Note: I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas and will have a great New Year. One of my distributors, Smashwords, is offering a year-end sale in which I’m participating.
For only 8 days, December 25 through January 1, all of my books at Smashwords are on sale for 50% off. To take advantage of this year-end sale, visit https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/HEStanbrough, make your selections, and enter promotion code SEY50. Thanks, and enjoy!
Awhile back I mentioned it’s good to practice something new, some new technique you’ve learned, in each new story you write.
Over the past several novels, I’ve become very good at grounding the reader. I accomplish that primarily by providing intimate details regarding the setting and the people in it.
But as you already know if you follow my Daily Journal, I do a lot of cycling.
Sometimes I cycle back to insert something the characters spring on me later in the story.
For example, say in Chapter 26 Aunt Marge suddenly pulls a .32 caliber revolver out of her house dress and shoots an intruder.
If that happens, I cycle back to when she first put on the house dress, say back in Chapter 18, and allow her to take the revolver from her night stand and slip it into the pocket of her house dress.
This accomplishes two things:
One, it negates the “miracle” of the revolver suddenly appearing just when it’s needed.
Two, it makes the reader feel the writer is a genius. After all, how did the writer know, way back in Chapter 18, that our dear Aunt Marge would need that revolver in Chapter 26?
Cycling will remain an invaluable aid for precisely those two reasons.
However, most of the time when I cycled back in my last several novels, I did so because I got in too big a hurry. I rushed the characters through the scenes, especially action scenes, and thereby missed much that they were trying to add.
Like how the setting looked, smelled, tasted, felt and sounded. And the POV character’s opinion of all that.
So most of the time, I was cycling back to slow myself down and let the characters add what was necessary to both ground the reader in the scene and to give the story depth.
So in this novel, the “new” technique I’m practicing is adding that depth and grounding the reader as I go.
I’ll still cycle back at the beginning of every session. But I expect I’ll be adding fewer words to older scenes and writing a lot more words in new scenes.
In other words, I’m taking my time. I’m still hitting around a thousand words an hour, but they’re more substantive words. Words that aren’t rushed and don’t skimp on necessary details.
In still other words, I’m practicing patience as I write. I understand it’s a virtue. I just wish it would hurry up and get here. (grin)
‘Til next time,
PS: Cycling also helps me avoid rewriting and enables me to adhere to Heinlein’s Rules. If you haven’t seen them, you can get a free copy here.