April 30th, 2014

Burp

Writing Excuses 9.16: Coming up with a new ending, halfway through.

Writing Excuses 9.16: Coming up with a new ending, halfway through.

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2014/04/16/writing-excuses-9-16-coming-up-with-a-new-ending-halfway-through/

Key Points: Even outliners sometimes get partway through and realize the planned ending will not be emotionally satisfying. Your first instinct is to try to adjust the beginning to save the planned ending. Stop, look at the promises you have made, and find an ending that fits. Brainstorm, think about what you want this book to accomplish. Outliner, pantser with a vision of the ending, no matter what, you need the flexibility to come up with a better ending as you go. "When your reader gets to the end of the book, they want to be satisfied by a great story." Check the mantelpiece and see what guns you have hanging there. Go back and reread your manuscript, to see what you are promising, what guns are hanging, what have I set up. Do beware of never finishing.
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[Brandon] All right. We are out of time. So I'm just going to stop it here and give a writing prompt. Because I think this topic leads to a really cool writing prompt which is take a story you've written before and decide upon a completely different ending and write that ending for your story. Then you ask yourself how... What emotional resonance would I have to change at the beginning, what would I have to revise in order to make this ending work? Maybe you'll be able to find one that doesn't require any changes and is a completely different ending. I think that would be awesome. So give this a try. This has been Writing Excuses. You're out of excuses. Now go write.
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Fireworks Delight

Writing Excuses 9.17: Micro-Casting

Writing Excuses 9.17: Micro-Casting

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2014/04/20/writing-excuses-9-17-microcasting/

Questions and Answers:
Q: Should you submit your story's prologue along with your story's first chapters at the submission stage?
A: If it is important enough to include in the story, yes.
Q: What do you do when you've got some pro sales, get to the second round with some editors, but can't get further? How do you get to the next level?
A: Keep writing and submitting. Think about your validation and rewards.
Q: How do you manage scene-sequel in a multiple POV novel?
A: Write the individual character POVs separately, with scene-sequel, then interweave the threads. Remember that scene-sequel is a pacing tool for the reader, not the characters.
Q: How do you tell if you are doing passive voice and why is it so right or so wrong?
A: If, at the end of the sentence, "by zombies" can be added, passive it is. What's wrong? It can be distancing, and is often overused.
Q: What's the difference between Deus ex and an unexpected or unforeshadowed turn of events?
A: It depends on what you want the scene to do.
Q: How do you maximize the emotion created when killing off a main character?
A: It depends on what the reader thinks of the character. To give the death a certain emotion, you need to have created emotions regarding that character for the readers. If the readers are emotionally invested, and believe that this character will not be killed, then a death creates sadness.
Q: If you are a pantser, how do you keep your story from growing larger than you are capable of handling?
A: Most writers begin pantsing, and have a book spiral out of control. Too many characters, viewpoints, plot threads. Control the number of characters and scenes. Reuse characters and tools. Especially, keep the number of viewpoints down. On the other hand, learning to deal with an out-of-control story can be a valuable lesson for the writer!
Q: When someone you meet for the first time asks what do you do for a living, how do you answer?
A: I write and illustrate science fiction. I write fantasy novels. I'm an author. I'm a web developer, but I am also an author.
Q: How do you get out of the "He did this, then she did this" stage directionesque style of writing?
A: Let the order of the actions establish the chronology, not the "then" words. Make sure there is a strong viewpoint, with emotional ties to the action. Do multiple things with your writing at the same time, evoking character, setting, and plot.
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[Brandon] Okay. Mary. Do you have a writing prompt for us?
[Mary] Yes. What I want you to do is, since we were just talking about action, I want your character to be doing two things at once. I want them to... And you can pick any two things at once.
[Brandon] Any.
[Mary] Any two things at once.
[Eric] Walking and chewing gum.
[Mary] Well, for instance, the entire time...
[Howard] Talking and selling.
[Mary] Yes, talking and... The entire time we've been podcasting these 16 episodes, I've been sitting here selling a Regency dress. So I want you to have your characters doing two completely unrelated things, but that are both plot specific.
[Brandon] Awesome. This has been Writing Excuses. Thank you all very much for listening and thank you again, Eric, for filling in during these episodes for us. You all are out of excuses. Now go write.
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