Quote of the Day

more Quotes

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Studying Other Authors

I learn by reading--either a book on writing or a novel by an admired author.  I've written earlier posts about Nora Roberts's (yes, correct form per CMS 7.18) wonderful ability and her special insight into the male mind.  Still, I am rarely able to jolt myself out of her stories long enough to discern her tricks of the trade.  Doesn't stop me from trying with each rereading of her stuff.  I enjoy every trip.

Today, I'm going a different route.  I am comparing two blogs.  One How-To by David Farland who's tips therein I plan to use to dissect an emotion-filled blog by Barbara Conelli. 

Here's the link to each:

1.  Dave Farland's Bringing Your Scene to Life through Action:  http://davidfarland.com/writing_tips/?a=73
2.  Barbara Conelli's blog post re the life of a travel writer: http://barbaraconelliblog.com/2012/04/06/what-is-travel-writers-life-really-like/
3.  Plus the interview of Barbara Conelli on The Displaced Nation:  http://thedisplacednation.com/2012/03/28/an-italian-with-a-passion-how-to-live-the-dolce-vita-with-barbara-conneli/

Without yet beginning Dave's exercise, I feel the lack of to-be verbs helps with the communication of emotions.  Plus, like Nora Roberts has been known to do, careful word choice resonates the "one thing" the author has chosen to highlight. 

In a Nora book about a magician, she used career-appropriate words to describe the surrounding, the man himself, others.  Like magical, mysterious, spellbinding, ethereal, unknown.  She was setting her scene.

As authors, we color our story with the tone of each individual noun, verb, adjective, adverb. 

So if you want to project "bubbly" within your text, then check your Thesaurus for synonyms, antonyms and go to town brainstorming others.  Write "bubbly" in the center of a blank sheet of paper.  Add other related terms for five minutes, no censoring allowed, and fill up all that white space.  Afterward, cross off the rejects.  What is left are substitutions for those bland verbs and nouns you NaNo-wrote in your first draft.

Remember, you can always morph a noun into a verb (ex. brainstorm becomes brainstorming), an adjective into a noun (beautiful becomes beauty), so rearrange the usage.  Play with Webster's.

I'm still mesmerized by Barbara's ability to totally immerse me in her world in a blog spot.  Do you realize she is limited to somewhere between maybe 250 words to possibly 750?  As an novelist, I am awed.  What I hope to accomplish with 50,000+ WC spilled over 200+ pages, Barbara does with about one word for almost every thousand of mine.  Remarkable.

If you read her interview, you'll find out Barbara knows eight languages.  Eight.  Wow.  Maybe that is what makes her such a descriptive word artist.  She sings with her written word.

I want to do that.

Study on, fellow creators, and share with me what you have learned to effectively siphon off those feelings to your readers via black ink on a white background.

No comments:

Post a Comment