Monday, September 23, 2013

ADVICE ON WRITING FOR CHILDREN


Don’t think for one moment little folks are an easier audience than adults. Young people expect superb stories that hold their interest and showcase young heroes just like them. Books that have exciting storylines and weaved-in light, moral issues, frequently win over the pickiest little critic.

1.     Create an exciting story.

2.     Moral lessons are good to incorporate.

3.     Determine the age group of your audience.

4.     The style and flow of your story should be predetermined.

5.     Use age-appropriate words, yet, allow your audience to expand their vocabulary.

6.     Stories for kids should include kids.

7.     Allow your imagination to fly.

8.     Watch how children talk and interact with one another.

9.     Put yourself in a child’s place.

10.  Embrace ordinary ideas from a unique character’s perspective.

11.  It’s a good idea to have a happy ending.

12.  Read other children’s books for ideas.

Monday, September 16, 2013

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: DONNA HILL


Author Donna Hill, who resides in Brooklyn, New York, started out writing short stories in 1987 then, progressed to publish works in anthologies dating back to 1994. The gifted novelist has over fifty published titles to her name such as: Rooms of the Heart, Deception, Quiet Storm, If I Were Your Woman, Heart’s Reward, Legacy of Love, For You I Will, and an upcoming release in 2014, Risky Business.

With such talent, it’s only natural that radio stations and television networks came knocking on her literary door, clamoring for interviews! As a result, three of Hill’s novels were adapted for television. In light of her efforts, she’s also been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers and has won copious achievement awards.

Hill, always striving to hear from her readers through written feedback, has a knack for developing memorable characters that oftentimes leap off the pages and snatch you right into their well-crafted scenes; themes with realism and startling plots captivate until the very last page.

For information about Donna Hill, her calendar-of-events and how to purchase her books, visit: http://donnahill.com/.


 

 

Monday, September 9, 2013

ARE YOUR CHARACTERS STIFF?




Because dialogue is hugely important to your story, it is in the interest of the author to limit pointless gibber among characters.  While a character’s unique, voice plays a major part in storytelling, if these elements are missing; it causes them to fall flat.

What also inhibits a character’s capabilities is the lack of movement.  Just like real people, they make hand gestures and facial expressions. They shift their weight, stomp and even flee the scene. However, creating this flow of believable dialogue, with characters moving about with ease, takes time.

Example 1:

“I can’t go to the party,” Sherry said.

“Why not? You promised me weeks ago you’d be my date?”

“I know, but something has come up.”

“What?”

“I can’t say.”

“You mean something or someone?”

“No.”

“What then?”

“I’ll tell .you, Ken, you smother me! I can’t breathe. You call me all times of the day – everyday.”

 

Example 2:

“I can’t go to the party,” Sherry said, shifting her gaze to the floor.

“Why not? You promised me weeks ago you’d be my date?”

“I know, but something has come up.”

Ken’s eyebrows drew in. “What?”

“I can’t say.” Sherry closed her locker and turned to walk away, but not before his demanding grip held her firm.

“You mean something or someone?”

“No.”

“What then?”

“I’ll tell you,” Sherry said, holding out her hand and counting her fingers with the other. “You smother me! I can’t breathe. You call me all times of the day – and night.”

How do your characters move about?

 

 

Monday, September 2, 2013

GOLDEN RULES OF WRITING


When you sit down to write your first draft, your creativity should be uninhibited. Yet, applying the rules of fiction writing is vital when it comes to getting published.

Talk about places you know. Don’t attempt to elaborate on the particulars of city life if you grew up on a farm. This only works if you’ve spent much time and research on location.

Your character's determination should be built on problems. Based on your protagonist’s temperament, a number of outcomes are possible. Readers love seeing individuals in books come full-circle and overcome obstacles.

Multidimensional characters resonate with readers. It’s okay to pattern them after people you know, or have observed from a distance. Your pages should include what characters look like, their dialect, what they are thinking.

Avoid generalizations when you can be specific. If there is a meeting place at noon, don’t write about, or near. When it comes to using name brands, be careful; this could date your book.

Show more than tell. This is achieved through reactions, emotions and actions. Example: Sherry looked surprised. Better: Sherry’s eyebrows lifted when she heard about the layoff.

Sidestep the use of parenthesis. Avoid using them at all cost.  Don’t include anything in your manuscript that tempts the reader to bypass.

What writing rules do you follow?