Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Carrie Ryan on Revision

Carrie Ryan did an interesting post yesterday at Magical Words. You can find it here. In the post, she talks about what is helpful for authors to hear from readers--particularly in the revision stages. It's a great post, and it's particularly insightful because she points out that what authors really need to hear is an account of how each reader experiences the story. Things like "I hate this character" and "This is what I think is going to happen" are extremely helpful for the author to hear because the only real way to judge a story is by its effectiveness. Such comments are even more helpful when the reader can articulate *why* he or she thinks or feels a certain way.

In any case, it's an interesting post. I loved Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth, but I haven't read others of her books. The writing in The Forest of Hands and Teeth is beautiful, though--a real step up from most of the prose in contemporary fantasy.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Grieved progress update

Just another post to let you know that Grieved is moving along nicely. I'm getting fairly close to the end; I'd estimate I'm 3/4 of the way through. Things are picking up steam, as they always do at this point. I've realized that there are two plot threads that I need to go back and do some major revision on. This isn't a particularly big deal, but it's good to know early on so that I can plan accordingly when I get to the revision stage. One of the plot threads needs revised for pacing, which means adding/revising some scenes, while the other just needs a total overhaul. That's ok--this is a project that I love working on, and so the revision will be a great chance to really pull things together.

I've also been doodling around with ideas for a novella to bridge the two books; I have a few ideas, but I haven't settled on what I'll be writing yet. Unlike the other series, Sophistries only has a single viewpoint, so I'm torn between writing the novella from Alex's point of view and possible writing from someone else's POV. I'll keep working on it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Lucienne Diver on Voice

Here's a short but important article on voice from Lucienne Diver at Magical Words. Her point is extremely important for people interested in writing: when considering voice for a story, you need to understand that voice means the *character's* voice. Not your voice as an author.

The distinction is critical, and it's really only something I became able to articulate in the last few months. Every author has a unique style, but that style is different from a character's voice. Voice is an element of writing that, I believe, is actually easier to learn and understand if you attempt to write both third- and first-person POV. In first-person POV, no one questions the idea that the "I" of the story has a particular voice. In third-person POV, however, that unique voice tends to get lost when authors don't realize that they're still telling the story from a very specific point of view.

This is an extraordinarily important thing for new writers to understand, and it's something that is often not well understood (or perhaps not well explained) by people trying to teach how to write. Check out her article--I hope it helps!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Grieved update

Just a quick post to let you know that Grieved is coming along nicely. I'm also starting to plot out the final book in the Rim and the Shore series (code name Ebb).

I'm not completely sure, but I believe Grieved is approximately half-way drafted. I may have to go back and add a few scenes, but I'm close to the tipping point. The action is really starting to pick up. As usual, Alex has a lot of problems to solve, but he does have his magic this time, which gives him some more versatility. Some relationships shift (including some you might not expect, and some that you probably do) and that's added a really fun dynamic to writing this book.

Still half to go--but I'm making good progress.