Books and Movies OR Movies and Books

We go to movies to be entertained and feel emotion. Movies fall into genres: spy, thrillers, humor, love, YA, and futuristic. You want to see an identifiable characters. You want to live outside your life, if only for a couple of hours.

Your writing should reflect the same components. You want your reader to be entertained, cry, laugh and keep turning the pages until the end.

In movies, you see the characters as they move through scenes. You see their facial expressions, sense their delight or dismay. You just know what will happen next; or do you?

Your book characters must come alive on the pages for your reader. Your descriptions should be unique and sometimes unbelievable, as in real life.

In movies, the sights, sounds and scenery immerse us in the whole setting. We see the thunderstorm, feel the hot summer day and shudder as dark clouds cover a full moon. All of these visuals draw us deeper into the story.

In your book, do your words or characters’ thoughts haunt your readers? Have you painted word pictures, ones that have your readers sweating on a summer day or cringing as dark clouds cover the moon?

How does or where does the movie commence? How does your book start? Both need to draw the audience or reader in FAST. As with any story, there is a line:

Beginning                 Middle (ARC and turning point)               Ending

In movies, these move fast. Remember you have two hours. In books, the writer has more leniency, due to the number the number of pages. However, movies and books mimic the same format.

Here’s a fun project for you to try – AT HOME. Rent a DVD movie, check one out from your library or go through your own collection. Get a notebook and your pen ready to make comments. NOW, watch the movies as a book. You can stop and start at any time and make notes to yourself. Find the movie’s ARC (the turning point) and watch what happens after this point. You are reviewing this movie as a book. Repeat, if necessary, as you are in a study mode. Then eject. Think for a while and see what new techniques or expressions will make your book sparkle.

Please let me know what you think. Work-time can be play-time and you get your work inspired.

Think of this:  “Chicken or the egg?”  “Book or the movie?”  Enjoy


Blog Getters

You want more and more for your blog. Right? So do I, and I came across some of the old standbys we often forget. Refreshers never hurt.

How often do you visit other blogs and see new ideas? Have you made a ‘guest appearance’ on a blog? Do you leave comments? If you are not in touch with other blogs, why should they venture near yours. You can learn from different blogs and see ways to improve your own.

Have you ever found a topic–new, interesting and fun? You notice the word count on your blog increase and increase and increase. Blogs come in all sizes (word counts). Just double-check yours and make certain extra information does not interfere with your topicl. Make your point and know when to stop.

How often do you post? I’ve heard some bloggers say every day. One writer, I know, finds interesting pictures, from wherever, and writes a paragraph each day on the pic. This brings in fresh new material and great comments. Others make ea h day a “special” day; Mondays are for XX, Tuesdays for XXX, Wednesday, XXXX, Thursdays XXXXX, Fridays XXXXXX and even different ideas on the weekends. (P.S. I do know how to make Roman Numerals, but this was fun.) Most of all create an atmosphere where your readers cannot wait to read what’s up next.

Make certain you leave comments to the blog writer and be courteous. Follow up on comments to your blog. Let your readers know they are important and you are glad they are there to share their thoughts with you.

Link your blog to the social media of your choice. Promote your blog through these links and interact with other bloggers. It is a great blog world and so many topics for dissection and discussion. Enjoy your new conversations and connections.

Be kind and have fun.

Finding Balance

I don’t know about you, but sometimes daily life gets out of control. Twenty-four hours are not enough. A full eight hours of sleep is a joke. Thought processes do not stop and the mental “to-do-list” grows longer. I can hit the bed and sleep in one sweep; then my internal clock nudges me at 2, 3, 4:00 a.m. I’ve tried tossing and turning, but nothing helps. Does this sound familiar?

One early morning wake-up, I headed to my computer. No online checks, just writing. This led me to an unfinished sequel to a novel. Bleary eyed, I put fingers on the keyboard and one hour later, had eight pages of new material. I did not attempt to read what I had written. I shut down the link between fiction and reality. Sleep came.

The alarm sang  to me and I awoke refreshed, ready to hit the day. Then, my “to-do list” appeared and I felt overwhelmed. I was Alice swirling down a hole away from home and into a strange place.

Balance. I need balance. Okay, I can agree with this; can you? Balance gives us the stamina to keep going forward. Even the Energizing Bunny needs  a re-charge, once in a while. So I stopped and begin asking questions? Do I exercise? Do I eat nutritious meals? Do I eat on the run? Do I eat standing up? Do I ever sit a place at the table? These are questions you can ask yourself.

Other questions for all of us: how important is your “to-do-list” or is this something that gets you through the day? Do you ever play? This is plan with a “Y”. No, play is for kids. I have responsibilities. Keep going and see all the excuses you have for not playing. Play can be taking a thirty-minute nap; doing nothing; watching a kids’ movie; eating breakfast for dinner; saving the pizza for breakfast. How would you, or how do you combine work and balance?

We are adults, but do we have to be so up tight, we forget to laugh? When we employ responsibilities with laughter, heavy duties with fun challenges and sleepless nights with opportunities, this might put a new balance into our lives. What will it take to bring out the kid in our lives, if only for a couple of hours?

When those early morning hours awake hit, meditate and figure out what you need. Get up and be an innovative early morning thinker. Do not stress out. Dream a little; no dream a lot.

Dreams are the highways to our lives.

How Do You Show Your Talk?


