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                    W R I T I N G   W O R L D

A World of Writing Information - For Writers Around the World

                  http://www.writing-world.com

Issue 14:22          13,000 subscribers         November 20, 2014
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MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION: See the bottom of this newsletter for
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COPYRIGHT NOTICE: No material published in this newsletter may be
reprinted or posted without the consent of the author unless
otherwise noted. Unauthorized use is a copyright infringement.
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IN THIS ISSUE:
=================================================================

EDITORIAL, by Moira Allen
     A Mission Statement
FEATURE ARTICLE, by Karen Wiesner
     The Stuff Series Are Made Of
CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION, by Victoria Grossack     
     Flesh out Your Writing with Body Language
FREE STUFF FOR WRITERS, by Aline Lechaye
     Getting Through NaNoWriMo
PLUS: NEWS FOR WRITERS; OPPORTUNITIES; THE WRITE SITES
                           
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FROM THE EDITOR'S DESK - by Moira Allen
=================================================================

A Mission Statement
-------------------

As I reviewed the comments on our newsletter survey -- and the many
comments I've received since my last editorial -- it occurred to me
that there is something I have not done since launching
Writing-World.com nearly 15 years ago.  I have never come up with a
"mission statement" for the site.

That doesn't mean I haven't had a clear concept of what
Writing-World.com's mission would be.  In fact, I suspect that was
precisely the problem: The mission of this website and newsletter
has been SO clear to me that I never thought about the need to
articulate it to others.  

As I'm now in the midst of a site redesign and revamp, this seems a
good time to rectify that, er, O-mission.  Henceforth (or rather,
hence from when the revamp is complete), our statement will be
emblazoned boldly with our logo, and it is this:

"Equipping Writers for Success"

It's a statement that breaks down into three parts.  Let's start
with the middle, because that's YOU.  Writers.  When
Writing-World.com began, it was following in the footsteps of
Inkspot, then one of the most popular writing sites on the Web. 
Like Inkspot, Writing-World.com was not aimed at any one specific
type of writer or branch of writing.  While it's never possible to
be all things to all people, our goal was to be as encompassing as
possible in the definition of "writer."  We didn't want to be a
site just for fiction writers, or nonfiction writers, or poetry
writers, or...  whatever.  While we had a strong section on
"getting started," we didn't want to be "just" for beginning
writers; we wanted to provide resources for experienced writers as
well.  And so the site evolved with the intent to be as useful as
possible to as broad a spectrum of writers as possible.

Another factor that we wanted to address on the site (I find myself
using the imperial "we" here for no particular reason other than
the fact that I don't like the sound of "I, I, I" all the time...)
was the international scope of writing.  At the time that
Writing-World.com began, we (and here I mean a generalized "all us
writers together") were moving into a new era in which, for the
first time, it was becoming far easier for writers to submit to
publications worldwide, regardless of where they themselves might
be located.  It was also becoming possible for writers to
communicate with one another from nearly every part of the globe. 
Inkspot had begun to reach out to the international writing
community with its newsletter "Global Writers' Ink," and our
international section incorporated much of that content.  Hence
this site became Writing-WORLD.com.

The next part of the statement to examine is the word "equipping." 
There are a lot of words I could have used: Inspiring, Empowering,
Encouraging...  But somehow those never even occurred to me. 
"Equipping" just leapt into my head as the term that most
accurately describes the goal of Writing-World.com.

"Equipping" suggests "providing tools and resources."  When you are
properly equipped, you can take on tasks that you might otherwise
be unprepared to handle.  If you are ill-equipped, you're  much
more likely to fail.  And writing is a task that DOES require
"equipment."  The physical equipment of writing has changed
dramatically over the last 15 years; today, I suspect most of us
don't even own a typewriter, whereas a couple of decades ago that
was considered perhaps a writer's most essential piece of physical
equipment.  Today, many writers are shifting from desktop and
laptop computers to tablets and phones.  

Writing-World.com isn't concerned with the physical tools of
writing, however.  Our "equipment" provides the tools writers need
to learn the skills and techniques that will enable them to achieve
their goals.  Information has always been the most important tool
for writers, their most vital resource -- and information is what
we have sought to provide.  We've set high standards for the
quality of our "tools," insisting that our contributors be experts
in their respective fields.  To put it simply, we've never been
willing to accept an article on "how to do" something from a writer
who could not demonstrate that he or she had in fact done that very
thing -- and done it successfully.  

