuality. How did the experience differ from writing your other books?
PC: This was the most difficult to write. I had to really look at myself, face my demons, find my Goddesses, and be completely honest. The Love Spell is a memoir about the most personal of all subjects—sex, longing, desire, love and inhibition—intimacies that you only share with your partner, or talk about with your best girlfriends. Opening myself up in that way was very risky, very scary, even more than the first book, Book of Shadows, where I explored another controversial, personal journey as a young Ivy League attorney searching for the Goddess and finding the divinity within all women.
To the best of my knowledge, The Love Spell is the only explicit memoir written by a woman that re-weaves the suppressed connections between sexuality and spirituality, and one of the very few books that deals with the relationship between a woman and her daemon. A daemon is a male version of the muse. He's a divine being or messenger from God and a guide to the mysteries of a woman's soul, her sexuality and her creativity. He manifests in dreams, synchronicities, and also in real men; every woman has one, whether she realizes it or not.
AP: What happened when you tried to write your first love scene?
*This article is published at Romance Writer2Writer
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