Showing posts with label Harpies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harpies. Show all posts

Monday, August 6, 2012

Basic Writing : From Pre-Writing to Editing



Basic Writing : From Pre-Writing to Editing


Pre-Writing
Concept/Idea (Brainstorm about chosen idea. Write everything that comes to mind.)

Conflict/Problem (Without a problem there is no story. Be sure the problem is solvable.)
            Possible Conflicts: man vs man, man vs nature, man vs self, man vs society, man vs circumstances

Characters (No more than 7 main; the story becomes unmanageable and readers lose track.
 Devise: Names, Personalities, Relationships, Appearances, What makes them special.)

Plot (Devise 3 attempts to solve the problem. Then figure out why they won't work?)

Solution/Climax (How does the main character solve the problem? Is it reasonable as you’ve written her/him?)

Conclusion (Wrap up loose ends with all of the characters.)

Also Pre-Writing
Opening-be sure your beginning snatches the reader’s attention (pull action from within the story then go back and begin at the beginning to catch the reader up)

1st Plot Point-main character discovers there is a problem

2nd Plot Point-main character feels threatened but unsure what to do

3rd Plot Point-problem is at its worst and seems hopeless THEN main character figures out what to do

Climax-problem or antagonist pulls out all the stops to ‘get’ main character

Denouement-main character about to give-in then finds courage and knowledge to solve the problem

Resolution-main character ends the problem for good then wraps up loose ends with other characters

Writing
There are two main types of writers, although many of us fall into combo categories:  Planners and Pantsers.

Planners don’t write until they have a basic outline of how the story will unravel. Some even outline each chapter. Planning doesn’t mean you can’t change something, or add more while writing a chapter. It simply helps you remember everything you wanted to include in the story. (This is how I write.)

            Pantsers (writing by the seat of your pants) begin writing and don’t stop until the story is told. This technique is very popular but requires extreme editing and revising. It also allows for free flow of imagination and creativity. (This is how Odessa came out and why it needed (and still needs) so much revising/editing.)

New paragraph for each new thought or idea or speaker.

Use quotation marks around the “words” spoken by the character. Instead of dialogue tags (he said, she remarked) use action. (His gaze flicked away from her face. Her voice dropped so low he could barely hear her.)
Each speaker requires a new paragraph.

Watch verb tenses: if you start in the past keep all of your verbs past tense; if you write in the present tense make sure they are all present tense verbs.

            Right-He ran down the road then stopped at the intersection.
            Wrong-He ran down the road then stops at the intersection.

Present tense is seldom used. I find present tense confusing and disarming. You are telling a story that occurred in the past, so use past tense verbs.
Watch out for point of view (POV).

            POV confuses a lot of beginning writers. It means knowing what a character is thinking or planning. Knowing their viewpoint.

            Many MG stories are generally told in third person while many YA books these days are in first person. HOWEVER, there is no rule about this. Write the story in whoever's point of view you wish--just keep it balanced.

 If writing in the first person (I, me, my , we, our) you CANNOT know what others are thinking or planning.  It takes a lot of dialogue to understand others’ thoughts or desires.

·        The only way to know what everyone is thinking is to use third person omniscient.
·        But be careful because even that gets tricky.
·        If you switch POV, be sure to designate it with a space or asterisks *****.
·        Never change POV inside the same paragraph (called mind hopping, it becomes very confusing).

Beware of ‘Purple Prose’. This is highly descriptive writing that may sound awesome but sometimes does nothing to promote the story. You should have some description so the reader can visualize what the character is sensing, just don’t go overboard.

Every word, action or dialogue should propel the story forward. If you have chapters or even paragraphs for character development alone, remove them. Chapters with too much description of surroundings or too much backstory/history get boring and readers will skip ahead anyway so edit down to only what is necessary to tell the story.

Don’t tell too much of the story up front. Let out the line slowly, keep most of the story as a mystery with clues until the climax when you can reveal more. Too much too soon and the reader loses interest in the story.