In preparation for the revamp of the website, I took an inventory
of the "tools" on the site -- and discovered that we now have
nearly 1000 articles on Writing-World.com!  Obviously, not every
article will be useful to every writer -- which gets back to our
first goal of being able to provide "equipment" for as broad a
spectrum of writers as possible.  But if you're just getting
started, you can be sure you'll find a host of tools to help you
build your writing career from the very beginning -- and if you've
been writing for years, you'll find tools to help you take that
career to the next level (whatever that level might be).

The third part of our "mission statement" is the word "success." 
That's a tricky word.  While I say that our goal is "Equipping
Writers for Success," one thing I DON'T intend to do is actually
define what success MEANS.  That's the part of the phrase that
writers have to define for themselves.

Quite often, if someone asks one of us, "Are you a successful
writer?" we have no idea how to answer.  We know that the outside
world often defines success in very different terms from those we
might use.  The "obvious" forms of success that most non-writers
understand are bestseller status and lots of money (i.e., "Stephen
King is a successful writer").  For those of us who are not Stephen
King, the definition can have infinite variations.  It's also a
term we redefine constantly as we progress through our writing
careers -- and it's a term that may have different meanings for
different aspects of our writing lives.

For some, "success" may mean a specific type of publication.  For
one person it might be publication in a noteworthy literary
journal, while another may have his or her heart set upon breaking
into journalism.  One person may define success by getting a book
into print; another may define it by the number of sales or getting
an advance.  For some, success may be focused more upon earning a
living from writing than on the creative aspect.  And for many,
"success" means that first sale, that first publication, seeing
one's name in print for the first time -- or even simply completing
one's first piece.  

While our definitions of success may vary, and may change over
time, it IS helpful to actually HAVE a definition.  If you can
define what WOULD mean "success" to you, it becomes much easier to
determine what tools and "equipment" you'll need to get there.  

So here at Writing-World.com, we won't try to define "success," or
come up with a definitive statement of what makes a "successful"
writer.  Rather, we'll leave that step to you -- and then do our
best to be there with the tools and resources you need to make your
definition a reality.

And that, my friends, is our not-so-new Mission Statement!


Copyright 2014 Moira Allen

This article may be reprinted provided the author's byline, bio and
copyright notice are retained. (For an author bio and complete
details on reprint terms, please visit 
http://www.writing-world.com/admin1/reprints.shtml)

Link to this article here:
http://www.writing-world.com/coffee/coffee87.shtml

=================================================================
VICTORIANA LOVERS:
------------------
THE NOVEMBER ISSUE OF VICTORIAN TIMES is now available! As ever, 
we've brought together a unique collection of articles from 
Victorian periodicals to celebrate the season!  As it grows cold
outside, warm yourself by the fire with articles about the folklore
of cats, advertising swindles, London's old stone signs, tile 
painting, some eccentric invention ideas (think Victorian "Shark
Tank"), and of course a delicious assortment of recipes and treats!
Visit http://www.mostly-victorian.com/VT/issues/VT-1411.shtml to
download the free electronic edition or access the print edition.
=================================================================

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GIFTS FOR WRITERS FROM WRITING-WORLD.COM! Are there writers (or 
readers) on your gift list?  Then check out the new line of "mugs 
for writers and readers" designed by Writing-World.com editor 
Moira Allen! Our gorgeous mugs (the kind you drink from, we mean) 
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Folks like you!  See our growing lineup at 
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*****************************************************************

OPPORTUNITIES FOR WRITERS
=================================================================
ThePennyHoarder
---------------
ThePennyHoarder is a website focusing on "earning, saving or
investing money."  The editor, Kalynn Harshbarger, has put out a
call for new contributors.  According to the website, "We're always
on the lookout for fun, unique ideas for earning, saving or
investing money. We'd love to hear your personal experience,
especially if you can share detailed numbers, strategies and
advice."  

According to Harshbarger, " ThePennyHoarder will pay a minimum of
$75 per post plus up to $800 in traffic bonuses."  However, the
contributor guidelines state that payment is provided only by
"prior arrangement." As of writing, I have not received a response
to my request for clarification on this issue, so... I recommend
that writers DO get clarification as to whether payment is
guaranteed!  

