You become a writer by writing. You learn by damaging your ego, and giving more of yourself than you take. By a thousand revelations, by millions of words you improve.
Archive for the ‘Advice for New Writers’ Category
If the main character is sympathetic and interesting, the reader will root for her and want to see what happens. If some of the particularities of the character and problem are surprising to the readers, it will generate more interest than if it’s something they’ve seen many times before.
Have you thought about starting with a bang right away? Or does your story want another hook before you roll the main one out on the stage?
Building stories is like building houses. Yes, you need a foundation, walls, and a roof, but holy cow–look at all the variations that are possible AND successful given those basic requirements!
Along every step of the way, readers need to be surprised, not about everything, but about enough of the particularities of the problem, character, actions, reactions, and resolution that it prevents the reader from knowing what WILL happen.
The board of directors of SFWA voted to add the magazine Bull Spec to the list of SFWA qualifying markets.
Our job as writers is to create a narrative that evokes this desired experience in the reader. Yes, we have to be passionate about our story. Yes, it’s an art and is complex and sometimes feels a bit mystical. But we can’t let that make us forget the fact that the ultimate purpose of the story is to guide the reader through an experience.
The times they are a-changing, the question of when will probably be answered after the next Christmas season as ebooks emerge at minimum as a major market force, over 20% of book sales is a conservative guess, so the answer to that one is soon.
Even in the reaction stage we can include conflict and surprise. Maybe after our team’s setback, they regroup and discuss what they’re going to do now. This is a fine time to allow the varying motives of those on the hero’s team conflict.
The books I love most immerse me in a world utterly different from my own. Arrakis, Pern, Barrayar, Chalion… I crave deep information about these planets, and fortunately the author always delivered.