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We have discussed ways to write your talk, but how do you show your talk? Sometimes, we are so busy letting our characters talk, we end up with line after line of dialog. Sure, this is a great. Easy to … Continue reading

How Do You Write Your Talk?

Yes, I am talking about dialog. How many times have you thought of a great answer to a question a day later ? “Why didn’t I think of …” The chance of a neat comeback got lost. What if you are writing? You can rework the scene over and over and get the right snappy word on the page.

Have you ever started the first draft with dialog? You know who your characters are and how you want them to sound; so make them talk. No, you do not have to use quotes. Just add a line between Jack and Jill, and do not correct a thing. This is flow talk; tags come later.

You end up with two pages of conversation. Stop. Go back over these words and pretend you are a one-act play. Read aloud. The male’s voice comes out deep, manipulative, domineering or sexy. You can read this part in different ways as you are trying out your characters and their voices.

How will you read the female’s part? Do you hear a whiny voice, sultry, sexy, a little girl voice in an adult and maybe you come up with something different. Just act out the part. From this little “play period,” you have written a scene. This is where you let your writer-self run wild and don’t be afraid to get as wild as you can.

Pretend you are in a writing class. You have a prompt–the door creaks open and you hear voices. You have 10 minutes to complete a full scene with dialog. Do you stop and wonder about who speaks first or if you should use tags? No. This is a free-write session in dialog.

You want your characters to argue. Okay, start an argument and keep the tension between the characters going for one full page. Print out your page and stand in the middle of the room you picture them in. Argue loud. Argue angry. Argue with a hit of suspense. Go at this full speed. (P.S. you might want to turn the TV up.)

Make certain each character gets their share of dialog. Then sit down and think about what happened. Back at your computer, the pages are still on the screen. Your characters introduced themselves to you. You got to hear their own voices through your improve action. You know how they react to each other and some of their problems. Study the improve scene and realize your characters do have minds of their own. Their voices come out their way, not what you wrote for them.

Have a great time with this process and repeat whenever you notice your writing is needs a little dialog shove. If you haven’t attended an Improve Theatre, see if one is near you. There are no scripts. Actors and actresses bounce their thoughts and words off each other. So you can’t go? Well, you have just attended your own improve with this process. Keep the writing fast, furious and get the dialog strong.

Happy Improve Writing.

Is Conversation in your Platform?

Platform. Platform. Platform. As writers, we hear this word over and over. This is a bio of you, your writings, which include articles, newsletters, your website and your blog. It is not about what you want to write; but about communication on an ongoing basis.

You have all this information out on the internet for people to read. You need to stop and ask yourself, “Who is my audience?” What subjects do you have expertise and could talk about? It is time for your homework.

Who is your audience? What organizations would be included in your audience. How can you reach these people? Wait. I’m lost. Okay, you write fiction, but what genre. Who is the reader of these books. Now, go directly to developing your presence with these groups.

Do you belong to writer groups? Do you meet with them? Do you go in and leave? Not any longer. You connect, talk, be friendly and open. Get to know your fellow writers and let them know you. Say, you connect with only two people; hey, these are two people you didn’t know and now they know you.

Have you ever answered a call to volunteer for one of your organizations? “I do not have time. My writing comes first.” But, if you do not have an audience, who will read your words?

Learn to offer to speak in public. “I can’t get up and talk in front of strangers or friends.” Go at this slow. If you write, you read. Check out book clubs in your genre. You can promote your book and speak to other readers. This could lead to an offer to read at a library and get other authors to come.

If you are aware of a conference, see if there might be an interest for speakers in your genre. You have done a lot of research on material for your book, fiction or non-fiction. You want to share this information with other writers, old or new, coming to the conference.

One last charge — update yourself constantly. Take advantage of every opportunity to get yourself out in the public and COMMUNICATE.

I don’t know about you, but if I speak in public and screw up, I want to be the first person to make fun of me.

Happy visibility to you and your work.

Hello World! Meet patriciachats!

Hi and welcome to my blog. Who knows how many mistakes I can make, but will do my best to keep you updated and informed. I have a pic to upload, and can’t find the folder. Guess this gives you an insight to my computer files.

I want all of you to enter comments, good, bad and ugly as Clint Eastwood would whisper. I want to write and give you thoughts to ponder, new avenues to walk, book reviews and anything else I can manufacture.

This is the time when new books are released for the Holiday Season. There are so many changes in the publishing world, we may never encounter all of them. If you hear of something mind-blowing, let me know.

I am a writer, a poet, a fitness instructor for senior citizens and those edging up to the retirement era, a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother. I remember the ‘Bunny Hop,” the jitterbug mania, the Beetles, Elvis, Johnny Cash and many, many more. My tastes in music run from soft rock, blues, jazz, IlDivo (love these guys), classical, old band sounds; infact music to soothe the soul and energize the heartbeats.

My reading list runs in all directions. Non-fiction of our past history and Justin Cronin’s “The Passage” comes to mind.  With the introduction  of “The Twilight Series.” and “FIfty Shades,” I learned another area of writing. Of course, put me in the thriller, suspense aisle of a book store and my heart races and my imagination goes wild. Then down the aisle toward all the romance, erotica and I drool. See, I love words and how different writers put all of them together.

I want all of us to have a great on this blog. We need to communicate, share, discuss and agree to disagree.

May all of you have a safe evening and keep in your hearts, prayers, for all of the people introduced to “Sandy.” These people have a long, hard effort ahead and we need to hold these victims in our thoughts. If you can help in any way, please do what your heart leads you to do.

Hey, Happy November.