For more details and contributor guidelines, please visit:

http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/contributor-guidelines/

Katha Kshetre
-------------
Katha Kshetre is an international literary quarterly published from
Bangalore.  It is now provided in e-mail format only.  "Our
subscribers are aspiring as well as established writers, authors
and people educated and interested in creative literature. We need
articles, essays, stories, and poems free. We welcome them  from
any quarter of the globe.  We do book reviewing provided we receive
one printed copy sent by mail."  For more details, contact Joseph
Kaval, editor, joseph.kaval@gmail.com.
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FEATURE ARTICLE: The Stuff Series Are Made Of
By Karen S. Wiesner

================================================================

"The disease of writing is dangerous and contagious." (Abelard to
Heloise) Following a series can also become a relentless obsession
-- an obsession that's the hallmark of why readers read series, why
writers write them, and why publishers publish them. The mania is
spreading. So how do you get started? There are a lot of things to
work out when writing a fiction series. 

Developing a Plan for Your Series 
---------------------------------
If a series doesn't have a "tie" that connects each book, it could
hardly be called a series. Developing the ties from one book to the
next prevents readers from questioning the point of the series.
These ties can be any or even all of the following:

* Recurring character or couple (think Aloysius Pendergast in
Preston and Child's "Pendergast" series, or J.D. Robb's Eve and
Roarke from the "In Death" series)

* Central group of characters (such as George R. R. Martin's A Song
of Ice and Fire, or the members of Kate Jacobs' Friday Night
Knitting Club)

* A plot or premise (as in Robin Cook's Jack Stapleton medical
mysteries or Dan Brown's treasure hunts in the Robert Langdon
Series)

* Setting (Forks, Washington in Twilight, or Harry Potter's
Hogwarts) 

As in the examples mentioned above, what connects the books in a
series should be evident in each entry. Ensuring this kind of
continuity requires advance planning. Ideally, you want to start
developing your series ties as early as you can. To get things
going, let's consider what separates SERIES writing from NOVEL
writing. 

1) UNDERSTANDING STORY ARCS VERSES SERIES ARCS

Every work of fiction has a STORY ARC or a continued storyline. The
Story Arc is introduced, developed and concluded within the
individual book. In contrast, a series almost always has a SERIES
ARC as well. A Series Arc is a long-term plot thread that's
introduced in the first book, alluded to in some way in each
subsequent book, but only resolved in the final series book. The
only exception to this rule is an open-ended series in which each
book stands alone, and there's no Series Arc that resolves in the
last book. Examples of open-ended series include the Stapleton and
Langdon series mentioned above.

Series that have a definitive end DO need a Series Arc, whether
clearly or subtly defined. The Series Arc is generally separate
from the individual Story Arcs of each book, though they must fit
together seamlessly to provide a logical progression throughout the
series. As an example, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,
the Story Arc is the sorcerer's stone plotline. The Series Arc, in
the most simplified terms, is good overcoming evil -- manifested in
Harry's ongoing and developing conflict with Voldemort. The Series
Arc runs progressively and cohesively beneath the individual Story
Arcs in each successive book. 

Must a series that's not open-ended have a Series Arc? Absolutely!
In a series that will have definitive closure, you've presented a
situation in the first book that must be settled satisfactorily in
the last. Without that, readers who have invested time, money, and
passion will feel cheated. To write a series is to promise an
acceptable resolution. If, in the course of Brandon Mull's
Fablehaven Series, Kendra and Seth didn't defeat the evil
threatening the Fablehaven preserve, Mull would have left his fans
crying foul because he broke the pledge of a satisfactory
resolution implied in the first book.

Spell out your Series Arc for yourself as much as you can so you
can work from that premise from start to finish.

2) EVALUATING C-S-P SERIES POTENTIAL 

Readers fall in love with characters, settings and plots. They want
conflict, but don't want you to hurt their heroes. They different
stories, yet don't want things to change. But a character, setting
or plot that doesn't change also doesn't evolve, doesn't remain
life-like, and eventually becomes boring. 

