Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Head-hopping is not a sin; however, it IS bad writing.

The worst thing you can do to readers is yank them around from one viewpoint to another within a scene. 
We call it head-hopping.

Head-hopping means that the viewpoint shifts between characters without a proper transition (in other words a scene break).

Switching from one viewpoint character to another, experiencing the mind and heart of one character for a moment, only to be forced to switch focus to another character a paragraph or two later, will throw the reader off balance.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Is your novel a movie or just an audio book?

When we professional writers say “show, don't tell,” lots of beginners don't understand what we mean. 

Basically, “show” is a motion picture with a full musical score, special effects, and a bunch of extras, shot on location.

But “tell” is just an actor with a nice voice reading a book.

Dialog and vivid details and writing in scenes are integral to showing. Almost always, narrative alone indicates you are merely telling, and dialog and action portrayed in fully-realized scenes indicates you are showing.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Using flashbacks too soon or too often can ruin your book.

Do you need to explain something in the past for your reader to understand your character’s present? Flashbacks come in handy at times like these. However, using flashbacks too soon or too often can screw up your book.
  • Is it necessary? 
  • Is this information absolutely necessary for the readers to know?
  • Will this give a better understanding of the plot? 
  • Should the reader know this detail about my character’s life? 
  • Why is it so important? 
If you are convinced you must have a flashback in this location (not at the beginning of the book) then, go ahead. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Make writing a job you like.

I have been writing professionally since 1984 partly because I enjoy being alone (I am an only child with only one sister, no brothers or even a dad).

I am a loner, but I’m fine with that. I also love to type and have since I was 18 and took an adult education typing course.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

IMDB idea factory. Here's how you use it.

I spent three years as a background actor in Los Angeles, appearing in a dozen TV shows (like The Office, Sons of Anarchy, Cold Case and Heroes.)

I had a featured role in 2011’s Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne horror movie, Insidious, as a “whistling ghost dad.”

Consequently, I have used the Internet Movie Data Base for quite a while. However, now I use it for generating ideas for novels. IMDB provides a brief plot summary for nearly every movie ever made. It’s a great place for ideas. It couldn’t be any easier if it had training wheels.

Lary Crews