Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Writerly Wednesday - Voice, Avoiding Melodrama, and Secrets to Great Storytelling!!

Now, I know you're all holding your breath for the day when I hit you on a Wednesday with original, witty, top-notch, Donea-esque writing tips...right?  Well, go ahead and breathe out.  Today is not that day.  (sorry!)  But, it will come.  Have faith!!  I'm just waiting for an agent to deem me worthy... :)  It's all about the validation, baby!

HOWEVER!  I do have some fabulous links for you.

#1:  "Like, seriously dude, if you're givin' me the blah, blah, blahs about this, that, and the other - shut it!  You get the hand." ~ *palm out*!  

Ah, you're thinking "a tutorial on cliches"!  Nope.  It's voice.  Check out this interview with agent Natalie Fischer on VOICE.



#2:  Omigosh, I read this blog about avoiding melodrama in writing and I just about DIED!  It was THAT good and after I read it, I was like flying through the clouds and my brain was a-buzz with all its FABULOUS tips and ideas and I have to cement them to memory TODAY or I might just seriously kick it!  (Melodramatic enough?) 

If you want to avoid the above suckage in your own writing... (thanks for still reading, btw)  Martina at Adventures in Children's Publishing posted an amazing article about writing emotion and avoiding melodrama by digging deeper. You can find it HERE.

source
#3:  Again I turn to Writer's Digest for some useful writing tips - the offer today?  3 Secrets to Great Storytelling!  What are they? 

A.  Always, always include a chimpanzee in your story. 
B.  If your MC's aren't macking (that's '80's slang for "making out")  They should be! 
C.  Don't forget to kill off an integral character.  You always get bonus points for making a reader cry...


Oh, oh!  What if the chimpanzee kills the integral character while he's making out!!!??

Ah, my bad.  Those are MY secrets to great storytelling!!  (see, told you I'm not certified for advice giving just yet...)

*Actually,  Steven James' article on Writer's Digest suggests that the 3 best secrets are:

1. Cause and Effect are King,  2. If it's Not Believable, It doesn't Belong, and 3.  It's all About Escalation

Please click HERE for the full article and details on these 3 awesome writing secrets.

*Don't forget!  There's still time to enter Brenda Drakes "Voice" contest to win a critique with agent Natalie Fischer.  Post the first 250 words of your complete novel on March 20th and 21st.  Don't forget to sign up!  The link is on my side-bar.

**Oh, and guess what?  I have a secret admirer!!  (Well, not so secret any more...)  E.J. Wesley of The Open Vein had some lovely things to say about me...erm...my blog.  Thanks, E.J.!!  You can read all about me it HERE.

***Friendly reminder!  I'll be out and about in blogger land tomorrow, Thursday, 3/17 - for Colene Murphy's and Alexia Chamberlynn's St. Patty's Day Blogfest.  There's still time to join up!!  Click HERE and follow the girl on the pig!

I have to say I'm constantly amazed by all the enlightening writing tips, generous contests, and heart-felt support this wonderful writing community of ours has to offer.  I hope these tips find you and your writing well.  HAPPY WEDNESDAY!!  :)

20 comments:

Tracy said...

Oh, going to check out the one about melodrama now. I think I'm pretty good about keeping it out of my manuscripts, but it never hurts to keep checking.

See ya at the blogfest tomorrow!

HowLynnTime said...

My 250 is up - please feel free to snark away - grin - your too funny to be contained in moderate polite remarks - hehehehe! I would not dream of missing a good beverage snork in fear of my little feelings - besides Red Ink Is Love. Thanks for your hilarous posts and I will be checking your recomendations out now - (I should be writing - blog poppin' etc. but found to many 'Ohhhhh gotta read that' here - adhd is a great excuse for not keeping on task)

Thanks for the follow will check back soon!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Thanks for the links. *runs out to check out the storytelling tips" :D

DEZMOND said...

I'd personally never put a chimpanzee in my story, but on the other hand raccoons and lemurs are unavoidable elements in any decent story :))) And an occasional dancing hypo with a tutu to add a bit of drama and romance :)

HowLynnTime said...

I am sorry to say I can't find my chimp - I swear I wrote him in - but he seems to leave story land and randomly try to type stuff - never fear though - I love to make people cry - evil grin - and I was not cool enough in the 80's to have known what Macking was ---- We called it Unkie on the dirt bike of death tour - thank you for correcting my verbage. whew - now we can make that term hot again. A few you forgot....

Always include at least one J. R. Ewing quote in every book - he's timeless and everyone will get the deep deep magic of texas symbols.

Make sure your character's life is politically correct - they must all be strict vegan, christian, virginal, kind, thoughtful, passive perfect and have some strange eye color that makes their specialness scream.

All side kicks should be stupider than the main - nobody likes a smarty pants. The sidekicks should also be annoying - get perfect MC in trouble through absolutly no fault of their own and they should randomly get mad at your MC for nothing to keep conflict building.

Do not go over the top on personality - hair color will explain all you need to know about your characters.

If a teen is speaking you must include the word 'like' in each spoken sentence - see how charming it makes shaggy from scooby doo?

Ok that will give them a better chance at greatness - always glad to do my part.

Robyn Campbell said...

Love your advice which coincides with my advice. *she thinks she needs to change her advice* Did I just use the word advice THREE times in two sentences? Well, I know I shouldn't do that in my novel. ;)

Love your funny post. Made me giggle lots. Giggling is good for the healing. Thanks!

Lindz Pagel said...

My first rendition of my story was so laden with melodrama, I really really tried to cut it out this time around. So, I'm still a lil' nervous some wormed its way in. Checking out the melodrama link not. Thanks

Margo Berendsen said...

And the chimp shoots them while they are macking - oh my hornets! Loved that! I'm a new devotee after EJ's shout out. THat melodrama post was great! Heading off to read about voice now... I really SHOULD read that since the Show Me the Voice is coming up pretty darn fast.

Kari Marie said...

Great links! Thanks so much and I think anything with chimps, macking and murder should be a hit.

Angela Felsted said...

I love your picture of the fainting girl in the dress. So melodramatic. I guess that's the point, huh?

E.C. Smith said...

Oh, you make me laugh...thank you! Heading check out all the links. Happy Wednesday!

Carol Riggs said...

Hi Donea! Enjoyed your lively post. :) Great tips and lists too!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You're a plethora of tips today!

Holly Ruggiero said...

Oh heck, I think you writing secrets are fantastic. Hum, I just have to add that chimp…
Thanks for the links.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

So nice to meet you! I read that article on the Adventures in Kidlit publishing site and thought it was really great! A lot of good tips! Great links all around!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Donea,

It's always fun to stop by you blog on Wednesdays... It gives a LIFT for the rest of the week...


Great tips... Thanks.

Michael

Jess said...

HA! Informative and funny! I especially love YOUR tips for great storytelling~ everything's better with a chimpanzee!! Thanks for the links :)

Christine Tyler said...

Ah cool, thanks for the great links!

Deniz Bevan said...

Hilarious! Hmm, I don't have a chimpanzee, but it's true, I've got a pile of characters on a ship travelling from Spain to Turkey in 1492. I ought to have an animal on board somewhere...

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Hilarious post, Donea! Thanks for the links. Off to do some reading . . .

And now it's Happy Thursday . . . see how much *I* "procrastinate"! Ha!