Revising
Don’t be afraid to revise, revise, revise. Get feedback from others and make changes to your story that YOU think will improve it. NO ONE writes the perfect story the first time.

My first book, Odessa, was revised about 8 times and even after publication I'm itching to revise it again because by five books later my writing has improved so much I'm no longer happy with Odessa.

Let your story sit on a shelf for several weeks or a month. Work on another project. Then reread the story and errors, misspellings, weak characters, weak plot lines, etc will jump out at you.

Editing
Once you have the story to a level you are happy with it is time to edit.
Remove as many adverbs as possible and replace them with stronger verbs. To locate adverbs easily, highlight them using the ‘replace’ box in the ‘editing’ box of MS Word. Highlight –ly and most adverbs will appear. Read through and eliminate as many as you can.

Highlight the following words in the entire manuscript then go through removing or replacing them with more powerful words/phrases:
AND
THAT
SAID (or ANY speech tags-replace with action)
any word you see repeated often

Remove as many adjectives as you can. Do not use duplicate adjectives such as “very beautiful”. If something is beautiful that is enough. Very becomes redundant. Better yet, describe HOW it is beautiful without using the word. Beauty is subjective.

WEAK: The river was beautiful that morning.
BETTER: Sun rays leaking through the early morning mist, lent the river a mystic quality.

Use Spell Check and look-up words that are misspelled.
Pay attention to punctuation. If you’re not sure about its usage this website will help  http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/566/01 .

Probably MOST IMPORTANTLY--learn from your editor. My first book, Odessa, looked like a dying warrior after a lengthy battle with dragons--it was covered with red gashes. My latest book, ending edits now and soon to be released (Harpies Book Two of Seraphym Wars Series) looked as though it had taken a short walk through nice woods--a couple of little scratches! Even my editor was surprised and happy with my writing progress. So the bottom line is this--make notes of your mistakes then PRE-EDIT after your final revision. You'll save your editor a lot of time and frustration and yourself money and embarrassment. 

Here's a little blurb about Harpies. Watch my website for its release: Under the Hat of MG/YA Dark Fantasy Author Rebecca Ryals Russell



Transported to a planet he'd never heard of was the least of fifteen-year-old Griffen's problems. Learning to control his suddenly increasing strength and new ability to pull lightning from the sky takes some getting used to.  Angry preteen Seth joins the quest; meanwhile discovering his combusting ability as a fire-starter. Driven to find the last Vigorio, a young girl able to experience others' emotions, they journey together toward their destinies as warriors against Narciss, Ruler of Tartarus and his Legio of demon-dragons. Narciss’s Harpy henchmen have other ideas, however.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

103 Synonyms for ANGER or ANGRY



Sometimes certain words keep popping up in your manuscript and you wish there were other forms of the word you could substitute. Or maybe you’re looking for a more specific term for the basic word you have in mind. Well, if the word you’re using is ANGER or ANGRY, here are 103 useful alternatives:

