Sunday, May 15, 2011

Let Go of Reason to Write Better? Could Be...

Photo snagged by Denny S. Bryce from an Internet blog.

Emotions are circumstances that task the heart as well as the mind. They help us tell a tale of extremes: extreme love, extreme hate, extreme pain, anguish and joy, guilt and sorrow, and fun and laughter. Those are the ingredients of good drama.

For some writers--like me--those emotions aren't easy for my characters. But good news! I am finally coming to grips with why my characters must show emotions in circumstances (scenes) that matter. I had this latest revelation during revisions of my 86,000 word manuscript.

Putting my characters in the front a speeding train has never been easy. It takes constant thought and concentration and I admire those who are make it so readily a integral part of their story telling.

In my non-writing life, I spend my time putting chaos in order, crafting the crazy into a seamless organized performance. So messing up a life (or ten:) is tough, nose to the grindstone, work. We've all heard that putting your characters in bad situations is hard. For me, I'm breaking a routine, a habit I've spent  twenty-five years perfecting.

Now, I must let go of rationale thought and seek out angst and grief, love and pain, laughter and tears. I now know that it's not just about creating a believable bad guy (which I've always found an easier task) it's about creating conflict and emotions throughout a story, from scene to scene, paragraph to paragraph, and each word has to matter. I want the reader to stare at the pages I wrote and say: wow, that's intense.

So you see, that's what I learned during my latest revision -- I can let go of reason.

And my characters are going to go through hell from here on out because of it.

How sweet is that?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Girl Crush - It's Just That She Won Be Over!

Pulled from the Internet by Denny S. Bryce

After two and a half days in the middle of the forest (okay, I was in Virginia a few miles outside of DC at the WRW Retreat, but I saw a rabbit which means forest and/or woods to my city girl behind)...

Oh, what was I talking about? Well, I was explaining how I developed a girl crush on a literary agent, and not because she agreed to be my agent. Nope that wasn't it. She delivered one of the smartest workshops on marketing for authors I've heard in a while. Before I deliver the goods on this wunderkind, let me explain in more detail. I was at the WRW Retreat - it's the Washington, DC chapter of the RWA (Romance Writers of America). It was amazing, and the authors and agents and editors were down to earth and you know how these things can go - if they are right - they are glorious. So, good times were had by one and all...but before I scooted away Sunday morning (anxious to return home to my big screen desktop to write and write and write) I decided to attend one last workshop...honestly, I was so stressed out I only attended one workshop:). But this one was golden.

The presenter was Sara Megibow, an agent at the Nelson Literary Agency.  From my 25 years in the marketing and PR business can I just say wow. She knows the deal with what's up for authors in today's highly competitive Internet rules arena for marketing your business. And ladies (and gents) this world of art and beauty and everything surreal -- called writing -- translates into needing to know a hell of a lot about marketing.

What did Sara say? I can't repeat verbatim - my memory has been selective since 2003 - but the heart of her comments centered on the critical importance of establishing a web presence for your brand - which means the Internet needs to get to know you (authors!), whether you've been published or are multi-published. It's an added feather, marketing factoid, branding thumbs-up that you need to make happen.

Sara's advice was to visit her agency's website and take a look at its client lists' web presence. It's good. It's damn good. Then she said make certain you - pre-published gal and/or guy - have a website, Facebook page and a Twitter account. And no more I am intimated by Twitter. Take a few minutes a day, and pretend you are one of your characters, and blog and or Tweet in their voice (but let the world know who is behind all of this brilliance) - be your brand, be a marketing diva. When that brilliant book is finished and a publisher finally sees the light and makes the call - you want to be ready to sell the hell of that book.

Am I right? Hell, yes, me and my girl crush know the deal - exactly.



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