Whose Voice Matters Most? #AuthorToolboxBlogHop #writetip #writing

Author Toolbox Blog Hop

The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join via blog, click here.

Thank you Raimey!

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Have you ever read a book and wondered if a supporting character should really be the one telling the story and not the one chosen for the book?

Secondly, I wonder how we writers should decide on a character and are we ever blind to one voice because this character resonates better to our own preference versus the success of a better storyteller closer to the mystery in the plot?

I’m not sure. What I do know is a great exercise I’m been using these past couple of days to really flush out the theme of my own book in a 5th or 6th draft. It’s helping me question my own choice.

In a post by the beginningwriter.com, the author states POV is “who’s eyes we see the action through, who’s head we’re inside of, and who’s feelings we experience as that character feels them.”

The author goes on to say, “This is why  it’s so important to choose the right POV character for your story. It will “determine what you tell, how you tell it and, often, even what the action means.”

As I’m working with 90 Days to Your Novel with my revisions, I have been experimenting with the following writing exercises:

1. I’ve chosen three characters from my story and I first wrote a quick scene illustrating a powerful emotion in spine tingling situations all on the same day of pivotal event which shakes up a sleepy seaside town and launches a mystery of why the captain did what he did and how he managed to disappear. This exercise taught me several things about the story. I learned what different clues each character noticed, the dejavu experiences in some and the separate unique reactions, body language cues and emotions spiraling out from this scene and character. I almost fell in love with another character’s version of the mystery and am now scratching my head. Can I drop it into the book somehow with the same impact? Again, I’m not sure but what else do I have to lose?

2. Then I took these three characters and I dropped them in the same scene per the exercise in Domet’s book on POV and character. One character experienced a life changing or mood altering paradigm. One character envied the change. Then the third character, make them natural to the situation.

3. Lastly, reflect on the differences. Write out a paragraph for each scene you review and ask these lovely questions from Domet:

  • Which perspective did you find the most natural?

  • Which perspective offers the most interesting vantage point?

  • If you started your novel today, which character would you pick to narrate the story?

Good luck with your writing. Next time I’ll let you know what I decided about my POV.

Final thought:

“You must look within for value, but must look beyond for perspective.”

~ Denis Waitley

Be at Odds with the Odds #IWSG

[I wrote this post as a member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our worries and also offer support and encouragement to each other on the first Wednesday of every month. If you’re a writer like me and you’re looking for a bit of support, you can click the link and sign up here]

This month’s awesome hosts are: Nicki Elson, Juneta Key, Tamara Narayan, and Patricia Lynne!

And thank you to founder Alex J. Cavaugh 🙂

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The odds shouldn't scare you.

In the beginning, because there is always a beginning, in my little writer’s mind I wrote for me. I wrote to prove to myself I could form words and craft paragraphs and pages of word paintings. I wrote young fantasy dreams to feel important in my little fun worlds. I wrote for acceptance, adventure and to fly because what 7-year old wouldn’t want to be a bird and let the breeze carry you far above the ground where you could see it all and feel it all so differently?

This month’s IWSG question asks: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?

Elon Musk, a brilliant businessman has it right. I wish I had it as right as he does, but we are exactly where we are supposed to be. And today, yes,  my goals have dramatically shifted. Instead of hiding my words, I want to share my worlds with young people. Instead of fearing what other’s may think, I aim to get my novels off the ground and out there and welcome helpful feedback. One thing is still true, I’ll shoot for the sky and hope for the best. I’ll work for exactly where I want to be, selling my books, teaching young kids how to dream and believe, and to do.

Goals shift. We shift. I’ll never give up though and neither should you 🙂

 

Celebrate the Small Things: Wishful Thinking and Wishes Come True

Fridays are all about celebrating the Small Things thanks to a weekly blog hop created by author Lexa Cain. Joint co-hosts this week are authors L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog The mission coincides with what I’m hoping to do with my own writing, inspire and focus on the light when those slippery shadows creep around our shoes. Want to sign up? Click Lexa Cain’s link to find out more.

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This week, I’m celebrating unseasonably hot temperatures, sailing my own imaginary seas away from the heat and hot winds, and of course real dreams with real boats with author Ellen Jacobson.

