Morning everyone!It is 12-12-12.How cool is that!
I was asked a question by Nathan Elberg last time I posted about InfoDumps. He asked: >>But what if the info we’re dumping is part of back-story, previous events that need to be known, but don’t warrant a chapter of history? I’ve had trouble with that. Do we do it as memory flashbacks interrupting action? Someone telling a story? How do we introduce the behavior and deeds of characters who were dead before the novel began (protagonist’s father and grandfather)?<<
It was a great question, and it warrants a full and complete answer. Unfortunately, I can’t give one in one day’s posting because it involves a lot of examples. So I am going to start with a very difficult info-dumpish-scene from the first novel in my own Rogue Mage series, BloodRing. Rogue Mage is an alternate reality post-apocalyptic series, sorta like X-Men [...]
Continue reading The InfoDump Scene, part 2.
Today, I continue the series of posts on worldbuilding that I began last week. First, though, I am very pleased to announce that Tor and I have agreed to terms on a contract for two more Thieftaker books. Thieves’ Quarry, the second book in the Thieftaker sequence, will be coming out next July. And now I can say with confidence that it will be followed by City of Shades in 2014 and Dead Man’s Reach in 2015. So, yay!
Okay, so back to worldbuilding. And let me begin where I left off last week, with what may well be the most important point I made about the process I go through to create the settings for my fantasies. None of the discreet tasks I mentioned last week (map making, creating relationships, coming up with myths and religions, and building magic systems) is actually discreet; rather, it all happens together, in [...]
Continue reading On Writing and Creativity: Worldbuilding Revisited, part II — How Much is Enough?
Sorry I am late, I pulled very late-nighter getting a book to my editor.
Info-dumps: the places in a novel where a writer dumps way too much info on to the page, thinking that the reader needs all this stuff to understand what is going on. In the writer’s head, they are paramount to the reactions of the characters and the forward motion of the story.
Info-dumps take place in every genre, most often in these instances:
In a standalone, when a new character enters the action or is brought up. In a series, when a character from a previous series book enters the action, or is brought up. When the writer is trying to do world-building that is crucial to the plot.
We all know not to do info-dumps. But we need the info. Below is an info dump that I have rewritten to show how to [...]
Continue reading The INFO-DUMP Scene
Dahlonega Literary Festival last weekend was a blast! I got to meet Vyton!!!! (waves) It is such fun to meet MW folks and I have to say — we are everywhere!
And Kelly and Amy and Virginia, and I saw Lauren Scribe and Raven and spent some time with AJ and with Aleta. It was a LOV-ER-LY Con all the way around.
This is the last week for the ugly bad piece and the revised piece I put on the site for exercise and critique. See here:
I have thoroughly enjoyed the versions you guys put up and and I’d like to do some more pivotal scene examples and exercises — if you want them. So let me know. And play with the exercise. I am still dropping in and saying hi and making suggestions on it :)
Continue reading Reprise Pivotal Scenes
(Note: MC = Main Character or protagonist. BBU = Big Bad Ugly or antagonist.)
I’ve written (and spoken at Cons) about pivotal scenes and the need to give them the time and effort they deserve. And I’ve seen writers’ (almost always writers who are not commercially published) eyes glaze over in shock when I say that I’ve spent 4 or 6 hours on what turned out to be less than 200 words, or two paragraphs. Or an entire day’s writing on one tiny transitional, but pivotal scene.
A pivotal scene may be described in many ways (google it!) but my version is “the scene or scenes which are turning points or climaxes for the MC and the plot.”
But I’ve never talked about a pivotal scene and how to recognize one. The penultimate plot scene—where the MC faces the BBU—is clearly a pivotal (perhaps the pivotal) scene in a novel. [...]
Continue reading The Pivotal Scene
I am late today. Sorry for that. Actually, I thought today was not my day because I’ve lost track of time. That sounds lame, even to me, but unfortunately, it’s true. For many reasons, I am in the doldrums of the year, part of the ebb and flow of time and emotion and family. First, it’s fall. I adore fall, with the lengthening of night and the shortening of day. It feels as if time slows and gives me more moments to reflect, to snuggle in early, to pile up on the couch with the dogs and the Hubby. Night becomes a reason to push away work and not think of deadlines. I love fall, but this year it’s not so lovely, and because I’ve become friends with so many of you, I have decided to share the reasons why with you, and how life has changed my writing.
On July [...]
Continue reading Reasons NOT To Be A Writer
I wrote something today that made me happy. Happier than I have been a long, long time. Happy enough that I found the delight in the craft that I’ve been missing. Happy enough that I am ready to get up tomorrow and write some more. And just because I am so happy with it, I want to share it with you just way it came off my fingertips. It’s missing some words, it’s got some repetition I’ll fix later, because this is the rough stuff. Writing it made me happy.
The house Bobby had picked out was freshly painted, white with purple gingerbread trim, one of many that had been recently restored. It had a new cement block foundation, making it sit high off the ground, a four room square house on a tiny lot with a picket fence. And not a hint of magics about the place. Until I [...]
Continue reading Death’s Rival — Happy Writing