Archive for April, 2015

One of the people that reads just about everything that I write is my mother. Now, I’m 37 years old, married, and a father myself, but I still watch my language around my parents. It is simply the way that I was raised. I can’t always extend that courtesy in my writing because sometimes, foul language suits the character or the moment. I have read many books and seen many movies where the language seems to be added in for no true reason. It is just there to be there, and I often feel that it takes away from the writer’s talent. I’m not a prude, but I am practical. Is the foul language necessary? Well, that’s the topic of this week’s vlog.

https://youtu.be/Mh7nYGyXIsk

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We all want to make certain that we have a memorable plot and good characters in our writing. I’ve known of no one that walks around thinking, “Why can’t I just be mediocre? That’s all I’ve ever wanted!” Of course, how to create a memorable plot, developed characters, and talk ourselves into putting the time and effort into it is one of the great difficulties of writing. I put together a new technique recently that just might work for you: the fantasy cast!

Some people like to play fantasy sports. I’m not one of them. All it does is remind me how little I know about sports. However, putting together that fantasy team really becomes an obsession for some people, and it keeps them watching their favorite sport all season. If you are trying to visualize your story as you write, why not put together a fantasy cast for your novel? Sure, most books aren’t really written to be movies, but they are written for people to visualize as they read. Why not choose the actors and actresses that you think would best portray your characters if your book were adapted for Hollywood?

I’m not cheapening books by this at all. Think about it. If you have real, live people that you can picture playing the parts of your characters, the characters themselves become more real. As you imagine the way that these actors would portray the characters, you create more depth to the characters. As you visualize this in your mind, you are essentially directing your movie. It is a new level of control over your story, and it can help take your ideas in new directions. You can’t really picture those two actors in a scene together? Maybe that scene needs to be rewritten. That actor would say that line with a sneer on their face? Great! Put that in writing! Why can’t writing a book be like mentally directing a movie? Give it a try next time you need a fresh approach to your work! It gives you new motivation and even a good conversation topic with your friends.

I had already finished with my book before I thought this all of the way through, but I still came up with a fantasy cast for Pup. What do you think of my choices (I know that you don’t know the characters, but look at the choices and picture some interactions. Would be awfully fun!)

Nickel- John Boyega

Jethro- Colton Haynes

Rabbit- Jordan Hinson

Shaggy- Jim Parsons

Hannibal- Chris Hemsworth

Professor- Benedict Cumberbatch

Boom- Freema Agyeman

Mayumi Ogawa- Jamie Chung

Pup- Colin Morgan

So who would be in your fantasy cast? Swing by imdb.com and find the best fit for you!

feature image via genius.com

This week I decided to take a moment to speak about motivation for writers. We all want to write the next great book, but finding the time and energy to sit down and do it can be a pretty difficult thing. If you have a career outside of writing, that will take up a lot of your time. If you have a family, that is going to take up more of your time (and rightfully so!), and any other hobbies plus the daily requirements of life will take up a big chunk of time. How do you make yourself sit down and write when so much else is fighting for your attention? Well, I point out two things that work for me on today’s vlog and I would love to hear what else works for you. In case you don’t have the time to spare to watch (although I think you should! You never know what you’re missing!), one of my motivating factors is having someone who reads things as I am writing them. Knowing that someone is awaiting the next scene can be very motivating. The other is speaking with other writers online. If they are touting their successes, it tends to get those competitive juices flowing.

Enjoy the vlog, and make sure to let me know what helps convince you to make the time to sit down and write!

I decided to try another vlog. Take a look and make sure to leave some feedback. I’m hoping to get us talking about the subjects that I mention. Today’s questions are how much work or revision do you do on your writing before you decide it’s done? Also, if you could ask an author a question, what would it be? Alternately, if you are a writer, what questions would you want to be asked in an interview? Let me know! Looking forward to hearing from you!