STATING YOUR OPINION: DO WE CARE?


STATING YOUR OPINION: DO WE CARE?

Natalie Bright

The extremely prolific author Marie Force indicated in an interview that she wants her social media sites to be a place where readers can escape. They can disappear into the world of her fiction and get away from the stresses of their day. She writes to entertain and has always limited her personal opinion on controversial topics. NO political rants. She doesn’t want to offend her fans. Her books recently hit 10 Million in sales; Ms. Force knows how to sell books.

How refreshing! I just bought several of her books.

Which brings me to the dilemma I had faced just this week. After purchasing an author’s newest release, which I loved, I thought about posting reviews on Facebook and Twitter, and even considered featuring this book in a future blog. It really is an unusual, beautifully done book. I was so excited to share it with my followers. The problem is that this author’s Facebook posts are ALL political, and not the nice kind. Whether or not we agree on issues isn’t the point. I don’t want to offend any of my followers by sending them over to this author’s sites.

Every follower is a potential reader, no matter their background, religious leanings,  or political convictions. I want them to buy my books. Period. I agree with Marie Force. The thought of offending anyone causes me stress, particularly in today’s world. Even the slightest, most innocent jokes are making people turn ballistic.

In this crazy world, will my readers reflect on the people I connect with and possibly reconsider their connection with me? Sadly, yes. My stories don’t have an agenda. I write for entertainment (mainly my own). I read fiction to escape. I listen to music for entertainment. That’s not to say we shouldn’t stand up for what we believe, but if you create products for sale is there a cautionary line to consider?

Just food for thought in this PC world. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment. I wish for you a productive week with lots of word filled pages! Thanks for following WordsmithSix.

Here’s the interview with Marie Force on The Self-Publishing Show Podcast.

https://selfpublishingformula.com/episode-241/

And find out more at her website here  https://marieforce.com/

 

FINDING INSPIRATION & MOVING ONWARD


FINDING INSPIRATION & MOVING ONWARD

Natalie Bright

 

Hello WordsmithSix writers!

Hope this finds you all safe and well. Are you starving for writerly interaction? I’m going crazy!

With writing conferences canceled, and my local WordsmithSix critique group taking a break over the entire summer, I really need inspiration. We love our families, but they have no clue why we spend hours at the keyboard. The two questions I continually hear are #1 What are you working on? AND #2 Are you cooking? Answers to the first question are hardly worth my time in explaining, but I do appreciate their interest. But it’s just not the same when a fellow author asks the question.

Thank goodness for email and texts. We have managed to type THE END on Book #2 in a new series working with my co-author who lives in Georgia. How in the world did we manage with snail mail and telephones in the olden days? My kids think I’m ancient, but it wasn’t that long ago.

Thank goodness for podcasts and online classrooms. With everything shut down, I have had more time to indulge in learning mixed with the writing. Have you looked at MasterClass.com? I’m watching David Baldacci this month. Wow! Price is based on an annual fee, or for a little more you can have unlimited access. You can also choose from Neil Gaiman, James Patterson (excellent!), Judy Blume, playwright David Mamet, Margaret Atwood, and more.

If it’s podcasts you like, my weekly addiction includes:

Thriller author J. F. Penn interviews influencers. https://www.thecreativepenn.com/podcasts/

Mark Dawson and James Blatch, great interviews covering the business. https://selfpublishingformula.com/spf-podcast/

These are short and full of info. https://bookmarketingmentors.com/

The business of writing with J. D. Barker and J. Thorn. https://writersinkpodcast.com/

May you find enough inspiration to keep moving onward until we can come together once again.

THE BEST TIME TO POST


THE BEST TIME TO POST

Natalie Bright

Opinions vary, but here’s a common sense look at some of your favorite sites and times with the most traffic.

Instagram

Generally, the best times to post on Instagram are lunchtime (11am-1pm) and evenings (7-9pm). Post during off-work hours, however with everyone home during the pandemic you might be alright any time of the day or night.

FACEBOOK

According to a Buffer study, the best time to post to Facebook is between 1pm – 3pm on during the week and Saturdays.

YOUTUBE

The days that show the highest level of engagement are Friday through Saturday, as well as Wednesday. The best time to post, in general, is around 5:00 PM, which can be extended over several time zones.

TWITTER

According to HubSpot, the best time frames to post on Twitter are 8-10 am and 6-9 pm

PINTEREST

Fridays and Saturdays may be the best times. This makes sense since people often use Pinterest to plan DIY projects, weddings, and home décor, and weekends are a good time to plan and complete these.

SOCIAL MEDIA


SOCIAL MEDIA
Natalie Bright

Join us here at WordsmithSix this month for posts about Social Media. Let us know your thoughts, too. Which are your favorite social media platforms to tell others about your books?

Now, more than ever before, authors can find and connect with their readers directly through Social Media. There are so many options. Start with the ones you like. If you’re not on Twitter and have no idea what a “tweet” is and how it would relate to your writing, don’t do Twitter. You’ll just come off as fake.

Readers love connecting with their favorite authors. I know that I do. I follow my favorite authors on all of their social media platforms. I seem to spend the most time on Instagram and Pinterest, but you can also find authors on Facebook, Twitter, BookBub, Amazon Author Pages, and so many more. Here’s a great article I read last week on the BookBub Blog about how authors can use Pinterest. Click here.

Happy writing!

