The other side of the page

Links to things having to do with the technical side of writing, i.e. craft, because there are readers on the side.

Posts:

Helpful resources:

  • I think Marcy Kennedy’s Deep Point of View (Busy Writer’s Guides Book 9) is the most “technical” book on the technique called “deep PoV” or “deep penetration third person” or “close third person.” The thing to keep in mind is that it’s a technique, just like showing, telling, passive voice, etc., not a type of viewpoint like First Person or Third Person. This book is very helpful in understanding narrative distance, i.e. how much inside a viewpoint character’s head you as a writer are placing a reader at any given point.
  • My other favorites on craft are Orson Scott Card’s Characters & Viewpoint (Elements of Fiction Writing) and Nancy Kress’s Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Dynamic Characters and Effective Viewpoints (Write Great Fiction). Both of these are broader in scope than Kennedy’s book, but all three of these books are worth your time if you’re interested in this aspect of craft.
  • Dean Wesley Smith’s online courses, go above and beyond. I can’t say enough good things about them without gushing like a school-girl, which would be embarrassing for everyone involved (see, I’m thinking about the reader on the other side of my words). It would NOT be hyperbole to say that his book Writing into the Dark: How to Write a Novel without an Outline (WMG Writer’s Guides) (Volume 9) saved my sanity and that if I hadn’t come across it when I did, I’d have given up writing.
  • The The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression is also a good resource. Telling a reader that a character is scared/sad/angry/etc. is boring. Whenever possible, showing those emotions and letting the reader come to the conclusion, involves the reader in the story. He’s an active participant. This book not only gives you physical beats, but by combining physical (external and internal) beats with actions (also listed) it makes it easier to show. I have a saved search in Scrivener for emotion words. I used to run the search and then I look at whether or not it’s better to show rather than tell. I’ve done it often enough now that it’s become more automatic. Every once in awhile, when I’m stuck, I refer back to it, but not as much as I used to. Surprise! I can be taught.
  • Another great resource, especially for those struggling with sentence variety, is the The Art of Styling Sentences.
  • Want to show more, tell less, and stop yanking your reader out of the story for a report? Then get rid of unneeded filters. Here are some good resources: