3 Tips To Create Story World From Star Wars

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Photo by Spydermurp

Star Wars has captured the attention of the masses for years. The story world is so rich that it seems to stem from imagination itself.

From books to block buster movies, the series amazes us time and again. Although I am not a huge speculative fiction fan, I do love Star Wars.

If an author could create an intriguing story world like Star Wars, they’d have a great shot at being a best seller. What can we learn from the creator of Star Wars?

3 Tips To Create Story World From Star Wars:

  1. Create Character Diversity – Star Wars is rich with a variety of different creatures and personalities. Personalities can be created from the rich pallet of your own world and put in the skin of the characters your create. Think of the Pod Racer Business man, he reminds me of a car salesman.
  2. Scene Diversity – Showcase the world your characters live in by setting scenes in a variety of places. In Star Wars we see a wide range of planets and terrains. It makes for a more interesting movie. The same is true with our story. Variety in scene locations allows the author to use metaphor effectively and build an understanding of the story world.
  3. Rich Artistic Experiences – All of the qualities of artistry can be found in colors, costuming, textures, sounds, music, smells and more. Star Wars brings this to life in amazing ways. An author can create an artistic pallet with story world as well. It will leave a reader clamoring for more.
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3 Secrets To Creating A Story Readers Can’t Put Down

Photo by Kadri H

Photo by Kadri H

Authors look for that perfect formula to keep readers engaged in their stories. The qualities that make one book a best-seller and another at the bottom of the sales list can be illusive.

There are many secrets woven into the recipe for a can’t-put-it-down novel. Just the right blend of these ingredients can transform a ho-hum story into a best-seller.

Although there are many ingredients necessary for a best-seller, there are 3 Secrets To Creating A Story Readers Can’t Put Down that stand out. If you make a purposeful effort to add these to your novel, it will drive readers to keep reading.

3 Secrets To Creating A Story Readers Can’t Put Down:

*Cliffhanger Scene Endings. At the end of each scene and each chapter it is imperative to create a sense of uncertainty going forward. The reader must long to find out what will happen to the hero or heroine. Creating the perfect cliffhanger can be as simple as leaving the action hanging, showing what the hero/heroine has to lose going forward, or creating a mysterious element that a reader can’t wait to solve.

*Characters Readers Want To Spend Time With. Some of the most beloved stories have larger-than-life characters that readers love. For example, in Dee Henderson’s O’Malley Series, we all fell in love with her characters that were once orphans and created their own family. As each family member fell in love and tried to stay alive, we journeyed with them. Create characters that draw readers into the story’s family.

*Keeping The Mystery Of Discovery Alive Throughout The Story. Wondering how the story will unfold keeps a reader’s mind engaged in the story. Be unpredictable in your plot, intersperse small surprises about the characters or the story, create a uniqueness that makes readers wonder what is coming next.

What book were you unable to put down?

How To NaNoWriMo Through the Holidays – 3 Cold Turkey Plans & Strategies

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo by kindhelper

So you’ve signed up for this crazy thing called NaNoWriMo and the holidays are staring you down, threatening to derail your whole plan. Take heart, there are ways to keep on track, even during the holidays.

It won’t be easy, but it is completely doable. Groan, right? Well, NaNoWriMo is not for the faint of heart. You’re a warrior writer, right?

During this holiday you can do some cold turkey writing to keep you on your word count goals for the month. The key is to plan now and pick the plan that works the best for you.

How To NaNoWriMo Through the Holidays –

Photo by Vaughan Willis

Photo by Vaughan Willis

3 Cold Turkey Plans:

  1. Prewrite your goal. This one is just like it sounds. Divide up the writing you would normally do during the days you will be vacationing for Thanksgiving to do in the days ahead of time.
  2. Schedule writing for your strengths. If you write earliest in the morning, ask someone else to prep the turkey. If you write best in the evenings, ask someone to clean up after the meal. Plan your writing time by your strengths. If you know that you will not want to write after the family comes over because you want to see them and chat until late into the night, then plan to write in the morning. Be purposeful to avoid failing to meet your goals.
  3. Post-write your goal. Take the word count you would have had during the holiday and divide it over the few days after the holiday is over. Try to get this all done within a few days after the holiday, or you will feel the task to finish the month is insurmountable.

