In the latest issue of “Writers
Digest” is an article by Jeff Somers, I had to pass on to my readers. I can
only cover some of his topics due to the length.
As writers, we carefully edit our manuscript, correcting any
mistakes, and pay special attention to correct punctuation, wording, etc.
before releasing it for publication.
Many of us, including myself, seek the opinions of friends, family,
authors, and volunteers willing to read the novel, as the last check before submission.
In addition to the opinions of my family and friends, I read
everything I found by those I considered authorities, but I was confused and
conflicted about different interpretations of the same advice. In the back of
my head was the same question until I read this wonderful Article.
QUESTION: When is it okay to NOT follow the advice given you by others, Read below what Jeff Somers wrote about “THE RULES’.
WHAT YOU KNOW: Write what you know was
not meant to reject your imagination.
You can write about stuff you know nothing about— just write a story you
want to read.
SHOW DON’T TELL: When showing injects unnecessary verbosity, don’t. That rule implies that “telling” is Lazy, while showing takes real talent. You need to balance the showing and the telling,
EVERY DAY: The discipline of working
regularly is good and stops you from being one of those who talks about writing
but never does. But, not all can write every day. Think of it as a goal, not a requirement.
YOUR DARLINGS:It is probably the most misunderstood and misapplied piece of
writing advice in the history of writing. Don’t delete writing you like and
never look back.
IN A THESAURUS: Having a large vocabulary as an author is great—but it’s only
half the battle. You need to feel comfortable, and your word choices should fit
WRITE A PROLOGUE:The implication is that you are an amateur. In reality it is possible
to pull off a prologue, but you need purpose.
THE PASSIVE VOICE: Yes, it is grammatically correct, and we are told it is lazy
writing. However, there are forms of passive that are acceptable and necessary.
hope the above encourages you to subscribe to this wonderful magazine and read
the entire article.
Want to Leave your Readers Hungry for your Next Novel?
The final chapter, of your novel is written and you believe it will be satisfying to your readers, with no loose ends and unanswered questions. But, are your readers hungry for your next novel? If there is any doubt in your mind, below are some useful suggestions before you begin the Final Chapter..
1.Leave room: for your readers’ imaginations and allow them to picture what happens next, without being told: “They lived happily ever after.” 2.Foreshadow: Plant seeds in advance—small clues that will make the end seem natural. 3.Build-up Mystery: A good mystery needs a build-up toward the climax with lots of twists and turns during the telling of the story. 4.Pace: To create a mystery, write shorter scenes, sentences and chapters to increase the momentum. Save the largest scene for your last Chapter. 5.Reveal: Show how your characters changed in the story. 6.Romance: For romances, the above are still important. If a romantic mystery, use the same pace as #4.. All romances need a build-up- but without many complications, either between the lovers, or the events that get in the way of a happy union. 7. Similar Book endings: Check other books similar to your story, and review how the author ended the final chapter. Try several options—put them aside—then read again, later, and see which one makes the most sense for your story.
In my opinion, one of the best storytellers of mystery and suspense was the late Alfred Hitchcock. His television series always had an unexpected ending—one I never anticipated, and although it was not always a happy ending; but always satisfying. Each of his stories is a lesson for mystery writers. His movies, too, are well worth seeing. ( Shocking, Frightening, and deliciously, wickedly Amazing.)
The final draft of your book is done. Now you get to relax?. No, you can’t.!
The next step is to self-edit—the edit you, as author, should do. After all, it is a Draft , and only you are familiar with the story, and can easily correct all self-made errors , like noticing where your story wanders away from the scene being played out. Or when characters are not clearly defined ,and how about incorrect spellings, punctuation errors, and poor word choices.
First print all the pages of your book. Then as you read, correct the errors you find on the printed page, and then on the computer.
A FEW SUGGESTIONS:
Use words your reader can relate to—Simple words and not words needing the use of a dictionary. Remember, the more the reader stops, the less interest he or she has in continuing.
Show don’t Tell.— Use an action word to show, anger, instead of saying : He is angry. Example: He slammed the door behind him
Do not use the word almost. Example, She almost cried. The character either cried, or did not.
