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I took a hiatus from mid-December until now. Busy with the holidays, like so many of you. And it was slim pickings in the blogosphere as so many other bloggers also took a break. But, back and fresh in 2016, here are the best writing posts I found from the last month.
How do you introduce your character to your reader? Do you give the character a grand entrance or sneak them in while the reader is focused on something else? A grand entrance signals to the reader that this is a character they should pay attention to. Let’s talk about some ways to make this happen.
There’s an old saying in the movie biz, “cut to the chase.”
Basically, it means skip the boring stuff about how someone got there and just jump into the action. Good advice for both movies and books, but sometimes getting there is something we can’t avoid.
Authors are storytellers—everyone knows that. But authors are also voracious consumers of stories, since language is our medium for the discovery of meaning. The stories we tell ourselves are powerful, capable of framing how we see ourselves and the world.
Lately, I’ve noticed what I consider a dangerous story beginning to take root in the author community, concentrated in but not exclusive to young, first-time novelists. I’ve not yet heard the myth given a name, in part because it’s too new to have emerged fully in our industry’s consciousness, but I’ve come to think of the insidious tale as the Myth of the Everyreader.
First pages carry a heavy burden in a novel. It’s the make-or-break page for the reader. Many people won’t read past the first page if it fails to engage their interest. So writers need to pay huge attention to the first page—maybe not so much at the first-draft stage, but at some point before that novel is submitted to agents or published.
I recently reviewed Lawrence Block’s new iteration of his novel writing guide, and after finishing my WIP yesterday, was inspired enough by that book to share what passes for my approach for producing a page-turner novel.
I read a large number of blogs and sites every week and will be curating them here, on my blog. If you want to see my picks of the best articles each week, just subscribe below. You’ll get an email every other weekend with a list of the fiction writing articles I found most interesting or useful.