Series characters, settings and plots should have longevity and
intriguing potential that continues to grow, rather than stagnate
or wane, throughout the course of a series. Consider the three P's
that make characters (and just as certainly settings and plots!)
three-dimensional:

1) Personality (multi-faceted with strengths and weaknesses, and
capable of growing, being molded, deeply delved, and stretched)

2) Problems (combining light and dark, good and evil, simple and
complex -- not necessarily in equal parts)

3) Purpose (evolving goals and motivations wide enough to introduce
new and unpredictable themes into a series but narrow enough for
focus in individual stories)

Without the introduction of something new for series characters,
settings and plots, you'll give your readers nothing to hope for
beyond the first book. The best way to plant seeds for series
exploration is to evaluate your C-S-P (Character-Setting-Plot)
potential. Basically this means establishing "Plants" in the first
and middle books that can be used at any time during the life of
the series to expand all three of these components. Naturally, the
sooner you set these up, the more believable they'll be when it's
time to fully develop them. 

As an example, in the Robert Langdon Series, the main character
frequently mentions the Mickey Mouse watch he wears -- not
something most grown men would be caught dead in. In his case, it
was a gift from his parents on his ninth birthday, something rife
with sentimental value. And considering that much of this series
revolves around 24-hour deadlines, the significance of this object
is heightened. If the first time the symbolic accessory was
mentioned was when Langdon was thrust in a tank of breathable
oxygenated liquid in Book 3, the READER would have been
figuratively drowned as a consequence. Luckily, this item was
planted early enough that its appearance over the course of the
series didn't feel contrived or convenient to the plots. 

Most authors include numerous "Plants" in the first book in a
series without realizing it. That doesn't mean you shouldn't insert
them deliberately, too. When considering your C-S-P series
potential, do free-form summaries for all of the questions below.
Don't worry if you can't come up with much right away; simply use
this as a jumping-off point as the series progresses. Go on the
assumption that these seeds may be planted (and left mostly
unexplored) in the early books for development in later titles:

* How can you outfit ALL series characters with heroic traits and
habits as well as flaws and vices that can lead to natural growth
and interesting plots? 

* What occupations, hobbies, interests, and idiosyncrasies can you
give characters that can be gradually developed? 

* What relationships and potential enemies/villains can you add to
expand the series potential? 

* What lessons, backstory or experiences can be hinted at for later
revelation and development and may lead to suspenseful plots or
emotional crises? 

* What life conditions, challenges, trials, grudges, grief,
betrayals, threats, heartaches or obsessions (romance, marriage,
divorce, parents/children, illness, medical ailment or death) can
characters face that may lead to compelling situations throughout
the series? 

* What locations can you set the series and individual books in to
expand characters and plots? 

* What world, regional or local events, holidays, important dates
or disasters (natural or man-made) can provide a catalyst? 

* What quest -- fortuitous, cursed or anywhere in between -- can be
undertaken? 

* What item or object can you place that can become the basis for
plot, setting or character development? 

Keeping one rule firmly in mind when you're planting series seeds
will give you longevity and flexibility for the road ahead: Always
leave plenty of Plants unexplored! The last thing you want to do is
lock yourself in too early. In the early books in the Pendergast
Series, it was revealed that the FBI agent's wife had been killed
years earlier. Superficial details about this death were alluded to
but kept sparse and flexible so that, when the authors moved into
their Helen Trilogy quite a few books later, they could easily mold
this event any way they needed to. Had they locked down specific
details early on, the trilogy might never have seen the light of
day. 

Hints and allusions are ideal -- even required -- when you're
introducing C-S-P series potential in one book and developing it in
another. From one book to the next, explore the facets of C-S-P
slowly, developing them as you go along instead of all at once. If
you give too much detail too soon, you may find it hard to change
or adapt when the time comes to use a Plant. 

Additionally, keep in mind that, if no one wants to see more of
these characters, settings, and the series premise over the long
haul, the series is pointless. Always spin established facts on
their axis so the reader will have a new, emotional and unexpected
journey in each story within the series. Every offering must be AT
LEAST as exciting as the one before. These are the ingredients that
bring readers back for more.
			
Organizing Series Details
-------------------------

The best way to NOT to write a series is to have no organization
whatsoever. Unless you organize your details, you'll miss countless
opportunities to plant and develop seeds for C-S-P series potential
as well as force yourself to backtrack to clear up issues that
arise.  You may even write yourself into a corner. Establishing the
basics can give you numerous insights for further developments. 

