Author Platforms


Author Platforms

Natalie Bright

 

Veteran writer and motivational coach Colleen M. Story helps you break the spell of invisibility to reveal the author platform that will finally draw readers your way.

For more about Colleen, visit her website here https://colleenmstory.com/

CHARLAINE HARRIS


CHARLAINE HARRIS

Natalie Bright

Over the weekend I read two books. Both had likable characters, engaging plots but the contrast of the golden rule we’ve all heard over and over was glaringly different. Here are two similar scenes as examples of the SHOW, DON’T TELL rule. Paragraph A is “telling. Paragraph B by Charlaine Harris is “showing”.

  1. “…she tried to hide as much as possible, behind some big boulders and to try to make as little noise as possible.”
  2. “When I came to, I was in the middle of a clump of bushes and large rocks. It wasn’t dawn, but it was close. A snake was gliding by me. I could just make out that it was a rattlesnake, its tongue flicking out to catch movement. I didn’t move. I wasn’t sure I could, anyway. I pretended to myself I was choosing not to stir. The birds were singing, so the gunfire and screaming were long over.”   AN EASY DEATH by Charlaine Harris

“Showing” is putting into words the scene that’s in your head and pulling the reader into the story. Emotion brings your writing up a notch by including the five senses. How many senses can you identify in paragraph B?

Vampires, creatures of the night, bloody battles are not my usual go to for reading material but that Charlaine Harris can spin a highly entertaining tale. I was surprised at how much I enjoy her books. Her writing is phenomenal and worth your time to study. I highly recommend AN EASY DEATH, Book #1 in the Gunnie Rose series. The United States is split and in this new take on the old west, the story follows a young gunslinger named Lizbeth Rose. Harris always delivers intense action with heroines/heroes that are flawed as they face quirky villains.

I’m stepping out of my comfort zone again this year and striving to read books in different genres. What book have you discovered that is something totally different from what you usually read? Comment below and let us know.

Thanks for following WordsmithSix!

Feng Shui for a Writer’s Office


Feng Shui for a Writer’s Office

Natalie Bright

Setting writing goals in the New Year and realizing those goals depends on you being productive. That means butt in chair and words on the blank screen. Where you work is just as important as crafting a phenomenal sentence. Your writing space should be a sanctuary, a haven of inspiration.

Feng shui (fung SHWAY) is the Chinese art of placement to increase energy in the spaces you occupy. Literally, it means “wind and water”, or the intersection of the seen and unseen. The natural force of a body or space moves in predictable patterns. In Chinese philosophy, this is called qi (chee).  Furniture and objects can be moved, colors can be changed, and the creative energy of a room can be restored, imbalances corrected.

As I have blogged about before, my creative space changes with each project. When I wrote the inspirational book about a deep loss, I sat at the kitchen table. Chaos was all around; kids going in and out of the back door, television blaring, dinner cooking. The noise enabled me to write instead of becoming overwhelmed by the sorrow of the story. The book I just finished was written in our spare bedroom, although feng shui practitioners recommend not working in a bedroom. It was the only place I could shut out the world. From my little desk in the corner, I could watch the covey of quail that milled around outside the window every morning. I could hear the songs birds that gathered in the snowball bush. With my back to the door, I was able to ignore reality and step into the world of my creation.

Clutter is another major deterrent to productivity. When doing research, I use the floor and guest bed to spread out the information. True, it can be distracting but I like having the information at my fingertips. And I love my stacks of books. I did invest in a collapsible table. To anyone else, it looks like a mess, but I know which projects are in which stack. Whatever your methods, I hope you find the perfect space and have a productive and energizing New Year.

