Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Premise is NOT Product.

Contrary to what nonwriters and brand new writers with a burning idea believe, an exciting premise is not product.

It isn't the finished, intriguing work.

Not the story that pulls us in and we feel compelled to repeat to all we meet, imploring to them to read it, too, or at least how "clever" or "romantic" or "blood-thirsty" or profoundly "so much like the real" experience it is.

That requires writing. And editing.

Premise is an idea.

Writing until it is complete, after edits, and published to be performed by the reader's mind or an actor is product.

Wishing you have product, or thinking that since you awoke with this great premise will not magically distill a fine product; not unless you are a writer-editor, screenwriter-editor with patience and drive to completion.

Or a person with a great premise, solid notes, and a payment for a writer to complete your premise to product book, screenplay, novel, game, etcetera.

I'm just sayin'. Premise is not product, people.

--Neale Sourna

Friday, June 18, 2010

"Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire...."

"Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire,
and begin at once, whether you're ready
or not, to put it into action."

Napoleon Hill: Was an American author and motivational expert

Start your book/ebook, your game story, novel, short story, screenplay. Begin forming it, sculpting it to your design and its inner true picture form. Step by step, ascend, pause--if you must--but keep going and you'll reach your destination. Completion. And if you love it, we will love it.--Neale Sourna

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Two Creative Ways to Express Character Traits from Writer's Digest University

Writer's Digest University
June 15, 2010

Two Creative Ways to Express Character Traits
Beyond the basics of good writing lie the more creative elements – skills that elevate the craft of writing to the art of writing. Take your creative writing to the next level – no matter what type of writing you do. Learn techniques to add depth, texture, and emotion to your writing. You will also gain the knowledge of how to engage all of a reader's senses, ways to set the mood, put characters in motion, and more!

Inside Excerpt from Session One:

External & Internal Character Traits
Most writers use some form of character chart as a way to get to know their characters better. Basically, you're looking for something that's a cross between a police profile and personal interview (of course, if you're writing nonfiction, you can use the chart to keep track of the actual traits you've made note of). Tip: Keep completed character charts handy while you're writing; with these charts posted on your bulletin board or on your computer desktop, you can instantly find the detail(s) you need.

Remember that great characters are a complex mixture of both sympathetic and unsympathetic traits. Villains like Hannibal Lecter in Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs are compelling because, along with their repellant, horrifying habits, there is also a glimmer—however faint—of something good (or at least understandable). Lecter's intelligence, artistic ability, and parental affection for Agent Starling make us care about him on some involuntary level, no matter how much we also loathe him.

Not only should your bad guys not be all bad, your good guys can't be all good either. Philip Marlow in Raymond Chandler's mysteries is an alcoholic loner who passes the time between cases playing chess with himself. Cervantes' Don Quixote is no less a hero for being a little crazy. They are knights in slightly tarnished armor. Yet, these very character flaws provide the obstacles that must be overcome in order for them to be heroic.

So take some time to create traits that will make your fictional characters complex and memorable. And if you're dealing with a real-life "character," be sure to dig below the surface to find the inevitable contradictions.

Internal traits are about emotion and motivation: What does the character want? Why does she or he want it? What does the character love/hate/fear? Why? These traits are revealed through the character's reactions to events and other characters, their actions in the story, and their biases or opinions about the world at large.

Whenever possible, try to link an internal trait with an external "marker": a character who is shy (internal trait) may blush when approached by a stranger (external marker); a character who is claustrophobic (internal trait) may avoid elevators (external marker).

Workshop: Creativity & Expression

Spots Remaining: only 8 spots left!

Start Date: Thursday June 24th

Instructor: Gloria Kempton

Workshop Length: 8 Weeks

Price: $250.00 Now only $225.00!
Plus, get our most popular OnDemand Webinar 'Instant Publishing Models' absolutely Free! Use code JUN10 at checkout.

Using Anecdotes To Flavor Your Articles [or Your Fiction Writing--NS]
An anecdote is a little story that writers use to enrich their articles. Anecdotes flavor articles by adding a human quality to them, by giving inside information about small things that actually happened to people, and often by giving insights into human frailties, characteristics, and qualities that could not be shown as vividly any other way.

Read the Full Article to Learn How to Maximize Anecdotes

This article was excerpted from the Focus on the Nonfiction Magazine Article workshop. The next class starts on June 17th with Rita Robinson

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Character: There is only one motivation....

"In my experience, there is only one motivation, and that is desire. No reasons or principle contain it or stand against it."
— Jane Smiley: Pulitzer Prize—winning American novelist