3 Cold Turkey Strategies:

  1. Write crazy family dynamics into your story. Be inspired by the crazy family dynamics during the holidays. Use a quirky family member to build on a character. Use someone’s dialogue patterns to make one of your characters more unique. Let the characters you interact with, even that crazy lady who almost ran you over on Black Friday in the Walmart parking lot, inspire uniqueness in your story.
  2. Add a festival or community activity into your story. Community is built in your story through its culture. Add a touch of what makes your story character unique by adding a community activity or festival to your novel. It can be the May Day Parade, or Cat Fish Days, as long as it is part of what makes your community unique.
  3. Build the sensory details in your novel. Scientists have discovered that smells are the strongest memories. What does your character’s story world smell like. Think of all of the wonderful holiday smells and foods. Add some of these sensory details into your novel to expand your creative pallet.

What is your favorite part of the holidays?

How To Find Unique Flavor For Each Novel – Rearranging the Spice Drawer

Cooking at my house can be a blend of where east meets west sometimes. With a blend of Chinese and American cuisine you can imagine the amount of spices in our spice drawer. Make that two spice drawers.

The more variety of spices to choose from, the more diversity your dishes can have in flavor. This past week I organized our spice drawers and it made me think about what kind of spices I like best. Could I mix things up a bit to create more variety in our dinners?

Writing is much the same way. When we rearrange the spices we work with we create a more unique flavor for each novel.

Finding the unique flavor for each novel is as easy as changing up the following spices:

*Location. Varying the location of where a story takes place can change everything. It changes the details and richness that create story world.

*Occupations. Striving for more unique character occupations will change the direction of a story just because of the kinds of events and competence your character will inspire.

*Quirky Character Types. Not every story can have the same type of quirky characters. You select different ones for different novels. You may have a dry humor sidekick in one and a goth scientist in another.

*Who Gets The Point of View Scenes. You will always have point of view perspective from your hero and heroine, but the type of characters you give additional POV scenes to when developing a subplot can vary greatly.

*Villain Type. There are many different kinds of villains in all genre’s. Everything from the unintentional villain to the sociopath. Even Romance can have a villain of a blander variety. Mix up the villain type and adversity they create.

*Spiritual Thread. The spiritual truth in each of our novels should be varied. You may run into some that are similar due to series theme or focus, but you do want it to variate somewhat.

*Relationships. The success of different types of relationships for your hero and heroine should fluctuate. The heroine can’t always be adopted, or always have a poor relationship with her father. There should be a mix and match of different character relationships.

Remember that even though you rearrange the spice drawer, you are still the cook and your cuisine should have your signature style or voice.

What kind of things do you like to read in a novel that give it a unique flavor?

3 Brainstorming Idea Sparks to Start Your Writing Day

Photo by esra su

Photo by esra su

Have you met someone who talks in monotone?

I’ve met a few. We’ve all been subjected to speakers who made us yawn from the moment they started speaking.

Imagine the last time you sat with your family or extended family around the table. Think of the different words and tones they used to communicate.

From the hippie, to the teenager, to the toddler, to the politician, they all have a unique choice of words and tone. The politician may strive to be politically correct and not offend anyone. The teenager’s words may ooze sarcasm.

Who are voices in your scenes?

Do you have enough different tones and unique word choices? These differences create an auditory pallet for your novel’s dialogue. The more diverse your auditory pallet, the more unique each character will feel to readers.

In creating dialogue today, think about how you can add richness to your story through voice. Use these 3 Brainstorming Idea Sparks to Start Your Writing Day.

3 Brainstorming Idea Sparks to Start Your Writing Day:

Tell your writing pal or a friend one of the most unique individuals you remember for their tone and word choices. Review what you wrote yesterday in the final scene. Then answer the following questions about your cast of characters.

  1. What are the different auditory palettes of my characters? You should have at least a few different varieties, if not, go back and add them in.
  2. What can I do to enrich these or add secondary characters to make a scene’s auditory diversity more obvious? Put characters with different dialogue styles in the same scenes together. This will create greater interest in your scenes. That is why we often see a side-kick character very different than the hero or heroine.
  3. How can I more clearly define my hero/heroine’s word choices and tones? Make your hero/heroine the only one who sounds like they do in your novel.

If you are looking for more Idea Sparking Tips like these, you can find them in my book- Idea Sparking: 30 Idea Sparks to Write a Novel in a Month.