While established authors may be capable of outlining every book in
a series before writing even one, that may not be possible for
everyone. Maybe the only way for you to figure out where you're
going with your series is to write the first book, then set it
aside while you think about the next and those that are to follow.
Which characters will take the lead? What story will be told and
what conflicts will arise? What seeds can you plant in the first
book to prepare readers for the next ones? The more you can
brainstorm on these things, the more developed each story will be
when you start working on it. Never underestimate the value of
keeping a story (and series!) sitting on the backburner of your
mind.

How much pre-planning you ultimately do is up to you, but I
recommend attempting two things. 

BLURBING THE SERIES AND STORY ARCS

Building on your C-S-P potential, the next step in figuring out
where you're going is to write blurbs for the series and its
individual stories. Play with them and don't expect perfection the
first time. You can work with them more as your series progresses. 

When creating a Series Blurb, you're not focusing on individual
stories but on the series AS A WHOLE to get the gist of what it's
about. If the Series Blurb is done well enough, it will accurately
reflect what every book in the series is about in a concise,
intriguing summary. Remember your Series Ties while you're working,
since they'll help you figure out what your Series Arc should be.
In no more than four sentences, define your Series Arc by using
"leads to" logic (note that the components don't have to be in
order, nor is a resolution required since you may not want to
defuse the intrigue or tension): 

Introduction --> Change --> Conflicts --> Choices --> Crisis -->
Resolutions

Here's an example from my Incognito Series:

The Network is the world's most covert organization. Having
unchallenged authority and skill to disable criminals, the Network
takes over where regular law enforcement leaves off in the mission
for absolute justice. (INTRODUCTION) The price: Men and women who
have sacrificed their personal identities (CHOICES) to live in the
shadows (CHANGE) and uphold justice for all (CONFLICTS) -- no
matter the cost. (CRISIS)

Next, try blurbing the individual stories you foresee in the
series. It's all right if you've only gotten as far as
brainstorming one or two books. Start with what you have and go
further as more comes to you. This process should help your ideas
multiply. 

In order to begin, you need at least a working knowledge of which
characters will take the lead in individual stories and what each
Story Arc (conflict) will be. If it helps, try writing free-form
summaries covering the who, what, where, when, and why of each
story. Now let's create a back cover blurb using this equation (if
you have more than one main character, do this for each): 

________________ (name of character) wants _________________(goal
to be achieved) because _________________ (motivation for acting),
but faces _____________________ (conflict standing in the way).

By filling in the blanks, you'll flesh out your Story Blurb. As
before, you can mix up the order of the components. Let's look at
an example of the Story Blurb from Dark Approach, the twelfth in my
Incognito Series:

Network operatives and lovers Lucy Carlton and Vic Leventhal (NAME
OF CHARACTER{S}) have spent years living in the shadows, the
property of the covert organization they gave their loyalty to in
the lofty pursuit of justice for all. (MOTIVATION FOR ACTING)
Disillusioned, they're now determined to live their lives on their
own terms. When the Network's arch enemy secretly approaches the
two about defecting—freedom for information that will disable the
Network (GOAL TO BE ACHIEVED) -- the couple must choose between
love and loyalty. In the process, they jeopardize the Network's
anonymity...and its very existence. (CONFLICT STANDING IN THE WAY)

Blurbing in this way will expand your series and get you excited
about writing it. 

The appeal of the series is obvious: You don't have to leave behind
characters, place or premise in a single book. You can continue
with a whole series of them! While each story should stand on its
own, no series book should feel quite complete without the others
since readers are invested mentally, emotionally, and even
physically. The best news is, after reading the first book in a
series, they'll crave infinitely more as long as each offering is
an absolutely killer read. 

=================================================================

Karen Wiesner is an accomplished author with 106 books published in
a tremendous variety of fiction genres, including three trilogies
and 13 series -- ranging from three to 12 books each. Her newest
writing reference release is "Writing the Fiction Series: The
Complete Guide for Novels and Novellas" (Writer's Digest Books).
Visit Karen's website at http://www.karenwiesner.com and sign up
for her free newsletter to qualify for her monthly book giveaways.

=================================================================

Copyright 2014 Karen Wiesner

This article may not be reprinted without the author's written
permission.

