Because There Are Lies, Secrets, and Scars

The plot is what happens to your character. The story is about how your character reacts to the things that happen. It’s simple cause and effect, right? Hold on there. It’s not quite that simple. For the most effective story your forces of antagonism (see this post) and your character’s lies, secrets, and scars (see this post) are interwoven. Easy for me to say. Difficult to do. Until you have the golden ticket. What’s that golden ticket? Because there are lies, secrets, and scars and opposition, there is a unique plot. Writers often worry about a story being “done to death.” It’s easy to believe there are no new stories in the world. One look at all the titles in Amazon can overwhelm you. Let’s rephrase. There are no new story concepts in the world. A story concept is reducing the story to the basics. Concepts include: the revenge plot, the detective story, the space marine story, and so on. There are hundreds if not millions of stories about revenge. That’s the test. If it’s a concept, there are lots of other stories like it. So how is a writer to make his story stand out? You make choices. Your […]

How to be awesome reading your work aloud

How to be Awesome Reading Your Story Aloud

Reading fiction aloud can sound like music. Reading prosody, is the term for that musical style of reading. In other words, it’s reading with expression.  And reading with expression is how to be awesome reading your story aloud.  But as a writer, we spend a lot of time alone with our thoughts and our keyboards. Preparing to give a reading can be daunting. You’re filled with questions and doubts. Where do I start? What do I read? How much do I read? How do I get through the reading without sounding like an idiot? What do I wear? Stop. Take a breath. This is your guide on how to be awesome reading your story aloud.   First hint: Don’t hide behind your book. Talk to Your Host Preparation begins with knowing more about what’s expected. Ask your host: will you be sitting or standing? At a table or a podium? Will you use a microphone? Do you check in? When and where? Is it okay to sell books after the reading? Can you ask for signups for your email list? Is it okay to bring props or bookmarks? How long are you expected to read? Sometimes how long you read is […]

What Readers Want

Time and time again you’re told to identify your reader, to write what readers want to read. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could look into a crystal ball and find the perfect reader for your book?  Have you tried to research what the reader wants? An internet search will give you more than 29 million results! Are that that many things readers want? Yes and no. The things readers want are greater than the number of readers. So what’s a writer to do? Learn the basics. 1. We are born storytellers. Our sense, or need for, story is inborn. Need proof? How about 40,000+ year old cave paintings? How about the questions we ask? How was your day? Did you see the whopper I caught? Did you hear the whopper I told? 2. Learn about the psychology of story. 3. Learn what a story is. Tell your best story. 1. Understand that your job as a writer is to tell a story about a character who wants something desperately and to make her struggle to achieve that goal.  If there is no struggle, no obstacles, no opposition, there is no story. 2. Learn how to craft a story, There is tons […]