Showing posts with label #WritersLife. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #WritersLife. Show all posts

Thoughts from Henry Miller


 In 1934, he published, Tropic of Cancer, his first book. It was banned for obscenity in the United States. His following works, Black Spring (1936) and Tropic of Capricorn (1939) would also have to be smuggled into his home country.

 

Break the Blocks and Kick Your Muse

Writing was going good. Sentences flying from your fingers as you watched your story come to life around you. Half sight half dream your characters play out the scene and you watch and describe and take notation. The scene ends. You take a drink of coffee. The world focuses around you once more. And then...

...nothing. Not a thing comes to mind. The last scene was perfect, you had been building it, layer by layer for a week, but now... nothing. Your Muse has left the room, with a cheeky wiggle of distain. 

Nightmare Death


Night Terror AXIS I: 307.46
The rare sleep disorder goes by many names: night terrors, sleep terrors, pavor nocturnus, or AXIS I: 307.46 (The DSM’s code). It remains a medical mystery. What medical researchers do know is that night terrors are caused by an over-arousal of the central nervous system (CNS) during sleep. In children, this may be the result of the CNS still maturing — it has long been believed that the CNS’s maturation process ends in early childhood (although several recent studies suggest it may continue to develop through around age 25).

Medical Experts Seek Clues to 'Nightmare Deaths' That Strike Male Asian Refugees

January 11, 1987|LARRY DOYLE | United Press International

Since April, 1983

...at least 130 Southeast Asian refugees have left this world in essentially the same way. They cried out in their sleep. And then they died.

Medical authorities call this Asian Death Syndrome. The refugees have various names for it, one of them being Night Terror.


Is Color that Important?

Perception of color stimuli is found to trigger corresponding emotional and behavioral responses within human beings including certain psychological, physical, biological and metabolic reactions (Hettiarachchi & De Silva, 2012). Based on some studies such as Kaya and Epps (2004), color can produce emotional arousing effect but the range of arousal varies depending on the emotional element that is being attached with specific type of color (cited in Mustafar & Dzulkifli, 2011).


The Checklist of Character

What we got here is a infograph of suggested check points for your MC and the Protagonist. I read through these and thought on the surface they looked like a good idea. Most of them are. What I balk at myself is the full list - the shear volume of them.

I haven't used this checklist against any of my own novels -- I'm sure they all fall short at some point. However - it is a comprehensive list of points, which will improve the character area of a novel. I tend to write characters who are Not extraordinary in some way, as the first point suggests. the idea of 'regular people' being pitched against extraordinary events is more appealing and  normal people are all that normal.

Brain Storm: Lightning Across The Teeth


 25 brainstorming techniques you can use to break out of the usual crap and get some life into the plot of your story.

Sympathy
Emotion Encyclopedia for Writers

Emotion Encyclopedia for Writers

EMOTIVE: SYMPATHY

TYPE: COMPLEX

DEFINITION'sym·pa·thy || 'sɪmpəθɪaffinity, understanding; compassion, pity, concern, commiseration, empathy; approval


DESCRIPTION
Sympathy (from the Greek words syn "together" and pathos "feeling" which means "fellow-feeling") is the perception, understanding, and reaction to the distress or need of another human being.

This emphatic-type concern is driven by a switch in viewpoint, from a personal perspective to the perspective of another group or individual who is in need. Empathy and sympathy are often used interchangeably, but are two distinct emotions with several important differences.

Emotional Motivator
Maslow wasn't Correct

What is an Emotional Motivator ? What good is it? 

Symbolism is a effective
method of  demonstrating
emotional turmoil by
implying rather than describing
On the Emotion Description pages for the Encyclopedia Project there is a section titled Motivator. This post is to give you an idea of what that section supplies and some possible uses for the information.

There are several studies which have suggested over the century that emotions, and not logic drive our actions. Those who develop and utilized Marketing and Sales techniques accepted this as far back as -- well let's just say that Aristotle talks at length about it in his book Rhetoric (both 1 & 2).

Maslow created a rational, brilliantly thought out hierarchy of needs...

Phrase/Word Trivia
Mad as a Hatter


Know any cool phrase or word trivia?

What's your favorite?


Have you any idea why 
a raven is like a writing desk?

MAD AS A HATTER is from 1829 as "demented," 1837 as "enraged," according to a modern theory supposedly from erratic behavior caused by prolonged exposure to poison mercuric nitrate, used in making felt hats. 

