We're home after several hours of driving in blinding rainstorms, one good supper, a night in a so-so hotel, two so-so meetings, more driving rain, a great auction, a superb dinner, a night in a grand hotel (marshmallow beds), and an over-the-top buffet breakfast, featuring oat-nut french toast, sausage gravy and biscuits, bacon and eggs, and topped with fresh blackberries and blueberries. After all that, I feel surprisingly perky and ready to take on the world, particularly since my calendar is practically empty. (Don't expect the same report next Sunday, when I'll be looking ahead to a week of jury duty!)
I'm hoping to make a start this week on the next book, tentatively entitled "Yankee Reconstructed." As I started thinking about story arcs, I ran across this set of guidelines from a reviewer. Hope I can keep them firmly in mind for the next five days.
• Keep it simple.
• Give me one character with a strong point of view.
• Show me that character’s attitude about one thing.
• Don’t give me blah.
• Or ordinary.
• Give me edge; risk.
• Convince me that the story starts on this day.
• Rivet me with a colorful detail. Or two.
• Decide why I want to spend a few hundred pages with your main character and give me one reason to engage in the first few pages.
• Help me see, taste, smell, touch. Make it sensory.
• Avoid using dialogue that is only designed to fill readers in on the background lives of the characters. (Just don’t!) This is dialogue as “info dump.” It’s deadly.
• But, mostly, keep it simple.
• Really simple.
• No, really.
If you'd like to read the whole article from which this was borrowed, you'll find it at: www.writermarkstevens.com