#writinglessons: Wonder Woman

I recently watched the Wonder Woman movie and …

The movie was very simple – no complex plots to decipher – and it was just long enough. It had action, a tiny amount of romance (you could have missed it if you weren’t paying attention), a big bad and lots of chuckles brought on by interesting characters and situations.

What stuck out for me?

I like that at all times, Diana reacted as expected given the cultural difference between where she came from, Themyscira, and World War I Europe. Her home only has women and warrior women at that, so of course, she’d be confused by having to wear heels and not being allowed to engage in significant discourse simply because of her gender.

And that comment about secretaries?

 

hahaha! No, I won’t spoil it for ya.

That consistent behavior from the character made it easy to stay glued to the story and not get distracted by other aspects of the movie, such as wondering how exactly that truth lasso works. As a writer, I must remember that a character’s reactions must make sense given the surrounding circumstances. They must react to the world and the people around them the way we all expect them to unless there’s a good and digestible reason for that not to be the case. If not, we end up with readers who are unable to suspend their disbelief and enjoy the story.

For instance, a beta reader pointed out that the emotional reaction of one of my characters in The Paladin was shocking and that threw her out of the story.  I therefore had to go through the book and make sure to plant clues that help explain the outburst when it finally happens. Failure to help readers digest such intricate parts of a tale can lead to disappointment and disbelief later on. And when that happens, the reader is more apt to put down my book for another one which is no bueno.

Another part of the movie I liked was how (semi-spoiler alert!) there were at least two obvious big bads but at the end of the movie, they switched things up and it was good. I will say, I suspected the eventual big bad though – the benefit of being a sneaky writer who likes to surprise readers, hehe.

Anyway, this tactic kept viewers (like myself) guessing all the way to the end and that keeps their interest. Obscuring the big bad in the story is a tool I used in THE PURSUAL and it was so rewarding to have readers declare their shock. The surprises were not obvious but made sense. I can only hope I successfully repeat such a feat in another book in the future.

If you are wondering whether or not to go see Wonder Woman, I say do it. Get some popcorn, a fizzy drink and enjoy a good time.

Check out my other posts in the #writinglessons Series –

  1. #WritingLessons from Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens
  2. #WritingLessons from Nollywood
  3. #writinglessons from Independence Day Resurgence
  4. #writinglessons: Mike & Dave Need Dates
  5. #writinglessons: Star Trek Beyond

Till next time, (1)

#Writinglessons: Embarrassment – A Storytelling Device

Empire is one of the scripted television shows that I enjoy watching. Check out my post on the shows I indulged in last year. The show is a combination of several things I enjoy watching – it’s got a lot of drama, high levels of family conflict (I grew up watching Dallas with my mom in the ’80s), ratchet galore (uh, I watch LHH and the Real Housewives franchise) and fabulous clothes!

Continue reading “#Writinglessons: Embarrassment – A Storytelling Device”

Struggling with the sin of Passive Voice

Yup, that image describes me to a T right now. Well, not really because my hair is in a bun but you know what I mean.

I’m currently fighting against the sin of passive voice. Some instances escaped the last few edits and so here I am trying to eliminate them one by one.

Passive voice occurs in writing when the subject of the sentence is acted on by the verb. It’s the opposite of active voice where the subject of the sentence performs the action or the verb. Continue reading “Struggling with the sin of Passive Voice”

#Editingtip: Kill Your Echoes

No matter how many words you know in the English language, you’re bound to use a handful over and over again. I’ve never been so aware of this as the hours tick down to the release of my first book, The Pursual. These words can become echoes in your story – words that jump off the page to the reader. And not in a good way. Some words will always disappear when a reader sees them. Think of he, she, says, said, a etc. Those words are used so often in the English language that they aren’t special anymore. We don’t notice them in a sentence most times.

Echoes are words that haven’t achieved that ‘disappearing’ status and thus stand out when you read them. When they stand out, they pull the reader from being in the story, making her blink and say to herself, “Didn’t he just use that word a few paragraphs ago?”

Image result for CONFUSED GIF Continue reading “#Editingtip: Kill Your Echoes”

Learning & Loving Story Archetypes

When author and writing guru (can I call her that) Becca Puglisi makes a recommendation, I daresay it’s a good idea to consider it. And that’s how I ended up at Sara LeTourneau’s website and Archetypes.com learning about character archetypes.

Continue reading “Learning & Loving Story Archetypes”

#writinglessons: Mike & Dave Need Dates

Have you ever watched a movie that you’ve wanted to turn off once or twice but then you somehow managed to watch it to the end?

I’ve done that before. The first time (as far as I can recall) was Showgirls. Have you seen that movie? It’s so bad that it’s awesome! I even re-watched it with a friend some years ago.

Anyway enough of being sidetracked.

The last movie I watched but wanted to quit was Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates. It was bad. As in. Truly. Really. Honestly. Bad.
Image result for Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates

My Fave (scripted) TV Shows of 2016

I suspect there’s a different version of me. The one who’d rather watch a tv or movie adaptation than read the book on which the production was based. Yes, I watched the Dune films instead of simply reading the books. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Game of Thrones books, but will probably never sink into those hefty tomes. The one exception has been The Expanse by James S.A. Corey and yes, the books are much better than the tv show, which is excellent!

I’ve greatly enjoyed watching television in 2016. Frankly, my increased consumption of scripted tv shows was in an effort to better understand the art of storytelling. My hope was that this would translate into better writing for me. I think it has but even if it hasn’t, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy some good quality tv!

So, what have I spent my year watching? (Warning: Pic heavy thread coming) Continue reading “My Fave (scripted) TV Shows of 2016”

The Pursual: A Book Cover

I noted in an earlier post that my Book 1 of the Nome Chronicles – The Pursual – has a cover. It’s lovely, if I may say so myself. The people over at Deranged Doctor Design (DDD) were extremely patient with me as I knew what I wanted but couldn’t always explain it adequately.

That cover was the culmination of me spending months agonizing over what it should look like. Late nights spent poring over covers in my genre – YA SFF – and studying everything I could get my hands on about cover art at Kboards and elsewhere.

So, what does my cover look like? Continue reading “The Pursual: A Book Cover”

2016: My Year in Books! Part 2

I’m going to carry on with my book reads this year. So without further ado, here are the remaining books I devoured in 2016.

The Scarlet Thread by D.S. Murphy

Blame this guy for my having listened to Fallen in audiobook lol! He apparently advertised The Scarlet Thread by piggybacking on the upcoming Fallen movie. He didn’t say go read Fallen but reading his advertising approach caused me to read both that book as well as his short story, The Scarlet Thread. I enjoyed his story, fortunately and will look out for the full novel when it comes out. The characters he created were interesting, the universe was intriguing and I’m sure the longer piece will be only better. Oh, and I’m truly jealous that he created his own stunning cover.

Image result for the scarlet thread d.s. murphy

Continue reading “2016: My Year in Books! Part 2”

#writingbiz: Mailing Lists – Don’t Overdo It

Mailing lists are extremely important for authors be they traditional or self published. Being able to directly contact a reader allows for affordable and effective marketing, which is essential for small business owners like self published authors.

As wonderful as a mailing list can be, it can also become a problem for not just the sender (in this case, the author) but also, the recipient.

And that’s the point of this here post.

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