Link to this article here:
http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/series2.shtml

*****************************************************************

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NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF WRITING
================================================================= 

Amazon and Hachette Bury the Hatchet
------------------------------------
Sorry, I've been wanting to say that since this sorry mess began. 
At last, Amazon and Hachette have worked out an agreement (about
which very little is actually being said).  Their new multi-year
contract provides Hachette with the ability to oversee and set
consumer prices for their products on Amazon.  The deal, however,
also gives Hachette "incentives" for sticking to Amazon's $9.99
pricing on ebooks.  The contract goes into effect in 2015. For more
details, visit http://tinyurl.com/k59zrnk

Scribner Revives Its Magazine
-----------------------------
Scribner Books first launched "Scribner's Magazine" in 1887; the
publication ran until 1939.  Now Scribner's has launched a new,
digital version of the magazine, which will provide book excerpts,
original fiction, author interviews, live readings, and some looks
back at classic writings.  The "On Writing" section promises to be
particularly interesting to writers.  Find out more at 
http://www.scribnermagazine.com/

Peter Rabbit Hops Again
-----------------------
Beatrix Potter's beloved Peter Rabbit has become a hop star as the
"spokes-rabbit" for Hop to Health, a new health and wellness
initiative.  The campaign is brought to us by a partnership between
the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the National AfterSchool
Association, Nickelodeon and Penguin Young Readers.  Peter appears
in a new book, "On Your Mark, Get Set, Hop!" that will encourage
healthy habits in children, such as eating more fruits and
vegetables, sleeping more, drinking more water, and getting out and
playing.  (OK, now let's see if I remember the original... Didn't
Peter get in trouble because he snuck into a garden and ate too
MANY vegetables, so that he could barely escape and lost his jacket
wriggling under the fence, and was then put to bed, sick (probably
with a tummy-ache) with a dose of chamomile tea...  Presumably the
new Peter is a wiser, hoppier bunny... For more details, visit
http://www.peterrabbit.com/us/fun_and_games/hop_to_health

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CRAFTING FABULOUS FICTION: Flesh out Your Writing with Body Language
by Victoria Grossack

=================================================================

A goal of the fiction writer is to put the readers in the story. 
In other words, you strive to make your characters and your
settings so real that readers forget their actual surroundings and
take up temporary residence in yours.  The goal is fine but a bit
on the theoretical side; the big challenge is how to do this in
practice.  One method is through the use of body language -- that
is, words and phrases which relate to different parts of your
characters' bodies.

Breathe Life Into Your Description By Using All Senses
------------------------------------------------------
Authors generally remember to put in what the character can see. 
For example: The sky was blue; the trees were lush and green; the
paint on the house was gray and peeling.  But you may need to
remind yourself that readers and your characters have at least four
more senses that you can explore.  For example, if your hero is on
a wharf, what would your readers experience if they were standing
beside him?  Here are some possibilities:

SENSE OF SIGHT: The old men drinking in their boats, the sails
billowing, the blinding reflection of the sun on the water

SENSE OF HEARING: Waves lapping against the shore and the pier,
gulls crying, sails flapping, the chug of a small boat's engine

SENSE OF TOUCH: The heat of the sun on your hero's black pants, the
coolness of the wind on her cheek, the roughness of the old planks
beneath the feet

SENSE OF SMELL: The tang of salt; the rotting scent of seaweed; the
diesel in the boats

SENSE OF TASTE: Grittiness of sand that gets into the food, the
richness of oysters

You can build upon this by having the character interact more with
the setting, by bringing feelings and emotions to it.  Perhaps a
woman in a fancy outfit walks along the pier: she may feel
irritation with the wind as it ruins her expensive hairdo, or
awkward and embarrassed as she stumbles in her inappropriate high
heels.  A certain smell, such as a whiff of perfume, may remind the
hero of girlfriend who left him.  By doing this, you make the
setting come alive for your character, and thus for your reader.

Use Body Language for Conversational Beats
------------------------------------------
For readers to follow a conversation, writers have to include some
form of speaker attribution, such as "John said" and "Mary
replied."  This can grow tedious for the author, who may become
tired of repeatedly typing S-A-I-D.  But without an indication of
the speaker the reader gets lost, especially when there are more
than two speakers.

   Mark said, "I wonder what time it is?"
   "It is way past dinnertime," said Susan.
   "You're wrong," said Katie.
   "Do you know where Jeff is?" asked Susan.

