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Friday, June 8, 2012

Some Great Writing Advice from Kristen Lamb’s Website

Early this morning, I was on a quest to refresh my mind as to essential elements for a Final Edit, needed for three of my WIPs before uploading.  Fate led me to Kristen Lamb’s site and I spent several hours reading selected posts at http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com.  What became pages and pages of gems saved in Word docx form, I distilled down to a single checklist below.  [The words in quotes are from Kristen (or later, Donald Maass); the others are my paraphrasing.]
IMO, here’s an author’s focused To Do list:
  1. “To be successful, we have to write good books quickly.” 
  2. “Balanced writers are happy and productive writers.” 
  3. The best marketing is “1) good book and 2) word of mouth.” 
  4. Write with passion and emotion. 
  5.  Book purchases are emotionally driven. 
  6.  Books are a high-consideration purchase because of the TIME and FOCUS needed to read a book.  (Hence #4 above, to write with passion/emotion.) 
  7.  Novel Diagnostics.  Per Kristen, we start off our novel with our strength.  Beware if it is any of these:  a) info dump; fix with scene structure: goal -> conflict -> disaster; b) internalization; fix with conflict; c) flashback; fix with unique setting, authentic characters, captivating plot that unfolds in surprising ways, scads of conflict and more . . . “high human value,” high personal stakes as well as public stakes, plot layering and tension all the time. 
  8. “Tension on every page” (per Donald Maass interview).  “[W]hat tension means: In dialogue, it means disagreement. In action, it means not physical business but the inner anxiety of the point-of-view character. In exposition, it means ideas in conflict and emotions at war.” 
  9.  Villain/dark protagonist with humanity (per Donald Maass):  Show “a small act of compassion, humor, self-awareness.” 
  10. Per Donald Maass: “Micro-tension all the time is what keeps readers turning the pages to see what will happen.”
Now, I’m off to review Margie Lawson’s Deep EDITs (trademarked) system and finish reading Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook.

Denise Barker, author + freelance copy editor + blogger
Good Ole Boys, a love story at http://amzn.to/GoodOleBoys

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