CONNECTION

Two friends“Hey, Ethel, did you see the title of her new blog? Bet she got this from our friendship.”

“Edna, we gave her a great picture of connection. Let’s see what she has to say.”

Look at the blank page before you begin writing. Do you know what your mind has for your fingers to create? This is like a blank canvas and your mind can develop anything you want. But, have you thought out your picture? What about your story? Pictures and stories seem to coincide. Your picture can stir up thoughts of a story and your story can create pictures in your mind. Yep, they go hand-in-hand. Sometimes as writers, we have looked at pictures as prompts and encouraged to write twenty-five words about the picture. As an artist, we read a story and see everything in pictures or paintings. Some are lucky and can do both–me, let’s just say do not put a paint brush in my hand. I cannot do good on walls, let alone a small piece of paper.

What if you have started your story and had to stop. Do you go back and take the time to read what you have written. No, not just a sentence or two, but maybe a chapter. You need to keep the characteristics of your characters the same and plod forward. You do not want that meek character to turn into an arrogant creature in the next sentence. This is where you connect from reading a few pages back.

Once you are into your story and spend time with your characters, it is easier to pick up where you stopped. You now their behaviors, their dispositions, and their voices. Voice is important for all of your characters. Even without naming the speaker, the reader knows the voice. The character uses their specific words to express themselves and the way they articulate their words. The reader ‘knows’ this person you have created.

If you are writing a singe title book, the characters are there just for this book. But, what happens if this is a series? You will need to carry your characters over to the next book with some their same traits. Of course, they may change as you give them opportunities to grow. Guess what? Now you have more choices to make and more time with your characters.

This is where the pictures in your mind help you connect. Be free with your pictures and your characters will show you their other side(s). Most of all, have fun with your writing and let your characters lead you down different paths.

Happy Pictures. Happy Characters. Happy Writing.

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Garden of Magic

WheeeeeeWhat does this have to do with writing? Everything. When you stimulate your readers with your words, thoughts, feelings, and, of course, love, you are creating magic. As you begin your novel, or even if you are half-way through, stop. Yes, stop. Think of what you are writing, who you are writing for, and can you give this a little pinch of surprise?

Think of your writing as a garden. Some things will stay the same, but when the weeding starts, watch out. Gardeners do not want weeds crowding out their flowers, vegetables, or shrubs. Each has a place in the garden and needs room to grow, sun to brighten the day, and rain to keep them alive.

Now translate this into your writing. You do not need adjectives and adverbs crowding out your words. You need a fresh approach. So, take a walk and feel the sun on your face, enjoy the warmth, bright light, and return home with a different perspective on your story. It might be cloudy with thunderstorms expected in the afternoon. Take time to sit and watch as the clouds form, the wind increases, and observe the activity. Think about your writing. Could you increase some tension with a storm? Is there anywhere for the characters to stay dry?

As your garden grows, look at the shape of the flowers, the different textures, and yet they are all in the same garden. Do the same with the vegetables, if that is your garden. Each vegetable has certain characteristics. If you’ve planted new shrubs, look at the roots and see if they are entangled with the other shrubs. The shape of the leaves can be different even on the same type of shrub.

Keep all of this in mind as you run your fingers over the keyboard, or push a pen across the paper. Do your characters now have their own special look, feel, voice? Your characters are an extension of you and your thoughts. They need their own place in your story. No one character has the same make-up or the same flaws. Yes, flaws. Remember your garden. If everything you planted came up the same, this would be a boring place to visit. Don’t you think your characters would get tired of being the same? Give each character their own traits and flaws. This makes a great way to keep your characters fresh through the next, say four-hundred pages.

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
CONFUCIUS

Happy writing in your garden of characters.

USE YOUR VOICE

images_063What? I am a writer. There is no singing in my head, unless on the radio. It is my fingers that do the work as they tap on the keyboard.

NO. Your voice is how you write. The attitude you give your characters. They must come alive and give their attitudes to your readers. Some days, their attitude is fantastic, upbeat, positive. Sometimes their attitude stinks. They seem to stay on edge, waiting for something to happen. They are nasty and ugly. Does this sound familiar? Since we are our characters’ voice, we have our good days and our bad days.

Voice is what your reader hears after you give your character a physical description. Does the voice fit the character? Could you pick your character out in a crowd? Your character takes on a living personality by all the actions you let your character show. The voice must fit these actions.

Give yourself a test. Read a page or two of your current work in progress. Do you feel moved by your characters? Now, go to a newspaper or magazine article. Do you hear or feel the voice? No. The writer or journalist must keep their voice quiet. They must present an impersonal objectivity of their work or article.

Aren’t we writers lucky? We get to make our work personal. Our stories show the emotions of each character on good and bad days. This is your voice and it is you, the writer, making each character sound genuine. When you force a voice, you make the character seem false and can turn the reader away.

Keep passion in your voice as you show your characters in so many different situations. They will love you for this. Then you can relax, enjoy the scenery, and who knows, see a different side of your characters.

HAPPY WRITING.

EDNA & ETHEL ARE BACK

Two friendsThought we disappeared into the sunset like Thelma and Louise? No Way. We’ve been reading all about the revising process.STOP. You can revise, revise the revised, and re-revise the revised and your work can fall into pieces.

We try to keep up with your social media networks, Linked Together. No Edna, you are wrong. It is called LinkedIn. So big deal, it still links everyone together. Don’t care what you think, Ethel, but you got excited about this question posed to all the readers: Professional Editing vs. Professional Marketing. This gave us another chance to discuss our opinions (more like bickering back and forth), and came up with the same answer. You see, we’ve been together for so long, we need the excitement of hefty discussions to arrive at the same answer PROFESSIONAL EDITING. Lot more fun.

Every book writer can do marketing, book launches and sales as you prepare your audience for a new book or an addition to your series. What matters are your readers. Get their responses with a few advanced copies or freebies. Never knew any one to turn down a free book.

A writer writes to get a GREAT novel out to their readers. A GREAT book delivers interest to your readers and your characters draw the readers into the story. with their voice. Sometimes the voice is timid. Forget this voice and go for the one that snaps the sentences off the page.

What about the action in your book? Do your characters dawdle? Do you bring your characters face to face with their fears? We’ve faced many fears in our lives and found the best survival mode – OUR principles. A little forgiveness and your reader can connect. You can also use this method to motivate your characters. Step into a different boundary and see what they can do.

When you give your readers a great novel, they will connect and in turn help you move your sales ahead. Sure, you need to be on top of your work, give book signings, answer questions, email your subscribers, and get yourself out among your readers. Do not forget to support other writers.

Make your writing pop, crackle, and crunch. Forget all the non-action words, scenes, characters and you will bring joy to your readers and increase your sales. But you need a great novel, edited and ready to ride into the sunset, as we must do now.

Thanks for letting us pop in and we will visit again soon. So for now, pop those pages and listen to your readers. Any comments? We can take the good and the bad and the ugly. Sorry, we had to add this.