Writing you novel, and looking for the best way to keep your readers interested??? Here are a few aspects that I always try to include… fighting, funny, and fu- … uh, I mean loving.. 😛 loving from friendships to love of your life. Bring you story to life with emotions.
Finding the words to make you Novel memorable!!
The easiest way to write about something is to know it inside and out. If you want to understand the inner workings of the restaurant business??? Want to be able to describe the feeling of flying through the air??? How about explaining the reality of living on a horse ranch???
Watch, Ask, and Do!!! Stalk local restaurants, pull out your pad and pen as you interview anyone that will stand still long enough, and see if you can help out in the kitchen (get hired on a month/summer basis). Take a flying lesson and do all you can to learn the ropes. Lasso yourself a cowboy and … Sorry, got distracted by the thought of cowboys and lassos, but I think you get the picture. Do anything and everything you can think of to learn the feel, the taste, the sounds, the smells, and the sights of the world you want to create.
But what happens when you want to add a little sexual tension to your novel? How about those full blown sex scenes?? And not just the act of sex… the emotions behind either the attraction to another, or the feelings before, during, and after. How does your character’s mindset change because of the thought or the act of intimacy.
Some of the things we add to our novels are either impractical or impossible for us to learn about first hand. Remember that song Can’t Buy Me Love?? Well, you can’t force a love connection just to learn what it feels like. You might not want to try out some of the bedroom gymnastics portrayed by the lustier of novels either. What in the world do you do now?
Well, you could always make it up, use your imagination. But where to start? And how are you going to get your reader to pay attention when your words feel rushed or halting? LOL I suggest you look it up. For me, and my only mildly blush worthy novels, I read it all… the worst of the worst literary porn (I love my smut, I just cant write it), the sweet Happily Ever Afters, and the racy novels. And especially the free short stories on amazon. Those shorts are great for getting the mechanics down. Not always, but usually. Sometimes I’m reading the getting-busy part and I think – no way, he couldn’t even reach her while she does that… lol…
I love romance, from the behind-the-bedroom-door actions to the break-the-bed-and-hope-the-neighbors-don’t-call-the-police sex-capaids. By the time I finished writing Shocking Finds and my other rough drafts, my book shelf looked like a How to Become a Porn Addict guide. lol … My mother borrowed my kindle and just about had a heart attack. I had to show her that I had actually taken notes on different positions so that she didn’t think I had a problem.
But we learn to become writers by reading, so learn about being a romance writer by reading … romance, light hearted or pornish. Read each book and find the scenes that speak to your emotions, and your fantasies. How do they describe the feel of a man’s hand along your thigh, caressing your back, or jerking you into his arms. Learn how to put the feel of each action into the scene, don’t just tell the reader it happened. Get your own romance collection. But make it your own. Plagiarism is a capital offence in the writer community.
Humor can be even harder to portray than passion. We live in a diverse world, with varying senses of humor. Have you ever been at a party and stood with your friends as they doubled over in laughter, all while you looked on in confusion? If liquor wasn’t involved, chances are that you either missed the joke or just didn’t find it funny. Or worse … Have you told a story that brought tears of laughter to your eyes, but looked around to see that your friends were scratching their heads, going over your words, and looking for the humor?? Reading is only the first step to attacking this issue.
Okay. Reading something that you find funny might not help you to impress your friends, but reading something that millions of other readers considered humorous may improve your writing. Humor is just as important as passion, when it comes to adding emotions to your novel. You want your reader to get lost in the worlds you create. If they can feel each scene, then you are on the right track. This is something that I hope to get better and more polished at as I continue to write.
If all else fails, try a comedy club or two. Get in a frame of mind that helps your words to come out in a flowing manner, instead of just dropping a joke into you story now and them. You have to build up to the laugh, like a mini-story within your story. Personally, I don’t even consider what kind of emotion or humor I can add to my story when I’m writing that rough draft. As I bring my story to life I try to see where they are going, how I can build up to that moment when the emotions (no matter if it is passions, anger, failure, gut wrenching sadness, or humor) on the page reach full tilt.
Oooo… Fighting, bloodbaths, all out war… or maybe just a cat-fight. Okay, this one is easy. First you make sure that your annoying neighbor, with the yappy dog, and lack of parking etiquette is home. You do some stretches, get your muscles loose and ready, and then walk over and punch him in the face… see, easy…
What? You think that could lead to jail time, or just finding yourself lying on his doorstep as you watch little cartoon birdies fly around your head. Hmm. Well the other method is much harder. It also involves a great deal of reading, or you could take a martial arts class to learn the feel of some of the moves and defenses. I was lucky enough to take karate classes as a child. That was long ago but some of the motions are hard to forget.
But fighting and violence isn’t just accomplished in a fist fight. You can stripe the hide off of someone’s sense of worth with words a lot easier than you can with a sidekick. I didn’t grow up in a household that contained harsh words, but some of you might be able to call on those memories. Pull them up and use them to leave your reader sobbing and looking for the ice cream, clinching their fists on behalf of your character, or maybe feeling anxiety as you add more turmoil to your character’s life.
This is the hardest emotion for me to bring to my novels. So of course, I practice. The best results come when you hang out with a friend or two and then… Okay, just kidding. This is something that needs to be done in your head, or out loud as you drive down the highway. Alone.
I usually look like an insane person when I’m driving. Sometimes bringing myself to tears with harsh words. Your friends can only help if you sit down and they are willing to have a heart to heart walk down memory lane with you. Otherwise … prepare to look a little loony as you fight with yourself, as you cruise down the highway.
No matter what you decide to write, what you want to bring to your story, how you want to portray your character’s lives and their world… remember to have fun with it. Enjoy what you write, and hopefully others will love it as well. And keep researching… life is about change and growth. Personally, I hope that each year I become better and better at building my worlds.
Happy wordage, Tracey Clark
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