Living in Kansas City, summer can become unbearable. It’s like a mirage too because just outside the giant glass window and beyond the tall exterior of a building, the sun shines across the green grass and softly highlights all the leaves in the green trees. The breeze gently teases the bushes and the loose leaves along the sidewalk. You can’t help but sigh. Then you place your hand on the glass door of your work building on your lunch break thinking, what a lovely day.

But only for a breath. The second the door cracks open hot steamy air sucks the air from your lungs, the moisture from your skin, and clings to your blow-dried hair making you wonder, why did I even bother with my hair of all crazy hot days?

The next great question? Why am I going home on my lunch break to paint my bathroom cabinets outside in the garage in this terrible suffocating 100 degree heat?

I guess I got tired of wishing and I started doing.

Speaking of wishes in the making, I’d like to introduce a lovely gal and her lovely new book, Murder at the Marina.

I first meet Ellen Jacobson in my IWSG writers’ group after our short stories were selected to publish in the Hero Lost Anthology by Dancing Lemur Press back in 2017. I can’t believe it’s been just over a year since then. In any case, Ellen is one of the sweetest, most organized, and kindest working ladies I’ve ever met. When I learned she lived her real life on a real boat sailing the seas, my mind started spinning with possibilities, adventure and how creative and wild her life might be.

I’m also lucky enough to have a peek at the book and I’d like to share why I love it so much with you …

Mollie McGhie has been married for 10 years and is meeting her husband Scooter for a romantic dinner to celebrate their anniversary. A chocolate lover and an honest down to earth girl you wished you had as your neighbor, she is eagerly hoping for something diamond related since it is after all, ten lovely years. Every woman should get diamonds after 10 years of marriage. Instead, she finds herself on her own train of anniversary thoughts while her husband keeps dropping the name Marjorie Jane into the conversation. He doesn’t seem to see Mollie just a few feet away at the dinner table while he’s glued to his phone, studying the pictures of all things.  Who is this Marjorie Jane?

Personally, I love Mollie. I love her ability to see through the cracks and all the dirt knowing, something just isn’t right.

About the book

A dilapidated sailboat for your anniversary—not very romantic. A dead body on board—even worse.

Mollie McGhie is hoping for diamonds for her tenth wedding anniversary. Instead, her husband presents her with a dilapidated sailboat. Just one problem—she doesn’t know anything about boats, nor does she want to.

When Mollie discovers someone murdered on board, she hopes it will convince her husband that owning a boat is a bad idea. Unfortunately, he’s more determined than ever to fix the boat up and set out to sea.

Mollie finds herself drawn into the tight-knit community living at Palm Tree Marina in Coconut Cove, a small town on the Florida coast. She uncovers a crime ring dealing in stolen marine equipment, investigates an alien abduction, eats way too many chocolate bars, adopts a cat, and learns far more about sailing than she ever wanted to.

Can Mollie discover who the murderer is before her nosiness gets her killed?

A Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mystery #1

About the Author

Ellen Jacobson writes mystery and sci-fi/fantasy stories. She is the author of the “Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery” series. She lives on a sailboat with her husband, exploring the world from the water. When she isn’t working on boat projects or seeking out deserted islands, she blogs about their adventures at The Cynical Sailor.

You can connect with Ellen on:

Where can you buy it?

Murder at the Marina—A Mollie McGhie Sailing Mystery #1

Release Date: June 21, 2018

Print ISBN 978-1-7321602-1-7
eBook ISBN 978-1-7321602-0-0
Mystery

Available at:

Amazon (US) – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CHXQ29Y

Amazon (CA) – https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07CHXQ29Y

Amazon (UK) – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07CHXQ29Y

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/murder-at-the-marina

Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/murder-at-the-marina-ellen-jacobson/1128516692

Apple iBooks – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1373848719

Google Play – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Ellen_Jacobson_Murder_at_the_Marina

A Word of Advice from Ellen

A view of her real boat 🙂

I think my #1 tip for living on a boat is to be flexible and patient. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, usually at the most inopportune time. There will be times when you have to juggle your priorities to address the latest issue that crops up. Also, living in a relatively small space (our boat has probably around 400 square feet of living space) with another person means patience is often called upon. There’s not a lot of space to get away from each other.

