Pages

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Read Little Sister Song on Wattpad

Just a heads-up that Little Sister Song, book 1 of the Wynter Wild series, is now uploaded and complete on Wattpad, a free book platform where books can be serialized. In the future I'll be releasing the first few books of the Wynter Wild series as free Kindles (and other ebooks).

I changed the cover for Wattpad and discovered that adding a figure to the image correlated to an increase in "reads".  Click the cover for a direct link. (You do need to sign up, or log in with your Facebook or Google account.)

Little Sister Song

Getting instant feedback on a story, chapter by chapter, in the form of votes and comments, is certainly a different experience for me. Better still is the chance to interact with readers in real time, as well as to check out the other books they're reading in order to discover new fiction for myself.

I'm in the process of uploading book 2, Out of Tune, and updating every day.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Pure emotion songs

I know, I know, you disagree! Maybe with all five. But don’t blame me. These are Indio’s “pure emotion” songs, meaning, according to him, they bypass the cerebral cortex and drive directly into the brainstem. The list is guitar-heavy because he’s guitar-heavy.

These songs aren't my "songlist" for writing to—I prefer instrumental music for that. Indio is the middle child, a musician and songwriter who also expresses himself through art. When his sister Wynter shows up with her half-formed musical talent and non-standard interpretations, he teaches her what he knows—starting with the blues turnaround, of course. For a short period in her childhood she had access to a radio and listened to classic rock stations. These five classic songs (and bonus), aren’t radio-friendly for various reasons, so she’s never heard them before but Indio considers them essential listening. (Song squares by me.)
.
.
.


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Ignore this tip: Cast your novel with actors


"Fan casting" is an obsessive pastime of all authors, right?

Many authors.

Some authors.

Only me? No, I know you all do it. I've seen the blogs. And this blog post isn't exactly a writing tip, but rather something useful and slightly creepy that helps me with my characters.

Years ago I read a blog by an author listing which actors she would cast in her book series. That phenomenally successful series did in fact make it to the screen, and for all I know the phenomenally famous author had already signed the movie deal when she started publicly talking about actors. So she had a professional reason to think about these things.

For us merely mortal authors, casting famous faces is a fun fantasy. It can also be something more: a way to visualize and experience our characters to make them easier to get a handle on, easier to write.


Friday, January 4, 2019

Personality Typing for Made-Up People

I became fascinated by personality typing years ago. I see personality typing as a model of actual humans, meaning it's a structure we've imposed on the messy natural world in order to understand it, rather than a real thing. For this reason, I think it probably works better on fictional characterization than actual humans.

In the past I've typed characters at the start of the writing process. Whether or not you have a large cast, it helps to keep personalities distinct. You probably already have broad characters in mind at that point. Reading through personality types to find ones that "match" can help hone the characters.

A few systems to try (I've provided a link for each, but there's loads more info available by Googling, including zodiac signs if you're looking for more arbitrary ideas):

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

How do you feel? Writing Emotion

Overusing the ol' hammering heart? I write that way too. But recently I took a deeper dive into writing emotion via your characters' thoughts and reactions, rather than via bodily sensations. The Emotion Thesaurus is a wonderful resource and a good starting point, but too much hand-trembling, knee-shaking, and trickling beads of sweat can become exhausting to read.

There are several ways to approach the writing of emotions and I tend to be minimalist. Too minimalist! I'm still learning.

I wanted to share a few more links that have helped me get a handle on this. Bear in mind that point-of-view characters are going to narrate their experiences differently on the page, depending on all sorts of factors like personality and level of self-awareness, as well as the specific situation they find themselves in.