Eight Sentence Sunday #11

I present to you Eight Sentence Sunday, a blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Here are some sentences I cut out from an old novel of mine. I don’t like taking out perfectly good words, but sometimes a story needs to be shaken up before everything fits into place.

He started off on his shopping list, camping store first.

After walking around on the wall for a while he realized two things. First he had no idea where any of the stores he wanted to go to were. He couldn’t figure out where they were from the mall map at all. The stores were ones he had never heard of before such as FluffyBunny, NachoCheese, or MoonBeams. He didn’t even know what MoonBeams were. How did he know what they were selling there and above all which one was the camping store?

The second problem was how he was going to get off of the wall and into said stores, a grappling hook perhaps?

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F is for Foil (A literary device. Not aluminum foil.)

This post is a part of the A to Z Challenge. Every day (minus Sunday’s) during April in 2015 I will be making a post related to a literary device which starts with a particular letter of the alphabet. I have a general idea that these posts will be describing the same characters as they go through their lives, but I haven’t written all the posts yet so no promises!

Foil – is a character that shows qualities that are in contrast with the qualities of another character with the objective to highlight the traits of the other character. The term foil, though generally being applied for a contrasting character, may also be used for any comparison that is drawn to portray a difference between two things.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is an ideal example of foil since it’s simple; Jekyll’s foil is his other half Hyde. In the book the transformation between the two shows the battle between good v bad in all humans. That’s one of the main pluses of using a foil. It emphasizes one or more themes within ones story. A truly fantastic literary device when used correctly.

In my novel Moon Murder my detective character has a foil in the arm implant Genie (or G3N13). Their interactions show the constant struggles between humans and robots, the traditional v new age, and the detail oriented v the carefree. It wonderfully highlights my novels main themes, which is why every round of edits ends with me adding more interactions between these characters. As they build their relationship the story gets more meat because the themes are getting ever more engrained in the world.

Self-editing and Critiquing #7

Instead of focusing on three points while going through my novel in editing stages I’ve been doing in depth focusing on each chapter. Ten pages at a time.

I’m looking at each scene and asking myself if it’s needed. I’m making sure it’s full of action. I’m reviewing the characters actions, to make sure they are acting like themselves. I’m also making sure that the characters are doing interesting things. And most importantly I’m making sure that my characters have wants which the reader knows.

I’ve also been working on setting to make sure the readers achieve a good understanding of the moon world that this story is in. It’s hard to make sure all this information is in each set of pages, but it’s important that I give that much development to this novel. I want it to be the best that it can be!

Eight Sentence Sunday #8

I present to you Eight Sentence Sunday, a blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Here are eight sentences from the novel I am currently editing; Moon Murder.

A message chimed onto my screen. I opened it to a surprise video feed of the headmaster.

“What were you thinking taking the buggies out after I gave explicit instructions to not?”

“Mother was insistent, and I wasn’t going to let her go onto the moon by herself, that’s dangerous.”

“So is going out onto the moon without proper gear, and without proper supervision from people inside town.”

“Yes well. What’s done is done.”

“It’s not done until you get back, which will be immediately.”

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Eight Sentence Sunday #7

I don’t know what happened last week but this post didn’t publish on time! (I usually have this scheduled early in the week so I don’t forget.) I had a great streak going too! Oh well, time to start again.

I present to you Eight Sentence Sunday, a blog hop hosted by Weekend Writing Warriors. Here are eight sentences from the novel I am currently editing; Moon Murder.

She was shorter than me and mom yet this woman looked down at both of us simultaneously.

Melisa held out her hand, “I am the headmistress.” There was no comment on being pleased to meet us. The hand shaking seemed to be a formality she dealt with because everyone else expected it, and that was it. Why did I help this woman distract my mother?

A voice straight from Brooklyn came from my arm, “Hey there doll face ain’t you glad to see us? How about you get rid of that scowl of yours and show us where we can have some fun in this joint.”

Ah yes, that would be why.

Check out more at http://www.wewriwa.com/

Self-editing and Critiquing #6

While some characters have obvious actions and tones of voice others are harder to distinguish. In the novel I’m editing I have a mother daughter combo as main characters. Since they are family my mind made them seem similar, with obvious differences in age, and less obvious differences in their life goals. 

But my beta readers have been saying that it is hard to figure out which one is speaking at which time because they are too similar. I’m trying to figure out the best way to fix this. 

It might be fun to make up some slang words for the daughter to use, but the mother doesn’t. Of course I don’t want to make it harder on the reader either. Making them remember what each word means, or worse look it up each time in a glossary, would take away from the story.

I had been trying to give each character word preferences, and I did make an attempt to have the mother use shorter more statement like sentences.Then again I wrote this during National Novel Writing Month. What I concentrated on one day was completely forgotten the next. I will attempt to add these differences more often throughout the novel, while small I do think they will help. If that doesn’t work I’ll have to go with my back up plan; give my characters catch phrases.

Self-editing and Critiquing #5

I’m in the throws of intense editing, also known as rewriting half a novel. I have found techniques which help make the process smoother, perhaps they can help you as well.

First I choose one scene to work on at a time, trying to look at the others as little as possible until the rewrite is complete.

Second I ask myself what I want to do with this scene. Who I want to introduce, what character development I want to see, and most importantly if I want it to end in an upbeat or a downbeat. 

What is that? When a scene ends with progress toward the characters goal then the scene ends with an upbeat. If a new obstacle appears between the character and their goals the scene ends in a downbeat. If there are too many scenes with one or the other in a row then it’s off putting to the reader which could make them put the book down. 

This brings us to our third point, I have to make sure that the characters current goals are clear to the reader. This can be simple, “His tummy rumbled, ready to devour the next edible object in sight.” Your character realizes he needs to eat, then his goal is to obtain food. These goals can also be complex such as a daughters need of acceptance from her parents. Clear goals are the way to help the reader root for your main character through their trials and tribulations.