This week: Sparkles!Edited by: Legerdemain
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The purpose of this newsletter is to help the Writing.com author hone their craft and improve their skills. Along with that I would like to inform, advocate, and create new, fresh ideas for the author. Write to me if you have an idea you would like presented.
This week's Action / Adventure Editor
How do I add more sparkle to my story? (I don't mean the sparkly vampires...) How do I make my characters seem authentic? How can I make scenes feel real?
Research!!! Online catalogs and trade newsletters for professionals can help.
One way is to use the language of your character. If your character is a chef, then drop in cooking words. Fire up the salamander (not the reptile ), tie on a four-way apron, take out a terrine, pick out some nice truffles and whip up some quail and foie gras. Or if your man is a mechanic, know what a gear ratio is, how to cure vapor lock and adjust rear toe. How about an architect? Would he design a bungalow or specify a mansard roof? A beautician would use words like double process, electrolysis, and use a Wahl clipper.
Another way to help your locations to seem more authentic is to use real places. In Ireland, your character could protect Ulster at the Enniskillen castle. In Alaska, watch eagles feasting on fish at the Chilkat river in January. How did Mayans live in Mexico? Or did your character meet a beautiful woman in Cozumel then lose her to the historical smallpox epidemic? Tourist guides and history sites can help you with these answers.
Finding a few specific points of interest or using job-related vernacular can take a writer a long way in enhancing your story. Your readers will get more involved in the scene or relate better to the character if you immerse them with real words and authentic-feeling locations. Doing the research and reviewing it as the author can also help inspire you and draw a better picture in your mind as you write.
In the end, a little research can help your writing gain another level of excellence and stretch your imagination a bit further.
This month's question: What are some of your favorite types of sites to research? How has it helped your writing?
Send in your answer below We love to hear your thoughts!
Excerpt: A place to answer a daily question and spark conversations. The coffee is always hot and there's usually a fresh batch of delicious cookies
Excerpt: Leah Clearwater wrinkled her nose at the foul, bleach-like stench of vampires. Sometimes it sucked to have a werewolf's keen sense of smell. Holding her breath, she stepped deeper into the antebellum farmhouse. Even if she couldn’t smell them, she would have known this was the Cullens’ home in New Hampshire from the tastefully arranged antique furniture around the living room. The place reeked of Esme’s maternal touch.
Excerpt: He felt a sensation on his left side, much like the tickling of a feather against his cheek, and saw her leaning against the grimy, neon lit window of a nightclub.
Daily contest - great prizes!!!
Excerpt: The moon is rising, her divine light shining down on the Baroque Moszna castle before me. Its ninety-nine spires attempting to rip the moon apart. I smirk. Home is where the heart is. It's been a long time coming. But I'm ready.
Excerpt: Sir Jeremy Arkwright stepped back to avoid Mrs. Marsden’s garlic breath as the stocky farmer’s wife pointed out the two puncture marks on her husband’s neck. “She's a demon, Magistrate. A blood-sucking fiend. This ain’t the first time, neither.
Excerpt: “Will it hurt?”
Barlow turned from the window where he’d been watching the moon rise. The vampire sitting in the throne-like chair was young—painfully young, Barlow thought, wincing. He couldn’t be more than twenty years old, maybe less. A pity the one who turned him hadn’t chosen a more mature victim.
“Some,” he said, and the vampire shuddered.
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Excerpt: Coffee. Can you imagine police precincts devoid of coffee? Hospitals, Fire Houses, or school teacher lounges void of the hot, caffeine giving liquid? Coffee is a multi-billion dollar a year industry and countless jobs and people count on it. What would happen if suddenly YOU were unable to get your hands on the brew?
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This month's question: This month's question: What are some of your favorite types of sites to research? How has it helped your writing?
Last month's question: What do you do with your unfinished work?
Beholden : I agree that stories are like bananas. Books are different (you have to allow them time sometimes) but short stories and poems should be finished as quickly as you can manage. Unfinished work has little chance of my return and, even if I do, the result will be something different from what I wanted originally. Inspiration hangs around only for a brief time - keep it waiting and it will find another head to inhabit.
