I’m still searching for mine…
I’m still searching for mine…
A place, where the sunlight
isn’t allowed to go,
and where the starlight
falls to ground, swimming
through endless dreams,
taking refuge to shadows …
A place, forbidden to the sun,
protects those unborn, unseen,
neglected and hidden.
The most beautiful flowers
bloom under the midnight sky …
The most unique blossoms
in the land of twilight …
I’ve lost count of the number of the people who’ve told me they’re writing a novel. I’ve also met more than my share of successful novelists. Let’s just say that first group of people is a lot larger than the second.
While there are many ways in which a newbie can go wrong, it often boils down to one or more of these common mistakes. 1 Using stock characters
The tart with a heart of gold. The tall black dude who plays basketball. The gruff schoolmaster. The academic with thick glasses. While stereotypes can occasionally be useful as shorthand, they’re only two-dimensional characters, and that’s not enough to engage readers.
2 Writing real-life dialogue
Yes, you read that right. Realistic dialogue isn’t an echo of real conversation. In everyday life, people use a huge number of filler words and meaningless sounds. Like this.
“Oh, hi, Debbie. Lovely to see you…
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When I first blogged about the eight mistakes of newbie writers, I knew I couldn’t cover the whole subject in a few hundred words. Since then, fellow author Keith Dixon and other colleagues have pointed out several more pitfalls that would-be novelists really should avoid. That made it high time for this follow-up.
1 Beginning before the beginning
Many novice writers launch their story with a wordy description of the main character, or a biography beginning with that person’s existence long before the action in the book – sometimes even back to their birth. The danger is that, unless you’re Dostoevsky, readers will ditch your prose in favour of a novel where something is actually happening.
2 Using complicated variations of ‘he said’/’she said’
You might think ‘he said’ and ‘she said’ are too dull to bear repetition, but the truth is that these basic dialogue tags tend to…
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what a wonderful poem…
Photo supplied by author.
By S. S. Hicks
How long did it take
turning battlefields into blooms?
Nourished from fallen soldiers,
clutching hearts not their own.
Nameless warriors, yesterday’s schoolboys
with combed hair and brushed teeth.
Given bayonets, helmets and cigarettes,
whispering to their mamas as they
colored fields with their death.
very important. *takes notes*
I am not an expert. I don’t have a bundle of best sellers under my belt. I’m not going to tell you that I have all the answers. But I like to read. I like to read books and like I watch films. I started my career as a video editor. I’ve made short films. I’ve seen how the medium has become democratized by digital equipment, and I have seen how that has made story more important than Hollywood budgets. I’ve also seen self-publishing democratize fiction writing in much the same way. So I married those two ideas together, and this is where we’re left: a few insights on how to write your book like a filmmaker.
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