Another varied bunch of helpful delights for you this week, with some interesting topics for you to ponder: a firefighter’s guide to fighting dragons, loglines and pitches, multimedia books, and writing character thoughts.
A Firefighter’s Guide to Fighting Dragons by Sean Grigsby for Tor.com
Tor is always providing intriguing little articles, and here’s another. Firefighters v dragons. Who would be victorious? Author Sean Grigsby, a firefighter himself, deconstructs this face-off and provides some invaluable insights into taking down toothy man-eaters.
“For fire to exist, it has to have every component in what is called the fire tetrahedron. Fire needs fuel, heat, oxygen, and a chemical chain reaction. If you take out any one of those, the fire is whooped.”
Sean provides a six-step plan of attack: evacuate and rescue, isolate the dragon, be aggressive, teamwork, knowing when to bail, and the job we all hate doing: cleaning up. You’ll certainly find some inspiration for your own fantasy stories.
“I consider fire to be a living, breathing thing. It kills and eats. It ruins lives and rips families apart—just like a dragon.”
A fun and interesting article and well worth checking out!
Loglines and Pitches — How to Reduce Your Book to a Sentence by Erica Verillo for The Writing Cooperative
Do you struggle to summarise your stories? I know I do. If someone asks me to give them an elevator pitch my mind blanks.
This article by Erica Verillo tackles the problem head-on, giving us an interesting insight into the world of ‘loglines’.
“Loglines, I discovered, were a way of pitching movie ideas when a filmmaker only has a minute (or less) to pitch an idea to a producer. In brief (no pun intended), a logline is a one- or two-sentence summary of your book’s plot.”
Erica provides some very helpful examples. The magic formula for a logline appears to involve: the main character, a goal, and a source of conflict.
More help is on hand. Erica kindly links to two logline generators: Killogator and the YA Writer’s Toolbox. All you have to do is answer a few questions and the generators give you several pitches. Wunderbar!
Should Indie Authors Beware or Rejoice? By Gina Burgess for Authors Community
The world of publishing is going through a turbulent time as it tries to adjust to advances in technology. The issues have not been lost on some, such as Russ Grandinette of Amazon:
“To thrive, [I] believe publishers have to reimagine the book as multimedia entertainment.”
And he’s not alone:
“David Rosenthal, the publisher of Simon & Schuster, says that his company is racing ‘to embed audio and video and other value-added features in e-books. It could be an author discussing his book, or a clip from a movie that touches on the book’s topic.”
Devices like the iPad and Kindle mean we no longer have to read a static book. Could embedding videos or music into eBooks work?
Gina Burgess explores this in her excellent article. The big publishers are ‘racing’ to do it. Fewer people read and there’s an increasing shift toward visual entertainment. Could this change the fate of books? Evolving, just like we did, to survive? But surely the beauty of the book, it’s very nature, lies in words alone. A tricky one. What do you think?
5 Ways to Write Character Thoughts Worth More Than a Penny by K.M. Weiland for Helping Writers Become Authors
Writing character thoughts, as bestselling author K.M. Weiland argues, is one of the hardest things to master.
One of the benefits of the written form as opposed to other more visual art forms is the fact that we can explore the thoughts of characters. Readers enjoy it. I know I do.
“Interesting internal narrative, when appropriately balanced with action and dialogue, is the lifeblood of any story.”
In her snappy article, Weiland explores five of the best techniques she’s come across to help achieve beautiful introspection, such as letting your characters think; revealing personality with word choice (“Authors should be so in tune with the nuances of their character’s personality that the character’s voice on the page offers an inherently unique ring”); showing personality through how characters view the world; developing character arcs through thoughts; and using the likes of structure to illustrate thoughts. This last point is very important. If done badly, it can disrupt the reader’s flow.
What techniques have you found helpful to write character’s thoughts?
Thank you to all of the writers featured in today’s article for their excellent content. It really makes our lives much easier having these helpful resources at our disposal.
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