Write Tip Wednesday

Here’s the first post in my Wednesday series, “Write Tip Wednesday.” Today I’m sharing some of my top 10 writing rules from a post from my other blog, Get it Write Tonight.

Use the Simplest Words Possible

When it comes to reading a book, people want it to be two things: easy and clear. Unless you are a scholar studying ancient or classical literature, you’ll probably stop reading a book that has huge words that you keep opening a dictionary to figure what they mean.

Let me just lay this out for you: the other day I was browsing Facebook and came across a post on a writing group where the person was trying to sound professional and important…but done in such a ridiculous way that he lost all credibility in one paragraph. The post has since been deleted, but I’ve been using it for examples of what not to do. I’m copying it exactly how the person wrote it, so here it is:

 
“”I read some stuff you guys wrote here with venerate. I joined this group for a reason, You see I have been vacuous for some time now, my mind is undulate I can’t write no more. It’s a bit confusing for me has anyone else here been through this feeling?
my thoughts were ubiquitous and now my mind seems numb of ideas. I think my mind transmuted. What i wish to know is as you all are writers and you all know the beautiful feeling to put down emotions on a paper, how wonderful it is.””

 

What did I just read.

Be honest. You brain hurts, too. Not only did he use those huge words incorrectly, but they just wouldn’t make much sense to begin with even if he had used them correctly. It’s a struggle to read that. Writing should be easy. Use simple words with strong meanings. Don’t say, “I took the gun from him. Say, “I swiped the gun from him.” It conveys so much more meaning and is still easy to read.

Dialogue is the Strongest Form of Characterization

There are so many ways to characterize through dialogue, it’s not even funny. Speech patterns, quirks, stutters, slurs, screams, whispers, catch phrases, monosyllabic word choices, evil words, heroic words, funny words, sad words. All of that and more inside a pair of quotation marks. It’s literally a perfectly acceptable form of telling.

“Isn’t it splendid?

Of course, don’t do too much telling. You still want the speech to sound natural. But that’s the beauty of it all. Get to know the ways each character talks, and the characterization possibilities are endless. Harness that power. Use it wisely.

If You Can’t Avoid a Cliche, Do Something Different with It

These days, you see all these books with love triangles. The girl can’t choose which guy she wants, blah blah blah. Or the MC is actually some prophecized hero who will one day save the world. Or a guy falls into a vat of radioactive acid and becomes a superhero/villain. And then what happens?

This happens.
 
Events unfold EXACTLY as we predict they will, making the story boring.
 
The love triangle becomes the focus of the book. The hero develops the most powerful abilities any character in the world has ever seen. Another guy happens to develop superpowers at the exact same time as the guy who fell into the acid. Coooooome oooooon.
 
Get creative, people. If you have to recycle plots, add your own twist. Please. I beg you.
 

Do you have any tips to share? Post them in the comments below!

I’ll have more next Wednesday! Check back tomorrow for a new post, and stay tuned for Flashback Friday.

That Odd Moment of Relief

Today I was supposed to do my first-ever live TV interview for “Embassy.” The news station — ABC 27, out of Harrisburg, PA — contacted me last week and invited me on. Of course I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn’t? It’d be the largest audience I’ve had to date, viewed by thousands around central PA.

Well, yesterday we were watching the show, and then the weather came on. What do you know? A giant snowstorm had suddenly formed over Canada and was making its way down through New York and would be here tomorrow morning. 5-8 inches of snow, heavy conditions. Harrisburg is 45 minutes from my house. If this storm happened, there was no way I’d be able to drive up there.

Just imagine how disheartening that is.

I sent the station an email to explain the situation. Thankfully, they agreed to postpone the interview a week. Now here’s the thing: if it didn’t snow too bad, I would be kicking myself for cancelling.

Then I woke up to this:

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That’s a live view of my backyard, folks. It’s snowing pretty hard out there and it definitely wouldn’t be fun to drive 45 minutes There and Back Again.

You can imagine how relieved I am, that it actually snowed and wasn’t just a bloop flurry.

Sadly, it’s not packable  :(

 

Here’s my stuff!

Embassy book trailers: http://bit.ly/1a5lFiN

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1g

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/19UgGyF

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SAlexMartinAuthor

Late Night Musings

As you can imagine, editing 7 hours a day can take a lot out of you. It drives some people crazy. As you can see, it turned me into what is basically a mad (writer?) scientist.

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Anyway, this was from way back when — almost a full year ago, when I was editing the second draft of “Embassy.” Now here we are with the physical copies. Time flies! Still working on all the promotional stuff, but it’s coming along decently. Had a hiccup today, though. Was supposed to do a TV interview tomorrow but there’s this big snowstorm that’s supposed to hit us and I’m not driving 45 minutes in that.

FORTUNATELY, the TV station let me reschedule for January 28.

Embassy Cover

I’m lining up some more interviews, getting some speeches, and I plan to go the library on Wednesday to discuss hosting an event. I guess I’ll also talk to them about that workshop I wanted to teach, too.

Well that’s really all I have for now. I’ll keep updating here as time moves onward. Let’s hope “Embassy” picks up speed!

Here are some links you should check out:

“Embassy” book trailers: http://bit.ly/1a5lFiN

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1g4Prm9

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/19UgGyF