“I don't think..." 
"Then you shouldn't talk," said the Hatter.” 


Hatter: Have I gone mad?
Alice:   I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. 
            All the best people are.


I've been considering words that start with the letter M. Moron. Mutiny. Murder. Mmm-malice. ~HATTER



Marketing Tips For Writers
Get them Talking

.
If you write a book worth talking about, you won't be able to keep people from discussing it with their friends. If your book is not worth talking about, nothing you do will get people to do so.

TIP: Write a book worth talking about.

That sounds like a jibe, it is not. Incorporate subject matter into your book which offers discussion points -- then have several characters present differing views on the subject. It's that simple.

Make sure that at least One of the view points is going to piss people off. -- no, I'm not kidding about that part. Studies over the last 20 years have shown conclusively that  people are motivated to discuss matters that piss them off. Visit mainstream news media and look into the comment sections. Neutral, Good and Basic Information articles rarely get comments. Opinion pages with bias and controversial subject matter get 100s, sometimes 1000s.

TIP: Don't over think this. It is easy.

My latest book-- coming out soon (as soon as I quit writing Tips and get back to finishing my edits) brings up several topics, which are inline with the plot, the characters and the tone of the book. One such topic  is the World Court finding the USA guilty of being a Terrorist Nation. Many people don't know anything about this. It was given only minimal news time in the United States. The US is in fact the Only country who has ever been found guilty of being a Terrorist Nation -- we're also the only nation who has used nuclear weapons during a period of war -- or against another nation. yay for us.

In the book I  have this point come up in a natural manner between two characters. Two others then give the reader their points of view later on. It is used in a way that moves the plot forward. You don't have to sacrifice anything to utilize this tip, and it should help with making your novel an interesting book to read.

After deciding on this subject, I then searched for opinions on this subject.  These were not difficult to find. Gathering at least three differing opinions which express views on the subject is a minimum. Two, won't cut it. You need at least three. -- and again, three plus one that is going to piss people off, is optimum.

And... back to writing. 

Are You Legit?
What makes you Qualified to Write?

"What Qualifies you to be a writer?" is likely the most negative question I've experienced since I began writing at 17.

I use to answer, "I passed 9th Grade English" or "Because English is my First Language"  In my 30s I was a little meaner -- "What qualifies you to breathe?"

Now that I'm 50 I don't answer at all.

Doubts plague every writer, as fierce as the Furies, as terrible as the Harpies. This particular doubt should never bother you.

Scene/Chapter Transitions(Bridging)
Writer Tech

Ever feel the story is choppy, but can’t figure out why? The transitions between scenes or the chapters are a good place to begin. Transitions are words or phrases, which move the reader from one topic, idea or message, to the next in a sentence, but also this term describes the moving between scenes and chapters. The goal with these transitions
  • covey why the next topic matters
  • introduce an urgency
  • create a tension for the scene ahead 
  • if applicable, introduce characters 
So, a well composed transition reaches back, then forward, and gives a sense of interest, even urgency.

Writer Tips: Pain

Q: How would you describe in dialogue, someone talking while they'er in pain. Like, "My phone... arg... It's.. uh.. In my back.. pocket..." Or would you do it in dialogue tags. "My phone--" He gritted his teeth, his voice breaking as he groaned in pain. "It's.. uh.. in my back... pocket..."

Pain happens in novels. People get shot. People break things like bones, people get cut. There is also emotional pain. Pain of loss, pain of betrayal. Lots of pain.  So you might be surprised when you go looking for tips on conveying pain and find very little out there, or in books about fiction writing. There is a good reason for this.

Too Much Dialog?


"Too much dialog?"

"What?"

"She asked if there's a thing with too much dialog."

"Too much dialog? What's that? You mean like no description at all?"

"She didn't say that..."

"How can you write a story with no description?"

"She didn't say there wouldn't be any description. She just asked if there was a limit for how much dialog ...."

"How are  you going to know if it's raining or not?"

"That you could take care of  with dialog, no biggie, and if you didn't mention it then it probably isn't an issue."

"Like implied facts. If I walk from the front door to the the kitchen to get a beer, and I don't mention that a white ape flying a small plane crashed into the house, it probably didn't happen."

"Exactly."

"How you going to know if I'm at a door though? Do I have to mention everything I do?"

"You're back on the description thing again, and she didn't say anything about that."