Writing Is Hard Work


Writing Is Hard Work
Natalie Bright
Greetings WordsmithSix Friends! We’re back after taking a brief break in June. Hope this find you all safe and well.  I’m in the middle of developing a new series with a co-author and we’ve been working on plotting. With two brains, you have double the ideas and characters and plot scenarios. It’s awesome, but it can be an overwhelming process too. We are writing furiously, trying to keep up with our ideas. The creative energy has been flowing all summer. My co-author sent me a link to several great articles on story plot, so I thought that I would share them here with you.
WRITING IS HARD WORK~ That’s an understatement!
“Good storytelling should be hard—not because it’s impossible, but because it is a high-level skill that requires understanding, insight, energetically clear thinking, and absolute discipline when it comes to choosing elements that will support a worthwhile vision while rejecting those that detract.” K. M. Weiland
“Ask yourself two questions: Is your story idea weighty enough to warrant 75,000 to 100,000 words, and Is it powerful enough to hold the reader to the end?
“Make your predicament so hopeless that it forces your lead to take action, to use every new muscle and technique gained from facing a book full of obstacles to become heroic and prove that things only appeared beyond repair.”   Jerry B. Jenkins
Happy writing, Y’all!

A NEW DIMENSION


A NEW DIMENSION

After looking back at some of my writing, I noticed that my characters were flat, and not because they’re typed words on a screen. No, they  have no depth, no dimension.

As I start the new year of writing, I will create what I will call character interviews. In Gail Carson Levine’s book, WRITING MAGIC, she suggests making a character questionnaire.

Make a list of questions and fill in the answers such as: name or nickname, what type of being (human, alien etc…), age, sex, physical appearance and characteristics, family members and friends, pets, hobbies?

Then ask deeper questions like: What are my character’s talents and abilities? What are their faults, fears and good qualities?

If you have flat characters, try interviewing your character and give them a new dimension!

Rory C. Keel

UNFORGETTABLE FICTIONAL CHARACTERS


UNFORGETTABLE FICTIONAL CHARACTERS

Natalie Bright

 

Here’s a list of a few unforgettable fictional characters that seem to have life beyond the pages. A great character isn’t always likeable, but one that can evoke strong emotion or a memorable experience for the reader. Are any of these your favorites?

Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Emma Bovary, Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert

Prince Hamlet, Hamlet, William Shakespeare

Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien

Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote

Frankenstein’s Monster, Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

Peter Pan, Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie

Scarlett O’Hara, Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell

Jay Gatsby, The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Just to name a few…

Leave us a comment and let us know your favorite, unforgettable fictional character. Thanks for following Wordsmith Six!

The Force


POSTCARDS FROM THE MUSE

The Force

Nandy Ekle

One of my favorite movies is from the 80’s is The Never-ending Story. It’s a kid’s movie, but it’s really ageless because it’s so deep.

A beautiful world ruled by a child-like empress, who is dying. The only way to save her is to get in touch with an earthling child. And the only way to get in touch with an earthling child is to have a warrior child go on an adventure. 

That’s the importance of characters in a nutshell. 

Without good characters, there’s no point to even having a story. You may have a profound lesson to get across to your reader, but you won’t contact them if you don’t show them someone who could be them. For example, Bastian would never have learned his lesson if Atreyu had not taken on a dangerous mission, losing his horse, nearly losing his very own self, and then nearly being swallowed by nothingness. Bastian identified with Atreyu, and that’s how contact was made.

The way to make a character your reader will identify with is, first, know your audience. Who are you aiming for? What are the characteristics of that group? 

Once you understand your audience, the research begins. I’m talking about people watching. Stand back in a corner and watch what happens. Listen to conversations. Watch body language and listen to their lingo. 

Now, this is where your imagination applies what you’ve learned. Step into their head and watch the world through their eyes.

When I was in high school I did a little bit of theater. One of the things I learned is “putting on a character.” This is where you become them. 

And this is where you make contact with your reader. And they’ll love you for it.

 

In Search of a Character


In Search of a Character

Rory C. Keel

When starting a story, we need characters like a Protagonist, the main character, and an Antagonist the villain. There may even be secondary characters that play a role in your writing.

So where do characters come from? Where do we get them?

The easiest way for me to find a character is to think about people I know in real life.

This idea could include friends, family, or someone you just met.

If you have a good imagination, then creating characters by mixing fantasy and reality.

Are you coming up with blanks? Then a trip to the shopping mall with notepad in hand can offer some relief as you observe people as they shop. Another quick starter that might help is to do an internet search for movie star images.

How many different characters can you create this week?

CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS


CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS
Natalie Bright
As a reader, do you like detailed physical descriptions of your characters? As a writer you can go nuts trying to decide: tall short, thin, long hair, red hair, bleached blonde, plain face, or Hollywood icon?
In answer to the question I refer to the book THE SUCCESSFUL NOVILEST: A LIFETIME OF LESSONS ABOUT WRITING AND PUBLSIHING by David Morrell (creator of Rambo) With thirty years of writing and publishing experience, this is a barebone, practical book of advice. I have found this book to be one of my favorites; I’m giving it a second read through.
Morrell notes, “I believe that readers can do a lot more efficient job of imagining the look of characters than I can and that characters are best described by their actions.” (pg.147)
The objective details of a character’s appearance don’t matter as much as the emotions they imply, as Morrell explains. So how do we, as writers make that happen? Morrell suggests that we concentrate on a character’s emotional effect, the reader will supply the physical details. What do her clothes convey; polished or destitute? Does the character radiate power, intelligence, or sexual desire? What about the character’s posture?
The example is from Tolstoy’s ANNA KARENINA (translated by Rosemary Edmonds). The main character is full of life, friendly, and her smile shows this.
“Her brilliant grey eyes, shadowed by thick lashes, gave [Vronsky] a friendly, attentive look, as though she were recognizing him, and then turned to the approaching crowd as if in search of someone. In that brief glance Vronsky had time to notice the suppressed animation which played over her face and flitted between her sparkling eyes and the slight smile curving her red lips. It was as though her nature were so brimming over with something that against her will it expressed itself now in a radiant look, now in a smile.”