Feng Shui Design Tips for your Office 

  1. Is your back to the door? Do you have trouble concentrating? Move your desk to the center of the room and listen to your body. What bugs you? What do you like about the room? Give any change at least two weeks.
  2. What colors are dominate in your working space? Red stimulates fame and reputation. Blue represents wisdom. Green represents growth and new beginnings. Purple inspires spirituality and adventure.
  3. Does the furniture placement flow, or is it distracting? Can you move freely throughout the space? Your energy might be stifled by clutter.
  4. Bedrooms should be a place of calm, whereas offices are spaces of active energy. If you must work in a bedroom, divide the area by using a screen or curtain.
  5. Organize your desktop as you would the room. Personal symbols can be inspiring, like a favorite coffee mug or candle. Invest in bookcases or additional tables to declutter and organize your projects.
  6. Declutter to clear your mind. Clean out your email inbox and computer files. Toss those distracting sticky notes and start an idea notebook instead. Focus your energy and stop stressing over undone tasks.

THE SEA


THE SEA

Lynnette Jalufka

One of my favorite settings is from Winston Graham’s novel, Ross Poldark, which takes place in the Cornwall region of England. In it, the sea forms a beautiful backdrop to the action, and is as much of a character as the humans. It is always there, always moving. Here’s a sample:

It was a bright day with a cold wind off the land. The sea was flat and green with a heavy groundswell. The long, even ridge of a wave would move slowly in, and then as it met the stiff southeasterly breeze its long top would begin to ruffle like the short feathers of an eider duck, growing more and more ruffled until the whole long ridge toppled slowly over and the wintry sun made a dozen rainbows in the mist flying up from its breaking. 

 

A RECAP OF POV


A RECAP OF POV

Natalie Bright

First Person Point Of View: the “I” narrator.

First Person Peripheral: a narrator is a supporting character in the story, not the main character.

Second Person Point Of View: generally used in instructional writing.

Third Person Point Of View: used when your narrator is not a character in the story.

  • Third Person Limited: limited to only one character.
  • Third Person Multiple: This type is still in the “he/she/it” category, but now the narrator can follow multiple characters in the story.
  • Third Person Omniscient: the narrator knows EVERYTHING. The narrator isn’t limited by what one character knows.

Thanks for joining us this month as we looked at Point of View. In October, we will be blogging about story Setting.

Writing is your journey, so go write!

What is the RIGHT Genre for YOU?


What is the RIGHT Genre for YOU?

Natalie Bright

 

The discussion at a writer’s workshop many years ago led by Jane Graves, an award-winning author of contemporary romance, changed the way I think about writing.

Her advice was to, “Hone in on the one thing that speaks to you. Freshness and originality comes from what you can imagine.”

I attended several romance writer’s conferences because that’s what I thought I’d be writing. In the beginning of my writing journey, the whole creative process was a chore; I hated my characters, the dreary plot line, and the editing process seemed like torture. What made me think that I’d ever be able to write a romance novel?

Janes’ words got me to thinking. What I’ve been obsessed with since a very early age, besides writing a book, is Texas history, stories set in the American West, and the great tribes of the Plains, most especially Comanche.

Believe me, I’ve tried to follow the advice of my husband who said if I’d write a spicey,  marketable romance it would make me a fortune, and to consider the ideas of well-meaning editors who suggested I should add a vampire or werewolf to revive that boring western tale. I never could follow through. The stories that didn’t seem like a chore are for middle grades set in the Texas frontier: the Trouble in Texas Series. True stories for emerging readers about rescue horses. And now I’m working on a nonfiction book about cattle drives and chuck wagons. I’m loving the research. Okay, so maybe a little romance in the form of a contemporary women’s fiction book set on a Texas Ranch, still in the early stages, but hopefully a published series one day.

The RIGHT genre is the character that wakes you up in the middle of the night, the endless edits that light a fire in your gut, and the finished piece that feeds your soul. That’s what you should be writing.

Keep writing, my friends!

 

The Old Man and the Sea


Based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway. Santiago goes out on his usual fishing trip and makes a huge catch, the biggest of his life. Then a shark attacks and tries to steal his catch. Santiago battles with the shark for days. He returns to the shore beaten, tattered and torn, and his catch consisting now of mostly bones.

I love this story. I recommend both the book and the movie.

Thanks for following WordsmithSix

Rory C. Keel

RESERVE CHAMPION


RESERVE CHAMPION

Lynnette Jalufka

 

Last week, I wrote that The Lion Kingsolidified its place as my favorite movie after I watched it in 3D. This happened shortly after I saw the last Harry Potter film, also in 3D. I’m referring to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, my reserve champion of movies.To be fair, it is only half a movie. You had to have seen Part 1 first to follow the story. And none of it makes any sense unless you’ve watched the other six films, because important things from them show up in these two movies.