Mind you, it's also a matter of waiting until the things is ready to be written. Try to force it early and you'll fail. I ought to know that by now.
Odessa Molinari smiling : Short stories I finish, novels ... ehhh. My portfolio has several at various stages, my hard drive even more, flash drives, discs, notebooks ...
Write 2 Publish 2020 : I have one MS that has been worked on at different stages of my learning journey. It is a paranormal and when I’m done with this crime novel I’ll begin to work on it. I’ve been asked to conduct a class on ‘So, You want to write a paranormal story‘. I will dust it off and “heal thyself” so to speak.
W.D.Wilcox : I like to moosch my bananas between the pages of my favorite books, and then the pages turn all brown and antique looking.
Jolanh : EDIT EDIT EDIT...Drink Coffee, Drink Coffee, EDIT EDIT EDIT
Sum1 : Unfinished? I have none. If I do start something and can't go with it (and I'll know that quickly), I delete it, or never save it. If I save it even once, it gets finished. Maybe not quickly (as in "Time And Time Again" ), but it will be finished.
Miranda Keening : Send it to my best friend, edit a lot, and then marvel at the world I still hate.
Balloon: Tvvinkle tvinkle lil- : Shove it in a private folder to rot.
Sev : Isn't it all unfinished? I have a lot of half stories and unfinished books saved in like several different places as back ups. I'll... eventually get back to them... someday.
Steven : Store it.
I have been known to return to a work 20 years later and rewrite it and then actually sell it. I never throw anything away. From a single word idea or a solitary line to an unfinished novel currently sitting at 150000 words that just got away from me in the mid-1990s, I keep everything. You never know.
They sit in a folder labelled (with incredible poetry) 'Unfinished' and I check it out every so often. I have also done a spreadsheet of the unfinished stuff so I can go through it with ease to see what's there and if it can be used for what I'm currently working on. A few unfinished pieces have been reworked to become chapters of other stories.
Yes, I am boring. Sorry.
Israel Snowplume : One could...eat 'em? 🤷
That gets them finished.
Jay O'Toole : I keep my two NaNoWriMo novels in my portfolio, here in WDC. I like to read them over and over and over, again until I can figure out how to translate the very understandable story in my mind's eye into a form, that is more universally recognizable to the average reader.
There's obviously a difference between what I can see in my stories, and what others see when they read the words.
There seems to be a disconnect for me, regarding the levels of knowing.
1. Some people know that they know.
2. Some people don't know that they know.
3. Some people know, that they don't know.
4. Some people don't know, that they don't know.
As a novelist, I feel like I'm living in #3 right now.
I see my stories clearly.
Others don't see my stories, nearly as clearly as I do.
I'm still not comfortable, that I know how to improve the recipe.
I feel like a wannabe chef.
I know what tastes good to me.
That's how I cook, but the presentation leaves something to be desired.
Somik Bandopadhyay : Try to complete the work as soon as possible.
Paperface : Just in case I wish to continue my unfinished works at some point, I never delete them.
I keep them safe in a folder, until inspiration hits me again and I can resume working on them.
It also gives me a chance to review the writing and make changes into it
till I'm satisfied with the results, before publishing my works.
Alex Grimborn : I like to either print out my work and then stash it in a folder for me to discover later on, to: 1, get a fresh look on it; 2, see how my writing style has changed and/or improved; and 3, to see if I would like to finish it.
angirika : Re-read it and sometimes find it waste, sometimes find it can further bloom and sometimes my reaction is'OMG! This is so nice,where is my Nobel for it😂
woolwaulker : Nothing. I leave it in the refrigerator (hard drive) for a year or two or three.
BusmanPoet : I put in into my documents.
Anna Marie Carlson : I put them in a book not only for myself, but hopefully someone can enjoy reading them. When I go out, I like to share my work with others.
Thanks for the feedback! Leger~
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