When things get tough, I try to remind myself of all of the reasons we live on a boat – travel, adventure, an incredible community, and a simpler way of life – and remember all of the good times we’ve had on our boat. As long as the fun times outweigh the not-so-fun times, you’ll find us on board.

Stay tuned

The full review will come later this month so check out the book. You’ll love it. I sure know I do.

Should We Write the Whole Truth? #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Author Toolbox Blog Hop

The Author Toolbox Blog Hop is “a monthly blog hop on the theme of resources/learning for authors: posts related to the craft of writing, editing, querying, marketing, publishing, blogging tips for authors, reviews of author-related products, anything that an author would find helpful.” Want to jump into the writing tool box? Search #AuthorToolboxBlogHop or to join via blog, click here.

Thank you Raimey!

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When I wrote my first draft of my first novel, I went scene by scene, chapter by chapter. I wrote in a logical timeline, from Monday, Tuesday, not knowing how to get to Friday where I really wanted the conflict to begin. I had no idea there was this really cool technique called Narrative Summary, and used effectively and efficiently, may work better then walking a reader through the whole truth.

Ever told an event from your day word for word and managed to hold attention from start to finish? I’m not sure if this is possible. I admit, I’ve done it. I’ve also watched eyes wander away.

In writing, Narrative Summary is a great way to hold on to a reader’s attention with a great fast-forward bridge where the reader may not notice a skip over a course of hours, maybe days, and may also remain engrossed on the page without scanning.

So what is it, you might ask?

According to Quora, I found the perfect definition:

Narrative summary is possibly the most flexible of the various ways of presenting a story. Narrative summary doesn’t necessarily tie the author down to chronological order, the way dialog and dramatization do, nor does it require a focus on one particular aspect of the story, as description often does.

90 Day to Your Novel by Sarah Domet also states, “the narrator summarizes some events of the story for the reader, without showing the scene directly.”

Author Domet goes on to say, “you don’t have to show, in scene, how your character got from the end of chapter one to the beginning of chapter two by first getting a car, driving to the ferry, riding a ferry … then walking the rest of the way. But you will have to make clear to the reader that these changes took place.”

One of my favorite young adult books I’ve read this year and talked about multiple times is Panic, by Lauren Oliver. In one beautiful sentence Oliver transitions the reader from one Saturday to the next:

“Time tumbled, cascaded on, as though life had been set to fast-forward.”

Then she begins the next paragraph so perfectly, “Finally Saturday came, and she couldn’t avoid it anymore.”

I am so drawn in. I can see her panic, her nervous tension. And I want to read on and find out how she faces her worst fear in the next blind challenge against her peers.

One more example, you may ask?

A perfect one ends a chapter with a huge confrontational moment where our second POV main character Dodge is crushing on a girl and gives her a gift for her birthday. One he can’t afford. One he can’t stop thinking will finally show her he really cares. She’ll melt. She has to. Instead, she gives it right back and he’s so dejected he says the worst thing and they’re both sniffing back shadowed tears:

“Her eyes locked on his for a minute. He saw two dark holes, like wounds; then she whirled around and was gone.”

Thus, the chapter ends.

The next chapter begins with him home in his apartment, dreading his decision to head straight home the second he hears his mom call from the living room. To meet her new boy of the week. The father of a former classmate who had recently died. In the very game our two main characters are competing in. The entire scene is painted so we see Dodge’s awkward tension.

Oliver could have started the new chapter with the door in Dodge’s face, a slow walk down the hall, him shuffling down the steps to the street below, but she didn’t. We don’t need to watch a dejected walk of shame or the passing details of the city. Realistically, Dodge wouldn’t be paying attention to the city. Instead, Oliver shows us in the opening page of the new chapter with body language, dialogue, all the while, ramping up new conflict to peek our interest.

What can you do to try Narrative Summary?

Take out a scene you’ve stewed over. Maybe it doesn’t feel right. Maybe you’ve had comments from your beta readers, peers or editor how the action or conflict has dropped. Reread it. Seek places to summarize point A to B in a sentence. Notice the differences. Maybe try a new scene and write it out both ways. You might really like what you discover.