Both parts of Deathly Hallows are amazing when put together. They tell the story of Harry’s final showdown with his enemy, Voldemort, who has taken over the magical world. Harry goes on a difficult journey with his friends to find and destroy objects called Horcruxes, which, once all are destroyed, will be the end of Voldemort. That is, if he can do it before the Dark Lord kills him.

Part 2 is the more action-packed and emotional of the two movies. It contains a huge battle at Harry’s school, Hogwarts. I love this line from Harry as he argues with Hermione about returning to the school. He says, “Hermione, when have our plans ever actually worked? We plan, we get there, and all hell breaks loose.” It summarizes what has happened before and foreshadows what is to come.

I read the book before and after I saw the films. I’m glad the novel was made into two movies, because they contain all the emotion from the book. (I have shed tears in Part 2 ever since I watched it in 3D, which is incredible since I don’t usually cry in movies, and this is an action-packed film.) In my opinion, these movies are as close to the book as films can get.

Favorite Works of Fiction- Book Review


Favorite Works of Fiction

by Adam Huddleston

For our book review month, I wanted to bring back an old blog of mine concerning my favorite works of fiction.  They aren’t necessarily detailed book reviews, but rather an insight into the types of works that I enjoy.

A couple of weeks ago I published a blog concerning my favorite non-fiction books for writers.  This week, I would like to list a few of my favorite works of fiction (in no particular order).  As you can imagine, me being a life-long reader of fantasy and horror, the list is full of selections from those genres.

Stephen King has always been a “fave” of mine.  He has a plethora of thrillers and chillers.  Some works seek to get you at the “gross-out” level.  Others are more intimate examinations of the inner-self.  My favorite novel of his belongs to the latter; “The Long Walk.”  Reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, this story follows a young man as he participates in a horrific annual tradition.  The book is eerie and very well written.

Shifting to fantasy, you can’t find many works better than those of J.R.R. Tolkien.  In a world where new writers are shoveling their wares in both bookstores and electronically, this legendary author’s work stands the test of time and his “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy is, to me at least, at the top.  It is the definition of an epic fantasy with a huge cast of characters, a sprawling world, and an entire language created by the author.

The late Michael Crichton penned a ton of great science-fiction stories, many of which were adapted into motion pictures.  My favorite work of his is “Jurassic Park.”  The movie, once it gets going, travels at a break-neck pace.  Guess what?  The novel does as well.  The author even goes into great detail concerning how they manipulated the DNA to create the stories antagonists.  

The last piece I’ll mention is one by Richard Adams.  One of my earliest cinematic memories is watching “Watership Down” on a VHS player in my parent’s bedroom.  When I was older, I discovered that it was based on a novel of the same name.  The book does a great job of personifying the characters, mostly rabbits with a black-headed gull thrown in for good measure, and bringing their adventures to life.  Like Tolkien, Richard Adams gives us a healthy dose of backstory, native language, and even a form of lupine religion.  

Whatever your favorite genre might be, these novels are worth looking into.  They will give insight into proper world building, plot, dialogue, and character development.

Happy writing; and reading!

Provenance – Book Review 


Provenance

Review

Provenance written by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujois a true story of John Myatt, an artist living on the edge of financial ruin, yet possessed the ability to recreate the paintings of Cézanne, Matisse, Giacometti.

Enters John Drewe, who becomes the biggest client and collector of Myatt’s “genuine Fakes,” and begins paying John Myatt large sums of money in appreciation to for his work.

Let me let you in on a little secret, Drewe was selling John Myatt’s work to the art world as real Cézanne, Matisse and Giacometti’s. John unknowingly becomes an accomplice through accepting the money Drewe makes selling the paintings. When the fraud is revealed to the artist, it’s difficult to quit.

Provenance is a truly suspenseful story of one of the greatest art frauds of all time. If you like suspense or art, this is a fantastic read.