My friend, sometime lyricist, and most excellent editor Tom Bentley has finally released a book on writing.
Think Like a Writer: How to Write the Stories You See is both practical and entertaining. Much like its author, come to think of it.
I’ll let Tom tell you about it:
… more … “Think Like a Writer (You Want This Book)”
We finish this series with one that can provide the twist of lime that takes your cocktail over the top to immortaility.
Narrative strategy is how we choose to tell our tale, the method of conveyance and who is involved. It embodies primarily two elements: point of view, and framing.
- Point of view — Who is telling the story?
- Framing — How is the story conveyed?
Point of View
… more … “Narrative Strategy (Story Engineering and Physics #12 of 12)”
Have someone begin reading to you from the middle of a book. See if you can tell who wrote it.
When you hear a familiar voice on the phone you know who it is before they’ve said anything significant. You recognize their voice.
When you read the opening words of a book, before anything happens, before it’s even clear what genre it is, you’re hearing the author’s voice.
Think of Dr. Seuss. Raymond Chandler. James Joyce. Those are extreme examples, but it’s impossible to deny their distinctive voices.
Consider Dan Brown, Maeve Binchy, Isaac Asimov, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Again, if you read their stuff, you could probably pick out a sample of their writing just because of how it sounds.
Voice is best when it comes naturally.
Most writers ruin their voice by failing that simple test: naturalness. … more … “Writing Voice (Story Engineering and Physics #6 of 12)”
Just as musicians don’t always make great actors, as any music video will show you, actors don’t always make great writers. Here’s an exception: The Making of the African Queen.
Katherine Hepburn’s account of the making of The African Queen is priceless, not just because of the story it tells, but because it is memoir done right. It doesn’t attempt to tell her life story as if it were an autobiography. It is simply a memoir of a particular event.
… more … “Katherine Hepburn: How I Went to Africa With Bogart, Bacall and Huston, and Almost Lost My Mind”
There are more books than you could read in a hundred years, even if that’s all you ever did. In a way, books are a commodity.
The firehose-stream of new books, both independent and traditionally published, makes individual books even harder to distinguish. Your only hope of being found is to focus relentlessly on the 1% which makes your book unique.
I’m not suggesting that you find a way to convince people that your book is unlike anything which has ever come before. If you’ve written a murder mystery, your book is 99% like every murder mystery since Poe invented the genre. If your book is a historical romance, ditto.
… more … “Books are 99% Commodity — Sell the Other 1%”
Replying to my newsletter signup welcome email, Rory asked about finding his blogging voice. My writing voice came so naturally to me that I had been writing for years before I met an aspiring writer who needed help finding their own.
To be sure we’re all talking about the same thing: “voice” is the unique way each of us makes word choices, uses syntax and punctuation and pacing, and blends and balances dialog and exposition.
While few of us will ever have the instantly identifiable voice of Raymond Chandler or Dr. Seuss, our fans should find something unique to recognize in our writing just as our loved ones recognize our voice, even through the heavily compressed medium of telephone voice services.
A few points about finding your voice:
… more … “6 Tools to Help You Find and Develop Your Blogging Voice”