Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hooks and Barbs

The first sentence. The first chapter.

These are hooks that must latch into your readers eyeballs and force them to keep reading. We know that.

But guess what? You have to keep sprinkling little barbs through your prose to keep those pages turning. There's still the big question--Who did murder Mr. Body? Will the boy and girl get together?--but there has to be more than that.

Who had the revolver in the bottom of her handbag?

What did that mysterious letter say?

Why was Colonel Mustard in Miss Scarlet's room at midnight?


(Yes, I like Clue. It's the only game I always win! Mwahahaha!)

So have a great hook. But don't forget all those little barbs too. 'Cause if you do, your reader might forget to pick your book back up.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mad Scientist Writing




This is the pile of notes that have accumulated on my bedside table since I've been back from my research trip.

Can you tell I'm having a hard time sleeping lately?

I feel like a mad scientist, jotting down random snippets of prose or plot ideas. I swear the rest of my life is crazy organized--and even my research notes and hard copy edits--but this particular pile is, well... not.

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star. --Nietzsche

I am now off to weed out the junk and put the decent sticky-notes to good use in birthing some sort of star. Hopefully not a supernova.

And by the way, hello again!