November 30, 2012

Writing The Last Chapter

Here it is ladies and gentleman the chapter we have all been waiting for!

Chapter Twenty (or the final chapter of any book) is what you have been building up for ever since Chapter Ten (the middle of the book). This is when the climax is at its peak, all the secrets that your characters have been keeping are out in the open, and the bad guy is finally revealed!

Now is the moment to unleash that big, final event that you have been keeping locked up in her mind. Let your fingers run free upon the keyboard. Let your pen spill excited ink all over your paper. Set your muse free!

For a mystery, your detective knows, without a shadow of a doubt, who the culprit is. And they are taking him/her down! Make this event something that will make your readers catch their breath and hold it until your detective has the murderer in cuffs. This may be the end, but that doesn’t give you permission to skimp on the suspense now. Add as much suspense, fear, and gore as you want.

For a romance, have your lovebirds declare their love, if they haven’t already. Let them shout it from the rooftops! After everything that has happened in your book, and all that you put them through, they deserve their happily ever after!

For a thriller (horror, supernatural, etc.), bring on the battle! Now is the time for the protagonist and antagonist to have their final duel to the death. Use the action tips from blog # 25 (How To Write Action) to help you write an epic fight. Let blood spill and bones break. You can even trick your readers into believing that the protagonist may not win after all.

In other words, light the fuse for the deadly explosions and/or romantic fireworks because this is it! Do not hold back! Make your readers proud to have found such an excellent book, and make your characters proud to be in your novel.

SHARE: A few details about the climax of your book.

November 23, 2012

Review Your Story; The Finale Is Coming

You’ve finished writing the chapters that lead to the big finale of your book, and you can’t wait to dive right into the ending.

But wait! Take a brief pause before continuing so you can review what you’ve written thus far. You don’t have to read every sentence from the beginning, but checking your plot to make sure your book is on track, and that you haven’t left anything important out, is great practice.

It would be disappointing for a reader if your story suddenly jumped from one story to a different one midway through the book. Make sure that every event, big or small, links together perfectly to create a whole. 

The story needs to flow from beginning to end. There can’t be lazy detours to reach the end faster that leaves questions unanswered, or roads that became a dead end. Once you start writing a plot twist or event, finish it and make sure the rest of the book hasn’t forgotten about it.

Reviewing your work is a great way to find things that you might have forgotten you added, or even characters that were in the beginning but faded away. Now is a great time to incorporate those characters back into the story and expand on parts that need more attention. 

Don’t forget that everything you have written, and everything you add or fix, has to make sense to the story and the ending you need to write.

Now hustle. Your characters are waiting for the climax.

QUESTION: Are you happy about the outcome of your book so far? You should be!

November 16, 2012

Reaching "THE END"

When you sense that you are getting closer to writing “The End” and according to your plot, you only have a few more events to write, then this is the moment when the intensity of your book must heighten to new and higher levels.

Chapters Seventeen, Eighteen, and Nineteen are meant to do just that. These chapters contain the last blasts of excitement before the finale, which is Chapter Twenty.

(Remember: your chapter numbers do not have to be identical with my previous statement. This is just a simple format for most books. Regardless of what chapter number your book will end on, the role of the two or three chapters before it is to raise the suspense, thrill, and/or romance. The first book in my series actually ended on Chapter Thirty-One. There are no rules for how long/short or how many chapters you can have in your book. It is your choice!)

For a mystery, your detective at this point is right on the heels of the suspect that has been murdering people during the course of your book. During these last few chapters your detective should be at the murderer’s doorstep, maybe even literally. The danger must be so intense that the book will pulse with a heartbeat in the reader’s hands.

For a romance, your two characters at this moment should finally accept their feelings about each other, even if they don’t exactly voice them yet. If they already have expressed their undying love for one another, perhaps something happens that could threaten to tear them apart forever. Until the last chapter that is. Unless you’re one of those romance writers who like tragic endings...?

For a thriller (horror, supernatural, etc.), the protagonist must be on the cusp of conquering his or her goal. Now is the time for battles. Now is the time for good to come face to face with evil. Now is the time for the world to hang on the balance of extinction.

But save the fireworks and explosion for Chapter Twenty!

QUESTION: What book(s) have you read that had the most exciting chapters leading up to the climax?

November 09, 2012

Five Tips To Spice Up Your Writing

You can spice up your writing the normal way with clever similes and metaphors, interesting words, and neat adjectives, or you can do it the extraordinary way.

Here are five tips on how to spice up your writing:

1. Poetry is an excellent way to add something special to your book. If it’s relevant to the story and your characters feelings, you can include a poem or a few lines of one you’ve written in your manuscript. When using a famous poem, be careful of plagiarism. If you want to publish your book, you’ll have to get permission to use another’s work.

2. Similar to using poetry to liven up your story with emotion, lyrics to a song can provide the same effect. For my first book, I used a song for an event that involved my protagonist going undercover during a musical concert, and the song that the band sang was one that I wrote specifically for my book.

3. Philosophy intrigues us and adds a bit of intellect to our writing. Use famous philosophy that relates to your story, or even use your own. Whatever topic you’re writing about you probably have your own philosophy about it. This is your perfect chance to share it with the world, or at least your readers, but don’t push your opinion on them. There’s nothing more annoying or rude than a writer who forces their opinion on a reader.

4. Tidbits of history can be fascinating –especially if it is similar to what is going on in your story. Mentioning a person who made an impact on the world we live in today can also spark interest (especially if they were involved in something that is an important topic in your story). As far as history goes, don't exclude mythology.  

5. There are facts and statistics about everything from animals to crimes. Include interesting facts related to your story to spice up your writing, such as psychology. Who wouldn't want the chance to teach a reader something that they may not know while also entertaining them? I wouldn't!

SHARE: Your techniques that you use to spice up your writing.

November 02, 2012

Write Full Days

Each morning we wake up, we go through our daily lives, and each night we go to sleep to start the cycle all over again for 365 days a year, and every year after that.

When you’re writing, don’t just jump from event to event. Your detailed plan may be compiled of events that make up the beginning, middle, and end of your book, but merely writing those events is not a story. You need to have moments in-between those events to give your readers time to breathe and think. There needs to be dialogue and character building.

Just as we live day-to-day, have your main character live day-to-day, too. You don’t necessarily have to begin each chapter with the protagonist getting out of bed and end each chapter with them jumping back into it. After all, several chapters can be for a single day. However, you’ll want to follow your character’s life to make the story real, to give it substance, and to also avoid confusion over the timeline.

Whatever you do, don’t write hour to hour. A reader doesn’t have to know everything about your protagonists’ morning routine or each meal they eat, unless it is essential to the story. You can still give the illusion of a full day by using phrases like “In the morning” or “At dinnertime.” A simple way to show this is by starting a new chapter with a transitional phrase and then continuing the story.

Another trick is to cleverly hint at the time of day in your writing. Is the sun rising or setting? Is the sky ebony? Are morning birds chirping? Is it time for your protagonist’s two o’clock cup of coffee or chocolate hit? Use these things create a timeline.

As you write through your character’s days and the events in your outline, you’ll start to see a story taking place. That’s the goal.

QUESTION: What literary character’s life do you enjoy following the most?