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Friday, February 26, 2010

Show and tell

When I was well, younger at school we had this thing called show and tell. With novel writing showing is always better than telling. I know many don't really have the grasp of what this means. Myself I had trouble with the concept, but once you get it will stick. Trust me. So the reason I brought up the show and tell was because novel writing reminded me of it. You show off an object and you talk about it. Just like in novel writing you have something to show and you have to show it to your readers visually instead of just telling them. So here is an example of show vs. tell.

Tell: Maya kissed Gabriel.

Gosh, that’s boring, eh?

Show: Maya's leaned forward her lips tenderly connecting with Gabriel's.

Not the best example, but simple... So how do you guys keep the tell out of your novels? Doesn't it jump in at least a few times? Do you think that it's a bad idea to tell at all, or do you think sometimes show just doesn't work?

Coming up with a great name for your main character

Second post for today but I have skipped quite a bit so I thought I could make it up now. Naming a character is important. Not so important that you would get rejected for having a weird name but very important. Sometimes though you have to push away the weirdness factor because you love your characters name and it isn't weird to you at all. So particularly in fantasy many names tend to be weird but then you get used to them. Especially names that I can read through but then when I say them they are tongue twisters. So what is your characters name, why did you pick it and how stuck are you to it?

The overdone characters...

My blog readers, I am not even speaking for Mary Sue. I am speaking about any type of characters that have been so overdone in fiction that you hate them coming up in your novel. But what if you have characters like these in your novel already? I personally try to spark it up. I mean I write fantasy and I will speak about overused fantasy roles but the only way out is creating a person who is there with you. A person that you have thought out so well that you actually feel they are there with you when you write. Us writers, we really are strange. I have made up a list of overdone characters in all types of genres. Leave a comment and add to it because I don't think that I have gotten everything or everyone.

The first one that I can think of is the Blonde Bimbo. Those characters drive me nuts, or should I say those girls? They whine about breaking a nail and worry about the stupidest things in life when there are people dying of poverty. Not a great example but you probably see where I am going. I mean why read about a girl who I can read without reading about her?

Second... Let me think... I got it! The nerd. Nerds always have giant glasses and sleazy hair and are super smart. Right. You don't have to be a nerd to have intellect.

Third...The cool bad boy who isn't really bad at all. I like bad at times, I like dark, and I like mystery but when they try too hard it just doesn't flow. Gosh, am I talking about characters as if they were real? lol.

Fourth...Ok this is something I have seen many times and I hate it quite a bit. The kid who rescues humanity. Darn right. This kid is simply amazing. Did I mention that adults would never listen to kids and that kids would not be hired as spies? This is OK for MG but high YA or Adult is a no no.

Fifth...What about the main character that is so great and oh amazing, but then...they need someone to save them! They have been practicing and practicing and working but then when the time comes they turn to cowardice. I am not saying that the main character has to be amazing, but man, have some guts!

Sixth...The oh so knowledgeable master of the universe and of life. Do you know one? I don’t. No body knows everything. I know I don't at least and some tell me I am a know it all. Not really to be honest.

Seventh...The dark vampire that is attractive to live humans yet evil. It has been done. In fact vampires have been overdone. Of course originality is what many of us are born with, so if you have a vampire story with a super weird twist then let me know.

Ok. I am done here for now. Do you guys have any more to add to the list?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Unreal vs. Real

  Even in Fantasy you HAVE to keep in mind that you have to keep things real. This is probably what bothers me the most in books and movies and tell me if I am wrong but I think this aspect can bother every one. Firstly don't you hate when there is a main character which is SUPER, I mean really super? No, let me make myself clear. I mean something like, you he/she can't be bruised they don't get hurt and they always win. This is a common mistake that every body makes in Fantasy and it's not like readers don't notice. What fun it is to read of a character that is immortal awesome, and simply unbeatable? No fun at all. We look for characters that we can relate to, and characters that we can sympathize and root for. But we can't root for someone that doesn't die or get hurt. This is just one of my examples, but there are many aspects that are like that is Fantasy. I mean the times when stories get FAR too unrealistic. I am talking about some sort of SUPER unrealistic. So weird that it isn't even interesting anymore.

So how do you keep it real? Well I am certainly not saying to not make cool creatures or to not make amazing MC's. All I am trying to say through this post is to keep it possible. Keep it as real as you would imagine is possible. I mean every time I sit down to write, I engross myself in my world. In the mountain ranges of my nation and in the city walls and castles of where they live. In imagination, I live there myself, making it more and more real as I go on. Making my world more and more descriptive. What do you guys do to keep it real in Fantasy?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A great start...

When you just start a book and stare at the blank white page with the little flashing black line you blank out. Sometimes at least. Even if your beginning came out great at the beginning and you loved how it started and how it flowed, as you are finishing your novel you look back to it and it sucks. As most writers know a beginning is very important in order to hook the reader, and AGENT. Yes that is right. Since agents first look at the beginning you need a great, solid hook. Now I am not trying to give advice here because I am having my own troubles with the bginning now, but the opinions tend to be very divers. Is it better to start amidst action/battle? Or is it better to develop your character through description before diving in. what do you prefer?