Monday, May 30, 2011

Finding Your Voice

Point of view is a basic building block of writing a story.  It’s the vantage point from which a story is told.  When done well, it can really make your story pop.  First person is obvious; you are in the head of the main character and stay there.  2nd person is a little strange, and rarely used in story form, but puts the reader into the story, referring to “you” instead of the “I” of 1st person.   3rd person is the most commonly used form for narratives and has many forms, from Omniscient, where you see into everyone’s head, to Objective, where you see into nobody’s head, to Subjective, where you have the point of view of a particular character.  Subjective seems to be coming into vogue, and to me, it gives you, the writer, a lot more options to do interesting things.   Limited 3rd person POV falls in this category and I’m using it for my current WIP.  I started with the story in 1st person, but I decided to bring in a second main character, so I needed to change up how I was writing it. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Do Genres Hurt or Help?

      Genre derives from the French around 1770 referring to independent style.  It is useful when looking for similar types of literary work, but it can be very limiting.  In Science Fiction alone there are 10 sub-genres listed in Wikipedia plus one for other, which covers a lot of ground left untouched.  Then there’s mixing genres, like fantasy and science fiction or romance and horror, referred to as paranormal romance.  Romance is very popular in most genres it seems and there is even a new sub-genre for science fiction called Science Fiction Romance.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tearjerker or just Jerky?

      I hate crappy endings. It’s a real drag when you've invested time and emotional energy into a story and then get slapped in the face at the end when one of the main characters dies. I read books and watch movies for entertainment and to escape the worries that plague us in the real world. I don’t mind a little emotional turmoil, as long as it's accompanied with some heroic action, or overcoming the odds. That’s the stuff that really gets me. Most of us want to feel something while we are experiencing the story and it’s the authors job to bring that to the table, but sometimes they go for the big hit by killing someone that wasn't really necessary to kill, but creates a big emotional impact.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A few distractions

I've been taking an art class on Monday evenings and trying to improve my penciling.  This was my first try after many years:
It's far from perfect, but its a starting point.  I need to work on my shading a lot more.  One of the guys in my class is unbelievably good at it.


Next I decided to try some pastel chalk drawing.  I've never used it before so I decided to start with something I thought would be easier than a face:


I'm working on a new pastel chalk that is secret.  it's going to be a gift for someone.  I'll post it when I finish and give it to the recipient.  I would post my work in progress, but the person reads this blog occasionally.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bring the pain!


I’ve started reading Story Engineering by Larry Brooks, and he has a refreshing take on how to craft your stories. One of his main tenants is you have to have a Theme. The theme is the thing you’re trying to evoke or to relate to real life, something to hang the structure of your story on. It’s really crucial to keep this in mind, especially if you’re a pantser like I am. What is a pantser? It means you write by the seat of your pants. The phrase developed as a reference to pilots at the turn of the century, as flying by the seat of their pants. There were no instruments in those days so they had to rely on their own senses for a lot of navigating and maneuvering, which could be very tricky. It relates well to writing without a strong outline, letting your characters dictate a lot of what happens.  There can be a lot of pitfalls with this approach if you aren't careful.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

This and That

     Just wanted to get in an update. I've started writing again. I've decided that I need to write a little to keep the spark alive and to give myself something to look forward to. I am taking my first test next week and I need to bear down and focus. We had a big inspection at work this week and it went very well, but my studying was nearly nonexistent. I've decided I need to have a deadline in order to put the pressure on and help hone the focus. I really want to power through these subjects and get past it. I really want to get back to writing regularly, I miss it. There was a time when I knew if I was writing I was doing the right thing. But with this course hanging over my head I feel guilt when I write instead of study.