Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “writing critiques”

Focus! Writing from a character’s point of view

Today’s Brew: My Keurig is acting up and it only felt that it was necessary to spit out a half a cup of coconut mocha. I should wrap myself in caution tape until I get to a coffee shop.

My novel, Immortal Dilemma, is told from protagonist Callie’s point of view. To do this, I had to step out of my head and into hers. Probably even more accurate than that, I had to let her and her friends totally invade my head so I could tell their story.

Other writers and I’m sure actors as well can agree this is an interesting process. You have to think as though you are someone else. You have to look at the word through another set of eyes and walk through it in another set of shoes, no matter how badly they blister your feet. Most of all, you have to figure out what is important to them at any given moment and react appropriately.

Many times while I was writing the book, I wanted to go off in a direction of description that was important to me….but was this something that Callie would pick up on in this moment, when she is so focused on something else? If I decided she wouldn’t, the paragraph/sentence/or whatever it was got axed.

As I’m starting to get reviews, I am finding that some readers are expecting all the details in a particular setting. For example, smells and background noises. In the instances this was brought to my attention, Callie was nervous about the meeting or conversation. To me, I would think that would make her not notice some of her surroundings. Now, this might be me just not being able to take constructive criticism as well I would like to think (let’s face it, who does? Of course, I consider and appreciate all feedback. I just might not do anything about it. Believe me, I’m thrilled to death that anyone cares enough about my book that they want to offer suggestions to improve it.), or is it really what Callie would notice in the moment while she is fixated on her goal?

As people, we don’t have a 360 degree point of view, so should our characters have that ability? Does it take away from the realism of telling the story or does it really add benefit to the reader?

COMING MONDAY! A new excerpt from Immortal Dilemma! Missed the last one? You can read it here.

Follow Kristen on Twitter!!!

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AA: Authonomy Anonymous

TODAY’S BREW: Dunkin’ Donuts coconut, hot, light, no sugar (If this doesn’t tip you off Kristen isn’t around, nothing will.)

So, Kristen and I posted Immortal Dilemma and Running Home on Authonomy.com, a writer’s site run by Harper Collins, the gods of publishing. Hundreds upon hundreds of writers post their manuscripts of all varieties here to be read by others of the writing community. If you consider yourself a writer, I highly recommend this site. It’s a bit daunting, what with the forums, rankings, starring, bookshelves, watchlists, editor’s desk, latest authors, most commented authors, top rated authors this week which is always changing…there’s a lot happening. And it is incredibly easy to develop a habit.

A page full of authors who want the same thing as you do pop up the second you click on the site. All you can think of is reading their books, and letting them read yours, and what will they think, and what will I think, and how fast can I get on the editor’s desk and what if I suck? So, you start to try to make friends based on their bios and their pretty, pretty pictures. Long story short, the comments start rolling in. Your heart jumps to your throat, then escapes your mouth, falls on the floor and finds its way back in somehow long enough for you to click on the comment and find out how much your life’s work means to people. The highs and lows of this are mind boggling. Literally, I have been brought to tears twice because the community is so pleasant and supportive. As soon as you get that first comment on your novel, you want more and more and more. You start asking everyone to read your book. I, for one, looked for the best ballbuster I could find just to see if I could take it. Before you know it, you are up until 3:30 in the morning working on this site, and don’t even care that 2 small children will demand a lot of energy in just a few short hours. I am getting all jumpy just talking about it.

What Authonomy offers is a ranking system that, for the Undead Duo, tells us in a number or 3 exactly how good we are. We are creatures of retail management. We need to be given a rank, and that rank had better be one or God help you all. Quickly we became obsessed with watching the rankings, creating a network, promoting each other’s works and escalating the high we got from all of those fantastic reviews. I’m fairly certain that my favorite friend on Authonomy thinks I am stalking him since he gave me a glowing review and defended me against a semi-harsh critique. Then he got all his friends to read Running Home, and back it. We call him The Hero around here. I send the poor guy a hundred messages a day about different issues. I may get kicked off the site for this, but let’s hope not.

Kristen finally figured out that we had hit bottom, and needed to let up a bit. I disagree. I think we should be allowed to binge directly following finishing our hard work as a celebration! We didn’t get drunk when we finished writing our novels, so it’s only fair that we indulge in something, right? I give myself a week of obsessing with Authonomy, and then I will just be a casual checker. If I fall off the wagon, I am sure Kristen will rope me back in, if she isn’t hiding an Authonomy ranking habit of her own.

For now, I think we will just take it one day at a time.

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