Don’t sermonize or preach to your reader.
Try reading your novel out loud. You may find areas where improvement is needed
Omit Clichés and use “said” for dialogue instead of “explained, declared, etc.”
After you complete your self-edit, then retain the services of a professional Editor so your book is finally ready for publication, and, at long last, you can either rest, or begin another story.
Today is a sad day for me; I know my sadness will last until I say something. I have, for so long, held in all my sadness but sitting outside in a warm late September day, I am finally going to talk to many someones*(everyone)
Why I am sad? Because so much sadness is going on in this world today, and I can no longer pretend to be happy when I am not.
I am sad and will always be, for those lost in another useless war and the veterans who come home, maimed, and missing their family, children they never saw, and all they held dear, to defend a country, who like all the others in this world, faces continuous disagreements resulting in a continuous war. I once thought World War II was the last war, but I was wrong.
I am sad for those who live in a never- ending poverty…children starving…facing one epidemic after another, with little or no relief in sight.
I am sad that all people are not born equal, and that religion, race, and nation, have a bearing on how they are treated.
I am sad for all of us who have lost loved ones, through sickness, war, pandemic, or tragedy, never to see or speak to their loved one again.
I am sad when I read of Americans, young and old, hurting other Americans, without just cause.
My tears flow for all of them, myself included.
. I have kept my faith through the years while Americans damage the very towns they live in; where politicians are more interested in winning, than helping their country grow; where rules are broken, and veterans mistreated during a pandemic and the elderly considered useless.
Yes, we donate; we help as best we can thru wonderful companies who take responsibility for us humans in need, but more must be done. WE ARE AMERICANS! WE LOVE OUR COUNTRY, ALL OF IT, AND IT’S PEOPLE WHO FOUGHT AND STILL FIGHT TO PROTECT ITS BELIEFS.
IT’S TIME TO STAND UP AMERICA—STOP THE PROTESTS-—WORK TOGETHER TO CREATE A SOLUTION,
THERE IS NO YOU, OR ME— THERE IS US! WE THE PEOPLE!
All books have a beginning…middle…and an end. The first line of your Novel should be an amazing and astonishing sentence, resulting in hooking the reader into reading what happens next. The first Chapter should set the mood and end with a cliffhanger..
The following, are a few great books with popular first lines, we all remember.
Let us start with the opening paragraph of Charles Dickens “TALE OF TWO CITIES…”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” The hook tells the reader it is a time of political unrest which led to the French revolution.
From “NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN” “I sent one boy to the gas chamber at Huntsville” The hook here is, he is a good man, working covertly around bad men, and this torments him.
“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen” from 1984, by George Orwell’s dystopian novel. Clocks turning thirteen tell the reader this is an out of the ordinary novel.
-Keep in mind when writing your first line that today’s readers have busy lives, want instant gratification, and have dozens of other books to choose from, so your novel needs to grab the reader immediately.
Begin at an important event in the life of your protagonist. With my novel, I began with my main character, who is a college student, involved in a serious automobile accident resulting in her hospitalization, where she is fighting for her life.
Set the mood and place of your protagonist. In my novel, she is placed in a Medically induced coma, due to possible brain damage, and there is the possibility she will not finish her last year of college and have a career
2. Have a compelling voice when using first person in a character driven story. She is driven to complete college, go on for a Masters and be independent.
3. Hint at the beginning that trouble surrounds her, a domineering parent; a stalker (her former boyfriend), and injuries that may prevent her from a career she wants.
4. Your main character should be relatable, similar to people you know, with everyday lives, dreams, and ambitions. She should be conflicted in some way, and having difficulty overcoming obstacles. However, refrain from telling all.
5. End the first chapter with a cliffhanger. The reader will ask “What happens, and will want to read more.
I have a question: Did you ask a family member, friend, or maybe a few fellow authors to give you an honest judgment of your first ten pages of your new story? If you did, — “ HURRAH TO YOU!’’ I am certain it convinced you to continue. That judgment was a short Critique.
