July 29, 2022 A bit later than usual. New kids, new short lesson, and other good things-and did you get your free book?
Rebooting the Oberllyn’s is free until midnight tonight-best hurry; this ends July 29 at midnight. Just dash over to Amazon, or use the link in last week’s blurb to click over to get it before it’s gone.
And the new kids? They’re awfully cute; just learning to walk on a leash, very frisky, very curious and the grandkids love them. Tentatively now named Buckminster Fuller(Bucky) Butterscotch and Peppermint, they make a great trio to laugh at and relax with; yes I know, someday they’ll be too big to sit in my lap, but for now, they’re a welcome diversion when things are too hot out there.
I got up this morning and went out to my front garden bed and found the gardenia and hibiscus in bloom; the gardenia hasn’t bloomed in two years and it has the most heavenly scent. The hummingbirds love the hibiscus and the hostas out in the garden beds. I’ve been harvesting peas, beans, squash, and tomatoes for a week or more, but so have the deer and we may not get any corn due to deer invasions. I’ve tried about everything I can do to chase them out. So I enjoy what I can and make do with shortages. I will miss sweet corn, though. I always look forward to a corn roast in August.
And last night we went to see Garrison Keillor in recital: he is 80 years old and still doing stand-up, the man is simply amazing and an inspiration to the rest of us mortals. He still has a clear baritone; he still is a crowd pleaser. His Prairie Home Companion radio show is still good to listen to-you can still find episodes of it. He has several books out, I’d suggest if you haven’t read any, to start with the book Leaving Home, a series of his monologues. It’s marvelous. He said last night he writes every morning for a couple of hours to start his day-and has since he was a kid. He says 65 years of writing have taught him many things; mostly perseverance. I think for those of us who are writers there is much to be learned from his work.
And now for the writing tip of the week: I do hope you are enjoying these: I am busy turning all these tips into full chapters for an online course which I hope to release here on this website in October sometime before I head out to the 20K convention-so be sure to watch for it. It will be free to all my readers and would-be and almost there author friends.
Hint number 6- How well did you do with your characters? I can’t wait to read about some of them so be certain to turn in your work…guess that’s the old college professor in me rearing up its head. Here’s the next idea for you:
Now that you’ve got the main characters, you can add more as you write. It’s time to get to work on your plot. First, what sort of book are you putting these folks into? A cozy mystery? Science fiction? Historical novel? I guess I should ask, what do you like to read? You will do better if you choose a genre that is something you like to read. The words will flow more easily. Whatever genre, all fiction books have the following in common: Characters, plot, (the proper name for the storyline), and the finale. Or to put it this way, the exposition comes first:(The exposition is the part where you introduce the characters, the time or era in which the story is being set, and the mood of the book.) Is it funny, scary, or adventurous? Describe the where of the story; is it set in Canada, Ohio Amish country, or the moon? Is it spring, summer, fall of the year 2025? You set all this in the first chapter or two at most. You need to grab their attention; you need to make them want your book. In the full lesson, I’ll have examples set in there but it makes the blog too long to do that, so just think of books that grabbed you in your genre and see how they used the words to catch your mind’s eye.
You remember Snoopy writing his books always started with “It was a dark and stormy night?” You have to do a lot better than that. You need to grab them. This week’s assignment is to write a few paragraphs setting up the where, when, who of your book. If the spirit hits you and you just want to keep writing, do it. You might want to know where it’s going as well! Sometimes the characters wander off by themselves and it might not be a bad thing if watched carefully. I once had a subplot that enthralled people; they wrote and nearly demanded I expand that thing out in my next book-and I obliged them. I mentioned a dog named Ruckus Rutherford in the Lyonsville Fiber Mavens series and by the fifth book, they wanted more of the dog-so we ended up with the Furry Family series about Fern Valley, just down the road, with Ruckus and all his buddies at the Sinclair Animal rescue; which morphed into the Tritown Zoo series-things have a way of meandering sometimes when your characters are allowed to develop into your plots. This week, you write the exposition of your book. This entire set of hints will each become an entire lesson soon, but you can get a head start by practicing with these little assignments. God bless and can’t wait to see some of your work!
July 18, 2022 I almost forgot to tell you, and another short lesson
Sometimes, my head swims with all that goes on, but in reviewing as I am updating and improving this website, I forgot to send you some quick reminders and may even have forgotten completely to tell you about our next free book. Let’s start with that:
July 25-29, Rebooting the Oberllyn’s is going to be a free download on Amazon. I hope thousands will download it, read it, and review it. If you enjoy action, tech, romance, and speculation, then Traveler’s book Rebooting the Oberllyn’s is for you! A global genetic virus has a 100% kill rate and the Oberllyn’s need to destroy it before it wipes out civilization-then Maybe Noel can retire…And Kai can take over the family research clan.
And this week, the 18th through the 21st, our new bestselling book is just 99 cents to thank you all for being our friends. You save $3.00 on what is a wonderful book-and there is a link inside to a free book as well-so 2 books for the cost of 1 and that is on sale besides. How can you lose?
And now, on to the next short lesson: in the course I will be putting on here shortly, the lessons will be fleshed out a lot, but these little hints will help you on your way for now. Let’s get started with this week’s hint:
You have some ideas, you have a character and you’ve started fleshing it out; now what?
I’ve taught a lot of creative writing courses in adult education and one of the things I emphasize is that you need to believe in yourself. Picture yourself holding your newly published book in your hands. Imagine how pleased you’ll be to have it. Now send your thoughts back to how you started that book, by reading other books, and then you started putting down ideas, and you invented a character and now you are at the flesh and blood stage. You need to teach the character to talk to others.
Sound a little strange? It’s not. You need to believe you can do it. You remember saying, there is no try, only do? It’s like that, picture that book, the feel and smell of it, in your hands and then start the real work, step by step. You can do this!
I hear you say, how do I start? You start with characters. Picture your character in your head, make him/her real. What sort of things is that person apt to do? Maybe they can do all the things you wished you could do and can’t for some odd reason, maybe public speaking? Maybe hang-gliding? Maybe being really able to talk to girls or guys with confidence? You decide. And once you decide, imagine your character with friends or enemies. Put their name at the top of a page, make two columns, friends, enemies-and maybe a list of just incidental folks. You need at least one in the first two lists, and a few in the last column.
Finally, decide if you want this book to start with the crisis and go backwards after the first chapter, or if you want to concentrate on getting folks to like your character.
Give them all names; write a short description of each person on the list. It ought to look a little like this:
Brad Malcom, detective, married, 3 kids, sidekick is dog named Ruckus
Friend enemy incidental
Dick Jameison, cop Francis Howard Becky
(dog Clem, wife, straightshooter, (bootlegger, DV) (Dispatcher, single)
By the book, intuitive) Erick Black
Jed Miller (Sheriff)
Casey (Wife, Social worker)
You are on your way to your book! Please share with me your characters in the comments boxes-I’d love to hear from you!
and don’t forget our giveaway- go to the contests page and enter while you’re here!