One of my favorite author’s for dialogue is Mildred Taylor. Another favorite is Susan May Warren who once used the phrase, “How do you like your yellars?” (Eggs) Her newest release is: Where There’s SmokeBoth of these authors have very rich dialogue in their novels.

 

What are some of your favorite dialogue characters?

3 Brainstorming Tips To Jump Start A Novel Scene – Survival Tips For Writer’s Block

 

Photo by Kyryl Lakishyk

Photo by Kyryl Lakishyk

Writer’s block can drain creativity and stump even the most prolific writers. The longer you write, the more likely you are to face this dilemma.

Brainstorming with writers to help them strengthen and deepen their novels has become a passion of mine. To help writers with these dilemmas, I’ve written 2 Brainstorming Books: Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel and Idea Sparking: 30 Idea Sparks to Write a Novel in a Month.

Maybe you are struggling with the blank page and just need a boost to get you through. If you are staring at a blank page with no words in your mind, you may find these 3 Brainstorming Tips To Jump Start A Novel Scene helpful.

These Survival Tips For Writer’s Block are some that I have learned from others on my journey, or developed from my own experiences. Even if you are at a stuck spot in your novel, you can brainstorm your way into your next scene.

3 Brainstorming Tips To Jump Start A Novel Scene:

Photo by Bobbi Dombrowski

Photo by B. Dombrowski

*Brainstorm from a place of strength. Most of us have a favorite part of the novels we read, whether it be plot, characters, or setting. Start brainstorming the thread you love first. If it is characters, then think about how your character is feeling, what they see, what they are doing, etc. If your love is setting, then brainstorm where the scene takes place first.

By brainstorming from a place of strength you can eliminate that pesky writer’s block that often leaves us staring at a blank page.

*Brainstorm using the emotion of the character in the scene. Susan May Warren taught me this amazing tip through My Book Therapy.

Name the emotion a character is experiencing and build the scene from this place. Ask yourself what setting would be best to showcase this emotion. Think of what metaphor in that setting could mirror the emotion of the character. Add sensory details that personify that emotion and dialogue that supports it.

One of my favorite examples of this kind of scene is in the Movie Twister:

Notice in this scene how the barn is full of those farm implements that adds to the feeling of danger.

*Brainstorm using a simple sentence of what happens in the scene. This can be as basic as the character and a verb of what they will do. From there, determine what will stand in their way of accomplishing it. Then identify who will see this happen, where it will occur, and the sensory details.

An author friend of mine, Lisa Jordan, created a fabulous note card style guide for this to use each time. It has helped me multiple times in developing scenes.

What do you do when you have writer’s block?

How To Intensify The Tension With Tips From “Madam Secretary”

Photo by ronen ijansempoi

Photo by ronen ijansempoi

No matter how many different TV shows I watch, no matter how many complete seasons I’ve seen, I keep learning new things. Maybe it’s merely learning new things in an old way, but the application is so much clearer.

A recent episode of Madam Secretary made the application of a tip from writing mentor Susan May Warren so clear. It is multi-layered in conflict, tension, and the hero/heroine’s walk through a door of no return.

As part of the middle of your novel, the hero or heroine must make decisions that cause them to choose between two competing values. If you have established these values early on in the story, it builds both internal and often external conflict.

Check out this clip from Madam Secretary:

In this clip we see the Secretary of State weighing the value of an individual life vs. many lives, justice vs. freedom, and future risk vs. temporary gains.

If she chooses to save one evil man, she can force his hand to agree with the U.S. terms, keep a deadly virus from spreading, and release several imprisoned women. If she doesn’t, she can save her friend, exact justice on an evil man, and avoid further terror risks.

There are only 4 doses of this vaccine in the world. Once gone, it cannot be changed. Thus she enters through the door of no return after the decision is made.

We see the external conflict that can result from her staff being angry, an evil man going free, and justice being denied on the world stage. The internal conflict is created because the Secretary of State values loyalty, friendship, justice, and freedom.

Use This Principle To Create Tension In A Novel In These Three Steps:

  1. Establish values important to your hero/heroine early in your novel.
  2. Pit these values against one another in a decision they must make.
  3. Make the decision result in a door of no return.
  4. Intensify the consequences by making the fall out be key to those close to the hero/heroine.

What example like this have you seen in a movie or novel?