"Well -- it's important."

"Right -- I'm getting the message. So, you agree that there is probably a limit."

"I would think so, yes"

"Since all things have a limit, I'll agree."

"We could figure out a percentage or a ratio, maybe."

"You got a D in math."

"Oh, right. Want a beer?"

"No, you already drank five for me. I think I'm good."

"Fine, I'll just get one for myself then."

"Watch out for white apes."

Something I would argue however is that the other side of that equation doesn't work out. I've read a few attempts at stories, even short stories, going for the "no dialog" goal, and imo each failed as a 'story'. To Build a Fire (London)i is the closest I've encountered, but even Jack breaks down and has the man talk to his dog. Without exchange of some kind involving the MC is nigh impossible to make a connection with the MC and therefore the story.

Sobering up Your Muse

Ever notice that being a writer is hell some days? Of course there is the daily doubt contest between your imagination, your internal critic, the internal editor and that bastard up in the seats. You get use to that -- learn to tune them out. But, then there are those special moments when you've been pushing a two ton rock up hill -- only to find that it is the wrong hill, and that's not the right rock.

Pixar has skilz - and Here they are

Love Pixar and these tips have been around for a few years now, originally Tweeted in '12 by Emma. I happened on them again today and find them just as valuable now as they were the first time I read them through. -- Keep in mind though - These are not Gospel, nor were they meant to be. Laying them out on your desk and checking them off is not their purpose, nor how Pixar views them. They are tips from collective experience, and you should find plenty of room to add to the list from your own experience.


Authoring Tools and A Sadistic utility You'll probably try Anyway

Over the last couple of weeks I've been deep delving into linguistics and grammar parsing. Learned some great stuff about Sentiment Programming, and analysis strategy. In doing all of this I've gathered up a long list of software utilities which I'm now trying to catalog and comment on in case you would like to try some of these out. They were an amazing help, and I certainly would not have learned as much as I did  in the short time I gave myself to understand these areas of research.

What did I learn? Well I learned that the last couple of weeks was spent deep delving into areas of research about exactly the wrong areas. However, I never would have found the right area if I didn't go there.

I also learned some useful aspects of Sentiment, and Big Data, both of which I'll be posting on as well over the next couple of weeks.


Image result for favoriteThis first list is a collection of some Authoring software which I have enjoyed on various levels. Gir will show you the ones I find most useful.



Tools for Writers -- and a few for World Domination

These are a bunch of things that you didn't need until I listed them.

FreeMind  A mind mapping program which I find very useful.

Scrivener     This is the all-in-one planning, research, drafting, writing, and publishing tool you've probably heard a lot about.

CoSchedule  CoSchedule is an editorial calendar, task manager, and social media planner for WordPress.

Evernote  I store my brain in Evernote. This is an amazing notebook tool for research. Another is ...

Google Keep     Fast, easy, light and backed up on your Google Cloud. Never loose any note again.

iA Writer  Minimalist writing app for iPad. Using Dropbox, you can sync writing in iAWriter between your devices and Scrivener.

TweetDeck  MarketingTweetDeck is the easiest way to keep track of your social accounts without needing to log in every time.

Buffer  Buffer is a lifesaver. It posts automatically, using a queue-like list of your scheduled updates.

AWeber   It's the #1 mailing list provider, and I use it for all of my newsletters.

MailChimp   "Sexier" than AWeber,  because there is a Chimp, easy-to-use, and free (up to a point), it's only #2 because of feature limitations.

MindMup is a mind mapping tool, like FreeMind, but different. It's super easy to use, but limited.

Feedly RSS reader to keep up with all of your blog reading.

Skype  Skype is my phone -- no, seriously, it is what I use for most of my communications That and ...

The Right Word, not The Most Interesting

Oscar Wilde is my hero. Ever since I learned his last words. This quote is so bloated with meaning I could have gone to hero-worship on it alone.

People only hear, what they understand.

That's a maxim that should be taped to the desk right beside the keyboard, and never covered. People do not ask what a word means. Even though they could right-click the mouse and ask Google to define the word for them, they don't. What they do, is ignore the whole sentence and make something up. This is true. Read "Predictably Irrational". The whole sentence -- just gone..Your pitch is useless from there on.

Dance of the Dead, by Goethe

The poem  Dance of the Dead, by Goethe  is a chilling and vivid depiction of a supernatural dance of the dead, an eerie scene where the dead...