1.         Acrid: extremely harsh (or an unpleasant taste or smell)
2.         Acrimonious: harshly unpleasant
3.         Aggravated: angrily agitated
4.         Angered: made angry
5.         Annoyed: angry about being disturbed
6.         Antagonistic: angrily opposed
7.         Antipathetic: expressing aggression or aversion
8.         Apoplectic: violently angry, from the word apoplexy, meaning having a stroke
9.         Ballistic: explosively angry, from the word meaning projectile flight
10.       Bellicose: aggressively angry, from the synonym for warlike
11.       Belligerent: see bellicose
12.       Bent out of shape: as in stooped over while screaming
13.       Beside oneself: seeming out of character
14.       Bitter: resentful
15.       Blue in the face: see frustrated, from the idea of facial discoloration caused by extreme emotion
16.       Boiling: extremely angry, meaning being agitated like heated water
17.       Bristling: defensively angry, like an animal’s hair bristling as it responds to a threat
18.       Burning: extremely angry, from the body overheating due to intense feeling
19.       Caustic: cruelly angry, or sarcastic
20.       Chagrin: distress caused by humiliation or failure
21.       Cheesed off: see frustrated (also “bored” or “disgusted”)
22.       Choleric: easily angered
23.       Churlish: disrespectfully angry
24.       Cold: emotionally remote anger
25.       Contrary: uncooperatively angry
26.       Cool: angry but emotions are held in check
27.       Cross
28.       Disgruntlement: ill-humored or discontented
29.       Discontent
30.       Displeasure
31.       Embittered: made upset
32.       Enraged: violently angry
33.       Exasperated: see frustrated
34.       Fired up: see hot
35.       Fit to be tied: extremely angry, suggesting that the angry person should be restrained
36.       Flare up: so angry you might turn into fire
37.       Fly off the handle: refers to loose ax head flying off the handle when swung
38.       Foaming: so angry as to suggest insanity caused by hydrophobia (rabies), as in foaming at the mouth is symptomatic of the disease
39.       Frustrated: upset due to obstacles or challenges
40.       Fuming: extremely angry, from the association of a volcano or other heated natural phenomenon
41.       Fury: destructive rage; refers to mythic Furies (avenging Greek deities who torment criminals and inflict plagues)
42.       Furious: intensely angry
43.       Galled: fret or wear by friction; become sore from rubbing
44.       Go berserk: ancient Scandinavian warrior frenzied in battle and held to be invulnerable
45.       Going crook: losing one’s temper
46.       Hopping: jumping up and down to express anger
47.       Hopping mad: see hopping
48.       Horn-mad: extremely angry
49.       Hostile: actively intimidating, unfriendly, or resistant
50.       Hot: physical discomfort caused by anger
51.       Hot under the collar: see hot
52.       Icy: see cold
53.       Impassioned
54.       In a lather: referring to ‘lathering at the mouth’ from Rabies
55.       In high dudgeon: state of indignation
56.       Incensed: see indignant
57.       Indignant: angry because of a real or perceived slight or unjust attack
58.       Inflamed: see hot
59.       Infuriated: see furious
60.       Incense: set on fire
61.       Irascibility: easily provoked anger
62.       Irate: see furious
63.       Ireful: see irate
64.       Irk: irritate
65.       Livid: intensely angry to the point of being unable to control oneself (livid, however, can also mean “bruised,” “pale,” or “colorful,” with the second sense associated with pain, shock, or fear)
66.       Mad: insane or crazy; also used to mean angry as in unable to think clearly due to madness
67.       Malcontent: displeased
68.       Outraged: angry about an offense
69.       Passionate: easily angered
70.       Peeve: resentful
71.       Perturbed: upset (or confused)
72.       Pissed off: aggravated
73.       Piqued: aroused through provocation
74.       Provoke: arouse to feeling or action
75.       Rabid: see foaming
76.       Raging: see furious
77.       Rancorous: malevolently angry
78.       Rankled: resentful
79.       Ranting: irrationally angry
80.       Raving: see ranting
81.       Riled: upset; quickened heartbeat
82.       Roiled: see riled
83.       Ruffled feathers: as in a bird’s raised feathers to intimidate
84.       Seeing red: so angry that one’s vision is blurred by excess blood flow in the eyes
85.       Seething: repressing violent anger
86.       Shirty: British for irritated
87.       Smoldering: see seething
88.       Sore: see indignant
89.       Soreheaded: see indignant
90.       Steamed: see hot
91.       Steaming: see hot
92.       Storming: anger suggestive of stormy weather
93.       Stormy: see storming
94.       Teed off: annoyed
95.       Tetchiness: (tetchy) another form of touchy or irritable
96.       Testiness: easily annoyed
97.       Ticked: angry; also “ticked off”
98.       Vexation: troubling
99.       Vitriolic: see caustic
100.     Worked up: upset
101.     Wrathful: see furious
102.     Wroth: see furious
103.     Wrought up: see “worked up”

Rebecca Ryals Russell.




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