One possibility is to change the word used to attribute the speech.
 Alternatives abound: ask, answer, exclaim, yell, whisper, retort,
relate, sing, say, declare, aver, pronounce, and so on. 
Unfortunately, these have to be used sparingly or your readers may
begin to pay more attention to these words than to your story.

  Mark wondered, "I wonder what time it is?"
  "It is way past dinnertime," averred Susan.
  "You're wrong," Katie contradicted.
  "Do you know where Jeff is?" asked Susan.

Another alternative – and one which will also get you away from the
talking head syndrome -- is to include movements of the characters.

   Mark rubbed his eyes and stretched on the couch.  "I wonder what
time it is?"
   Susan's stomach growled.  "It is way past dinnertime."
   Katie looked at her watch.  "You're wrong."
   Susan went to the window and opened it.  A gust of rain soaked
her T-shirt.  "Do you know where Jeff is?"

Admittedly, having four such movements in a row becomes tiring for
the reader, but used wisely, this method provides the author with
another way of dealing with the dialogue attribution and also
brings more life into the story.  The best solution is to combine
these different techniques in the way that best enhances your
narrative.

Show Don't Tell
---------------
Most writers are familiar with the directive: "Show, don't tell!" 
Body language provides a great way to comply with this command. 
Here are a couple of examples:

   TELLING: Henry was tired.
   SHOWING: Henry yawned.

   TELLING: Sheila said angrily, "You're wrong!"
   SHOWING: Sheila stamped her foot. "You're wrong!"

These are both simple examples, but they make my point.  The second
instance is particularly important, because the first part contains
the adverb "angrily".  Adverbs ending with "-ly" are warning
signals that you may have drifted into telling instead of showing. 
By having Sheila stamp her foot, Sheila shows her emotion and the
readers know she is speaking angrily without your having to tell
them explicitly.

Stretching Your Body and Mind
-----------------------------
We've covered some basics.  Now it's time for you to develop your
own repertoire of body movements and interactions.  So, here is a
writing exercise which you can do in the safety of your own home.

Start at the crown of your head and work your way down.  For
various parts of your body (or the bodies of your characters), come
up with movements and twitches and grandiose gestures.  Write them
down, so that you develop your own set of possibilities.  Try to
move from the commonplace and the cliche to the creative.  And
award yourself extra points for gestures which convey emotions or
interact with the environment.

Here are some examples of what the different parts of your body can
do.

   HAIR: bounces, waves, falls in the eyes

   EYEBROWS: lift, lower, squeeze together

   LIPS: purse, press, blow, whistle, kiss

   STOMACH: growl, ache with hunger, cramp with disease, 
   tremble with butterflies

   FEET: shuffle, ache, swell, stink, stamp

Of course, there are many more body parts and many more
possibilities.  They are only limited by the parts of the human
body and your imagination.  If your main character has antennae,
either because he is a cockroach or because he is an Andorian from
Star Trek, you should develop a repertoire of movements and
associations for your character's antennae.

Conclusion
----------
Language associated with bodies can bring more depth to your
writing.  By working through your senses, you can deepen the sense
of reality for your readers.  By including gestures and
conversational beats, you can shift from telling to showing.  These
both make the story more alive, and add to the feeling you want
your reader to have: being in the story with your characters.

=================================================================

Victoria Grossack studied Creative Writing and English Literature
at Dartmouth College, and has published stories and articles in
such publications as Contingencies, Women's World and I Love Cats.
She is the author of Crafting Fabulous Fiction, a step-by-step
guide to developing and polishing novels and short stories that
includes many of her beloved columns. With Alice Underwood, she
co-authors the Tapestry of Bronze series (including Jocasta,
Mother-Wife of Oedipus; The Children of Tantalus; and Antigone &
Creon), based on Greek myths and set in the late Bronze Age. Her
independent novels include The Highbury Murders, in which she does
her best to channel the spirits and styles of Jane Austen and
Agatha Christie, and Academic Assassination (A Zofia Martin
Mystery). Victoria is married with kids, and (though American)
spends much of her time in Europe. Her hobbies include gardening,
hiking, bird-watching and tutoring mathematics. Visit her website
at http://www.tapestryofbronze.com, or contact her at tapestry (at)
tapestryofbronze (dot) com. 