Now that you are finished, are you considering a final Critique: If you are not… allow me to explain why I feel a Critique of your finished novel is necessary.
Write the Story you’re anxious to write
Be is sad, scary, romantic, or light
When all is done never fear
A final review is always near
Read Below and you will see
Why a Critique is Important to me
First: WHAT IS A CRITIQUE?? It is a report that reviews and examines you finished story, essay, or any important art, and evaluates it seriously. Today, Book Reports analyzed by students and the analysis and critique of stories or novels carry on, a Greek Tradition
1.STYLE: Whether it is family or professional, the person doing the critique, probably will read it first before analyzing if book is worth reading your style and pacing.— Is it a typical romance, mystery, or historical novel? What is the novel’s major argument and is it saleable? What are its strong and weak points. How effective is the author’s ability to move the plot along.
2, CHARACTERS: Who are they…how do they react, will they be different at the end or not. Do they add tension to the story.
3. POINT OF VIEW: First, Second, or Third person Does it remain consistent throughout the novel.
4. SEASON:: what season is it, winter, summer, fall or spring. Is it set in a country atmosphere or city or a foreign country..
5. DIALECT: Do your characters speak contemporary, formal, archaic, and do they too remain consistent?.
6. PACING: Do your mix sentences—some short, some long? Do you reveal character thoughts and feelings; for example: anxiety, emotion, fear, love, and do your characters change at the finality.?
7. CONCLUSION: Will the ending be satisfactory to your readers, and does it solve all the question and situations occurring in your novel.
.NOTE: Your final Critique will allow you to make any new changes, to your story, prior to editing and publication
SETTING Romance, with medical theme- Time winter, I decide to write through Susan’s eyes which are first person. Susan is main character. – Situation- finish college. Susan wants-career, and not marry Alex.
Example: Susan, is in her last year of college, when she is involved in a serious automobile accident and placed in a medically induced coma, by Dr. Rand, where she meets John, and falls in love.
EVENT –SUB-PLOT 1 Example: When awakened from induced Coma, she no longer dreams of John. She believes he is not a figment of her imagination, but a real person, and is determined to find him.
EVENT- SUB-PLOT 2 Example: Susan’s mother wants her to drop college and marry Alex, the boy next door, because he is wealthy. After release from hospital, Susan needs therapy and must return home for continual care. She fears not being able to graduate and continue to pay for her education..
EVENT-SUB-PLOT 3 Example: She leaves home, without advising mother, and returns to apartment she shares with Helen, her roommate, intending to return to classes. After advising Helen of her financial circumstances, and her desire to find John, Helen volunteers to help. They search but do not find John.
EVENT-CLIMAX Example: Susan faces the fact she is unable to find John, and must go on with her plans to graduate and earn her Masters. At the suggestion of Dr. Rand, she agrees to continue physical and psychological therapy at the hospital.
EVENT RESOLUTION: Example: During her last session with Dr. Rand, she learns he is instrumental in her quick recovery due to an experimental treatment, and agrees to allow him to publish his findings. At graduation, she receives unexpected financial help to complete her education, and learns where John is.
HINTS: It is important to show how your main character changes from beginning to end.
Create excitement by emphasizing incidents that will change everything for main character.
Metaphors can be a powerful description. Use them.
Remember to build tension to the highest point (see sketch), and then dropping to lowest point by revealing character’s disappointment. This will lead to climax and a resolution that will satisfy your reader.
NOTE FROM AUTHOR—Not all writers use an outline. Some allow characters to guide them by their actions.However, many believe an outline of your story will keep you on the correct path and not allow you to deviate from your plot.
A few months back, I wrote a message to the Class of 2020. At that time, none of the graduates expected a graduation ceremony. My two grandsons accepted, with disappointment, the end of their last year in high school, without a prom, or ceremony.
I was so happy when both schools decided to hold a graduation ceremony on their football field, following all guidelines of the CDC in separating students and parents, from each other, and requiring we all wear masks. Sometimes, it can be difficult, for me, to say personally what my heart wants to say to them, so I wrote it in prose.
I believe they would want me to share this with all graduates who worked hard for the opportunity to enjoy their years of hard work.So here it is!
This is the middle of summer, and a second heat wave is here. What do most of you do? Do you go to the beach, and jump into the cool ocean? Or, do you lie in the sun hoping to get a tan? Maybe, you dive into your pool, and later barbeque some burgers, and gulp down a cold beer. Do you go out to eat, as more and more of us, do not want to cook when it’s hot? …As forme;
I think it is a great time to WRITE that Story or Novel! (Especially, if you have air-conditioning.)
LIVE,LAUGH, LOVE During these hot summer days trying to enjoy what the season has to offer, can be a difficult choice. Admit it, Covid-19 has been with us since early this year. But, we as a people still have the strength to go on because we are resilient. We must survive now as we have in the past, and we will. So, here’s to the millions of Americans, and the heroes here and everywhere, fighting, smiling, laughing, and loving each and every day. Here’s a shout out to those who beat Covid 19. The doctors, nurses, technicians, and all in between And a loud Yahoo to the heroes who restored Health Struggling to help, regardless of poverty or Wealth Here’s to Laughter; may we giggle and Hoot Laughter, so important, it is in constant Pursuit Someday we’ll joke, and tease and have some fun And look forward to when, our work is Done Last and so powerful is the value of Love Do as the many; thank the heavens above For our nation and all who reside on this earth And, continue to show what real Love is worth
After proofreading, and finalizing all editing changes, your novel is now ready for publication. Give it one final review and the next step is COPYRIGHT. Why?…For protection of your literary work.
It’s a little Intimidating, but not as difficult as you may think. Most of you have noticed the copyright statement on all books you read. Your book or essays, or blogs, should be protected from plagiarism also.
BE ADVISED:The U.S. Copyright Office buildings are closed to the public until further notice. Assistance by phone and email, as well as online services, are still available.
Do not be discouraged. You can still file application for Copyright, by mail or online. BELOW IS HOW:
1.Go to www.copyright.gov/registration –..2. create a username and password. 3. Search for Form CO. 4. fill out ,pay, and submit either online, or by mailing the completed application to:
U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE,
101 INDEPENDENCE AVE.S.E.
WASHINGTON, D.C 20559-6000
The fee online is $35. And for paper mailing $45.00. Be prepared to wait a little longer than usual due to pandemic.
Haven’t found a publishing house. You can still copyright. Hint: Be certain your publisher allows you to keep all rights to your work.
Print: Copyright information on the first white page of your book. Sample listing: (copyright-date, (your name ) and pseudonym,) if you use one. All questions, are answered via e-mail.
For some time now, I have listened to news reports that the teenage group are not only carriers of Covid 19, but are also candidates for acquiring this virus, and parents feel their teen is not taking it seriously. I remember when I was a teen, I too felt the world was mine for the taking—that I was infallible, and I was living in the present, and my parents were living in the past. It was after I grew older, that I learned how to be more humble, and more compassionate. I do sympathize with parents who constantly stress the dangers of passing on this virus and who leave the discussion without satisfaction. At this time, all teens should listen, and all parents should not give up. I humbly ask parents not to stop teaching, speaking, and being the best parents you can be, for your teen will recognize the danger.
LISTEN TEENS BELIEVE: It is real…You can pass it on —you can catch Covid 19, andyou may lose someone you love.
As the fourth of July comes around, we celebrate our Independence. Not some of us: All of us. Our ancestors came to this country seeking freedom and opportunity. They struggled in this new land, but never lost hope. Together, they built communities, churches, and towns, never doubting their sacrifices—always believing in the opportunities their new home promised.
We, as a people, have been through tough times, but we always rise above it. We are resilient, hopeful, durable, strong, and confident in whom we are. Let us be thankful for what we have, freedom, as one people, one nation, living in harmony, in our homeland which I still believe offers us many opportunities to build rather then tear down the progress our ancestors worked so hard for, knowing their sacrifices were made so we and future generations would be proud to live forever as Americans .