I ended up taking an unofficial hiatus for the month of May, but I’m back now and ready to leap back into the blogging game. *smile*
To start off, I would like to share some awesome posts with you. The blogosphere has been alive with some great content. There is absolutely no way to include all that goodness here, but the following links will take you to just a few of these posts.
Creating the Perfect Foil
”Whenever I marry,” she continued after a pause which none interrupted, “I am resolved my husband shall not be a rival, but a foil to me.” ~~ JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte
Ask a friend to tell you about the last book she read that made a big impression on her, and chances are she will tell you about the characters. If I think about my own favorite books, the characters are what come to mind first. Creating interesting and memorable characters – especially main characters – can be the most thrilling part of writing…. (read the rest of this post here)
Sounds Great, No Substance
If you’ve ever listened to the trailer for an action movie, you know what I’m talking about. A guy with a deep and raspy voice (think Will Arnett) is narrating as the sun rises over a wasted landscape:
"In a world of destruction, the danger of explosive secrets will bring one man to the edge."
Sounds great. Really juicy. Until you think about it and realize you have no idea what the movie’s about…. (read the rest of this post here)
This was a post I wrote back on Let the Words Flow, and I’ve taken it and updated it a bit. Why? Because it’s still a lesson I have to constantly keep in the front of my mind when writing–and even more so, when editing.
That lesson is to keep the number of “filter words” in my manuscript to a minimum–especially when my story is in first person. In first person, these filter words really crop up and really affect your storytelling…. (read the rest of this post here)
Specificity in Setting
This question comes from reader Valeria via email, and it deals with setting, which I don’t usually spend a lot of time talking about:
"Most books I have read so far describe a specific setting. Like a certain city or state. I know setting and the way it is developed is very important for a story but can there be such thing as a nameless setting? I am asking because I live abroad but I don’t want to set my story in my country. The problem is, I’m not familiar with other cities. I have been describing my story’s setting as a dark and gray city, but not a specific city. In fact, I would like to keep a mystery of where exactly this gloomy city is located. I’d like for my readers to think this can happen in any city, but is this really a good idea? Should I research my setting a bit more and name it?"
I love it when readers answer their own question. But I did want to talk a bit more about this particular one. Setting is important. So important, in fact, that some readers and writers and editors and agents say that setting should become like another character in the story, as well-defined as any of the people that populate it…. (read the rest of this post here)
In addition to these individual posts, be sure to check out Vickie Motter’s blog, Navigating the Slush Pile. She’s been doing topic months since January and has posted a lot of great information. A few of the topics she has covered so far are queries (January), requests (February), offers (April), and conferences (May).