=================================================================

Copyright 2014 Victoria Grossack 

This article may not be reprinted or posted without the written
permission of the author.

Link to this article here: 
http://www.writing-world.com/victoria/crafting55.shtml

Want to learn more about crafting fabulous fiction? Get one-on-one
guidance with Victoria Grossack's personal writing class; visit
http://www.tapestryofbronze.com/VictoriasWritingClasses.html.

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THE WRITE SITES
=================================================================

WriterAid
---------
Sue Lick's excellent site promises "Information, inspiration,
exploration for writers," and certainly delivers with her current
post on ageism in the publishing business.
http://writeraid.net

Simon Teakettle Ink
-------------------
Barbara Florio Graham's site (named for her cat) is rich in
resources for writers.  The easiest way to find the different
resource sections is to visit the site map:
http://simonteakettle.com/sitemap.htm

fiverr.com
----------
If you need basic art services cheap, try this site.  I've seen the
logo one of our contributors had done through the site, and it was
impressive.  And yes, the rate is just $5!
http://www.fiverr.com

=================================================================
READERS: This is YOUR section! Let me know about your favorite
sites or blogs for writers (including your own).  Please send
suggestions to editors@writing-world.com with "Write Sites" in the
subject line.
=================================================================

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FREE STUFF FOR WRITERS: Getting Through NaNoWriMo
By Aline Lechaye

=================================================================

It's halfway through November, so if you're participating in
NaNoWriMo this year, you're probably at the halfway point of your
novel. For me, halfway through a writing project is usually when
things get difficult. This is usually the point where nothing I
type onto the screen looks right, sentences start to lose all
logical meaning, and I start thinking things like, "Maybe I should
start over" or "Maybe I should just scrap this". 

If you're like me, maybe by now you're getting close to that point
where you're getting ready to burn everything you've written.
Hopefully, some of the tools below will boost your motivation,
inspire your muse, or just help get you to your word count goal of
the day. 

Sometimes just writing is a good way to get through writer's block.
If you need a little push to get started writing for the day, here
are some useful writing motivation tools: 

I've always been a fan of the Write or Die (http://writeordie.com/)
site, but now that it's been updated to the new Write or Die 2
version, I've become an even bigger fan. The new interface looks
pretty high-tech, with options to adjust your word count, time
goals, how many words you type per minute, writing stimuli, and
more. The screen changes color if you're typing too slowly, and if
you don't pick up speed after that, the words you've already typed
start getting erased. You can try Write or Die for free on the
website. There is a handy save option to the bottom right of the
writing area for saving your work. 

A slightly less intimidating website that can help you hit your
writing goal for the day is the 750 Words website
(https://750words.com/), which offers badges when you complete
certain writing goals. For example, you can get a Turkey for
writing 750 words daily for 3 days in a row, a Penguin for writing
750 words 5 days in a row, and a Cheetah for writing 750 words
within 20 minutes for 10 days in a row. There is also a special
NaNo badge for anyone who writes 50,000 words. Note that you need
to sign up for an account to use the site and save your work, and
the site is only free to use for 30 days. 

Need to name a new character in your novel? Behind the Name
(http://www.behindthename.com/) is a good place to find where names
come from and what they mean. You can also use the random name
generator to generate character names for specific character
occupations, ethnicities, or timelines. 

You can generate plots for romance, fantasy, crime, horror,
mystery, and other genres on the Plot Generator website (
http://www.plot-generator.org.uk/). Pick your genre, provide
details of your character names, novel setting, and other relevant
information, and the site will generate a tailor-made plot blurb
for you (or you could randomly generate all the above information
to get a completely random plot.) Looking for more plot ideas? Head
over to The Writer's Den (http://writers-den.pantomimepony.co.uk/)
to try out their generators for plot ideas and plot twists. 


=================================================================

Aline Lechaye is a translator, writer, and writing tutor who
resides in Asia. She can be reached at alinelechaye at gmail.com

=================================================================

Copyright 2014 Aline Lechaye 

This article may not be reprinted without the written permission 
of the author. 

*****************************************************************

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on how to reach more than 100,000 writers a month with your 
product, service or book title, visit
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Writing World is a publication of Writing-World.com
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Copyright 2014 Moira Allen








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