November 4th, 2016

  • mbarker

Writing Excuses 11.44: Project in Depth, GHOST TALKERS, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Writing Excuses 11.44: Project in Depth, GHOST TALKERS, by Mary Robinette Kowal


Key Points: Catalog pitch and sales pitch are often different. Catalog pitch is to get readers, sales pitch is the emotional core of the story, with spoilers. Even though you know an event is coming, when it happens can still be a surprise. Changing viewpoints, letting a character explain why he's a slimeball, can make them more real. Watch for the tension between who a character wants to be and who they are. Sometimes you can split a conflict into parts and play them at different points in time to misdirect the reader. Just because a story deals with horrific things does not mean it has to be a horror story. It depends on how the main character views things. Pay attention to what matters to the character. Emotionally powerful moments often combine two conflicting emotions at the same time. Also, telegraph that this moment, this goal is coming well ahead of time. Writing combines craft and internalized practice, and working on specific things at specific points. Use your revision to find and fix overused stuff, or places you left vague. If you know you overdo something, replace it with a different piece. You can keep a style book to help you with the colors of emotions, or other fine points! Don't be afraid to use friends and 7 point plot structures and other tools to help with outlining, and to help fix places with problems. Remember, your reader only sees the final version, they don't see the drafts and drafts. Don't judge your first draft by anyone's final version, even your own.

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