Thursday, 30 December 2010

7 SLABS TO LEVEL THE ROAD TO PUBLICATION

In the journey towards publication, economy and clarity are the satnav and the roadmap. Without both you will be wandering in the wilderness, I don't know about you, but I don't have forty years to spare. 

That is my dramatic concept, all the rest is the tarmacadam that levels the perilous road to writing success:
  • Dramatic Concept

          This is the place to start the journey of 30,000 to 130,000 words. Can you sum up your idea in a few sentences? Once you can, it is the time to start.
  • Outline

          This can be as detailed as you need it to be. Create a framework. Know your start and the end. The planning isn’t set in concrete; feel free to modify it as you go along.
  • Point-of-View

          Limit the number of brains you expect your reader to enter. Like Buffy, in Earshot, following everyone’s thoughts can drive a person crazy. Decide whose point of view you are going to use in a particular scene and stick with it.
  • Dialogue

          Writer Beware! Do people really talk that way? Stilted conversations – especially ones that dump information, from a distance – should be rewritten. Read the dialogue aloud. Make sure it sounds real.
  • Conflict

          Every story needs conflict: internal or external tension is what makes people turn the pages in the first place.
  • Escalation

          Your novel should read like a map of the Himalayas. Claw your way up to a critical peak, then push your character over the edge.
  • Show it (then you can tell us why)

          Neve was too tired to stand?

          Sickly resin glued her cheek to the tree. Tinny ringing filled her head. She encouraged it. Let it swell until it was the only sound she heard. The forest faded to milky-white in the grim dawn. Neve’s legs tremored. Her knees unlocked and she shattered.

I've been trapped into a loop of family and DIY projects, then Neve turned up; she is my one writerly achievement of the holiday. The idea is adult fiction. A rare thing: a dream idea - what a clich√© ;)

HOW MUCH WRITING HAVE YOU MANAGED THIS HOLIDAY? ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO TERM TIME TOO? :) 

6 comments:

  1. I have completed very little writing. what i have done has been for blogfests, I'm mostly spending time with my kids this week. Then after Sunday they will be with their dad for a week and I can get some critiquing in and writing.

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  2. Hi Summer
    I'm impressed, with little ones to celebrate Christmas with that you got anything-very-much written ;) I hope you enjoy your free time and can submerse yourself in the writing. I got the odd Blog post written.

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  3. Hi Elaine, I am struggling with my post Christmas blues and haven't gotten much writing done. Add to that the weather has turned bitter and snowy. Not unexpected for Denver in December but it always gets me down. I hope to get some writing done this weekend and that is definitely one of my New Year's goals but today I would be happy to write a blog post.

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  4. Hi Danette
    The SAD-light season! A little sunlight would be appreciated here too. After two weeks with snow on the ground it seems strange to see green again.Good luck with your writing goals.

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  5. I only started to write yesterday and plan to finish my first draft (approx 5K words) before I go back to work. As always, I'm hoping that I'll be really disciplined next year, but we shall see!

    Hope you have a great writing year in 2011. Happy New Year Elaine!

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  6. Hi Melissa
    Good luck with the new wip; here's too the rewards of discipline! ;)

    Thanks for the good wishes - thankfully I'm planning to do more than hope for the best. 2011 is a crucial year.

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