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

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?

Tools and tips – Grammarly


Tools and Tips

Grammarly

Rory C. Keel

Grammarly is a web or desktop editor, that can be used as a browser extension by most popular browsers. An app for iOS and Android platforms is available also.

While the basic service is free, other services of this program come with the Premium version for a monthly or annual fee.

The free version of the program has most of the features of the Premium version. For the casual writer or blogger, it is the perfect program to give your writing that second look.

For the more in-depth writer, the Premium version is well worth the money. The ability to set goals for each project of your writing is a fantastic feature.

As a writer, Grammarly has set me free while writing my first drafts. The old habit of editing while I go, always slowing me down instead of focusing the story, has been resolved. Now, I write without worry, knowing that Grammarly will catch the grammar, spelling, punctuation, and even wordiness in my long sentences.

Try the free version you have nothing to lose. For me, Grammarly Premium is worth it.

Hook’em Early


Hook’em Early

Rory C. Keel

Here is a good example of the opening hook from Elmore Leonard’s The Tonto Woman.

The time would come, within a few years, when Ruben Vega would go to the church in Benson, kneel in the confessional, and say to the priest, “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.”

With the first sentence, the writer creates interest with a scenario of a future event, What is the character Ruben Vega going to do?

the reader is HOOKED to continue reading in order to find out.

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Start with a Hook


 

Start with a Hook

Rory C. Keel

All of the exciting details, ports of call and the swashbuckling adventure of your story will mean nothing if the reader isn’t interested. To bring your reader along, you need to pique their interest, start with a hook.

Why would I go down this road?

Give me a reason to cross that line.

An image of a road to the horizon with text start

 

Narrative Fishing


Narrative Fishing 

Rory C. Keel

 

Yes, we are writing about story hooks this month at Wordsmith Six. We are learning how to keep our readers turning the page. So, we start with an action that pulls the reader further into the story. Anything that causes curiosity and interest from your reader is a narrative hook. It should cause a sensation in the reader to keep reading and turn the next page without stopping.

Book Review: SAWBONES – Melissa Lenhardt


SAWBONES – Melissa Lenhardt

Book Review by Rory C. Keel

Set in the post-civil war 1800s, the main character Cathrine Bennett starts her journey in New York City. Being a female and desiring to practice as a doctor, she is hindered by societal norms of the day. Falsely accused of murder by the wife of a male patient, she sails to Galveston, Texas and begins her dangerous and thrilling escape to the West.

On her trek to start a new life, she faces the loss of loved ones and her own possessions forcing her to survive. Suffering through severe storms and  Indian attacks, we see her tenacity to live and save others.

“I needed to concentrate, to push my personal tragedy and guilt to the back of my mind and focus on Captain Kindle’s wound.”

As a male reader of the Historical Western genre, I really liked this book. I picked this book up on a whim at the bookstore and ended up reading all three in the trilogy.  While characterized by some as a feminist western, I found it to be a thrilling western and offered insight into the female viewpoint of the hardships endured in the historical West.