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Faith is Like a Surfboard?

September 6, 2015

Source: Faith is Like a Surfboard?

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Forged Steel Cover Reveal

July 13, 2015

Congrats, Heather!

The New Authors Fellowship

Forged Steel cover

Downtown. Coffee shop. 2 AM.

One minute, Josh is firing off sarcastic remarks at his best friend Marc – the next, they’re running from shape-shifters. Apparently, even best friends don’t share all their secrets.

Now Josh is in danger. He can see the monsters among the humans.

When Marc is kidnapped, Josh finds himself pulled into the schemes of the fae courts, and throws in his lot with Marc’s allies: the lovely Larae, a human named David, and the fighter, Eliaster. But what began as a rescue mission becomes something much more involved…

And all Josh wants to do is get out before it’s too late.

Forged Steel is a new adult urban fantasy by H. A. Titus, releasing on July 17th. It will be available in print (Amazon) and ebook (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and Scribd). If you’d like a chance to win free books, ask questions…

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The Scars That Stay

April 3, 2015

Kerry Johnson

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“Do you think this scar will ever heal?” Cole stared down at the one-inch jag of bumpy skin on the top of his right foot.

“It’s healed. It’s just a scar. It’ll go away as your foot grows. It’ll probably be mostly faded by the time you’re a teenager.”

The memory of Cole getting the scar six plus years ago came back like a flash of lightning over the Gulf. My sister, our three boys, and I ventured out to Ft. Myers Beach on a muggy summer afternoon. We built sand castles, barely avoided gray-blue water walls of summer’s flash storms, licked melting ice cream, and enjoyed watching our youngsters run around like bathing-suit clad wild men, wrestling and digging in the cooled-off sand and shells underneath the setting sun.

During one of the last playful jaunts around the sand playground that evening, four-year old Cole let out a yelp, hobbling in my direction. Trickles of crimson streaked down his foot.

I rushed toward him…

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Portrait of a Writer in a Waiting Room

March 20, 2009

The next time you’re expecting to be left sitting in a waiting room for a while, or standing in line a long time, take a notepad and pen or pencil with you. In the first five minutes, take notes on everything you take in through your senses–what you see, hear, smell, taste, feel. Include also what you’re thinking as you do this and any physical discomfort.

If you have time left still, go ahead and turn what you just wrote into a scene. Yes, I mean a scene about you writing all that stuff down, with everything going on in the background. If you have time to keep going and also write what’s going on as you’re writing the actual story, remember to include the exact quote from the moment you thought about how silly you feel.

If someone is waiting with you, show them what you wrote. Ask them what they remember happening during that time. Especially since they weren’t actively paying attention as you were, it will probably be rather different. The more time that passes, by the way, the greater the discrepancy will be.

Do make your best effort to have someone with you who will be cooperative. If possible, take another writer along, and do this together. This works best if you have someone you can trade papers with and see how differently another person viewed the same circumstances as you. But if you can’t arrange to meet up with someone from your local writer’s group to do this, you can get a similar effect simply by letting a non-writer friend or loved one read your exercise and asking them what they experienced, saw, felt, etc.

Note, if you’re having trouble with description, this will also help with that.

Writers’ groups that meet offline can do this at their regular meeting if desired, but it works best if something is happening besides people taking notes in an otherwise empty, soundless room, so consider taking a field trip to a place with lots of distractions if you meet in a usually-ideal location. Please also tell the group where you got this exercise from.

You may retype your scene in the comments below if you’d like to share it.

Just what is POV?

March 20, 2009

POV is an acronym, or shorthand, for Point of View. I could bore you with all the technical details, but in laymen’s terms, it has to do with deciding who will actually be telling your story. New writers often make the mistake of choosing God to tell their stories, but we’ll cover omnsicient–and why you shouldn’t write in it–separately.

In modern POV practices, you are expected to tell your story through the eyes of the characters in the story, either in third person (He/She) or first person (I). Movies do this when they use the camera angle to mimic the view a particular character (or animal) in the scene has.

POV  allows modern novels  to compete with movies by giving the reader an experience they can’t get from a movie yet–the ability to  temporarily become someone else. POV does this by recreating the human experience. It not only means seeing through the view point character’s eyes, but walking in their shoes. There is no separate narrator in view point fiction. Every word of the narrative gets filtered through the lens of the view point character’s perspective. Even with dialogue, your view point character may mishear or miss key parts of the other character’s words, and that would be reflected in how you quote him.

Let’s say your view point character is LaShawn. What she sees, what she hears, what she feels, what shes tastes, what she touches,  so does your reader. What she knows, your reader knows. What she does, your reader does. Where she goes, your reader goes. What she thinks, your reader hears.

Conversely, what she doesn’t see, your reader doesn’t see. What she doesn’t hear, your reader doesn’t hear. What she doesn’t taste or touch, your reader doesn’t, either. What she doesn’t know, your reader doesn’t know.  Where she doesn’t go, your reader also doesn’t go.

You may be thinking, “But there’s no way I can say everything that needs said if I stick to that with my hero!”

Perhaps. This is why you are permitted more than one point of view character. Though, when you are starting out, it is best to use as few view points as possible, because view point characters require more characterization than do non-view point characters. Ideally, you will want to know your view point characters as well as you know yourself, or at least as well as you know your spouse or best friend. The better you know your view point character, the easier it’ll be to stay in point of view.

Thus, staying in POV is as important to the writer as getting in character is for the actor. In fact, having  been trained in stage acting as a child, I can atest that the skills are quite similar.  So similar, any stage training you may have will serve you well as a writer.

Regardless, the better you become at staying in POV, the closer your reader will identify with your hero, and the more engrossed they will be in your book. And, if you’re submitting to publishers, the more engrossed the aquisitions editor is in your novel, the more likely you are to make the sale.