Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Separating Dialogue Blocks

I'm giving detail Beta feedback to a fellow writer, and we had a conversation about how much narrative you can include in a NPOVC's (non-point-of-view character) dialogue block.
The rule this deals with is of course, "Separate speakers into their own paragraphs."
Direction is an effective break in he said/she said, and as with any detail, helps the reader 'see' the setting.
The problem of course with direction, it can turn into narrative, which if it goes on too long can weaken the dialogue by separating and burying it.
Secondly, the narrative by its nature is in the POVC (point-of-view character's) head, unless you're writing omnisciently, and you don't even want to see me rant about omniscient narrative. (I'm a near-3rd person bigot.)
But if the dialogue block is a NPOVC—My recommendation is to err on the slim, when it comes to including any narrative in a dialogue block.
POINT one: Your dialogue should be your punch. Don't weaken it with embedded narrative.
POINT two: With the ubiquity of e-books…paragraphs look longer on your Kindle/Nook/tablet. It behooves all of us to use shorter paragraphs now, anyway.
A simplistic example:
"More power to you." He lifted his glass in salute.
"More power to you." He lifted his glass in salute, his mouth forming a sarcastic smirk.
Narrative in the POVC's head.
Not high literature…but it get's the point across. The speaker here is the NPOVC. But the narrative is in the POVC's head via narrative. I recommend allowing the "More power to you" to stand alone. It punches it.
R. Mac Wheeler
Home PageContact meOn Kindle . . . On Nook

Monday, January 30, 2012

Feedback, Anyone? Blurb for PKM

I mentioned in my post Friday I'm preparing to pub Persona Kory Mae. I admit I struggle with descriptions. Any thoughts on this:

Dying is a crappy way to launch a new career. Waking up in a body cast with cracked vertebrae sucks. Befriended by a man who hurls her into the middle of galactic intrigue, running for her life, downright bites.  

As though being born a dwarf in the fourth millennium wasn't bad enough. Toni Tegaris started life in an institution, unwanted, endlessly bullied. Luckily, she has a single edge—being very, very bright.  

Her lonely career path as a merchant space captain suits her. She busted her butt to afford her own ship, one she designed, more advanced than anything in the galaxy. Before she has the chance to take ownership of the EUMV Kory Mae, her plan goes terribly wrong. Toni is forced to rely on another for the first time, her self-exile from humanity interrupted.  

Her protector has baggage of his own, which embroils Toni in espionage and terrorism, between fanatics fighting annexation by the Earth Union, and security forces willing to leverage anyone for their own means. 

Avoiding laser blasts and abduction attempts, she finds herself in love with two men. Could they love her back? She doesn't know how to let them.  
R. Mac Wheeler
 Home PageContact meOn Kindle . . . On Nook

Friday, January 27, 2012

Writing Catchy Blurbs

I'm preparing to publish my latest novel. A SF. I shared my draft description with a peer, and wham, she came back with that evil response, "You have to have a hook."
"Didn't I escape that when I got away from the query letter?" I scream.
Evidently not.
I went to Amazon for inspiration and spent two hours reading blurbs for SFs and then over to the top 100-selling list to read the blurbs for all of the listed speculative fiction. Even "my buddy's" 11/22/63 was a snoozer (for hooks).
The rule for SF seemed straight forward enough. Jump directly into introducing the story setting, plot, or character. "Weese don't need no stinking hook."
There was a single exception, and it was a doozy. So good I even have to share it:
This is the way the world ends - not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door.
Now that is a hook! Hocking/Hollowland
How do you feel about this for a hook? A dwarf pasting a man nearly twice her height, four times her weight, is worth paying to see.
R. Mac Wheeler
Home PageBlogOn Kindle

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Guest Author—C.L. Bevill

Caren is an author of uncountable novels and tons of novellas. Find her on Amazon, Smashwords, and B&N. She blogs satirically over on Confessions. Visit her homepage. 

My regular followers know interviews bore me…so I'm looking at Caren to entertain me…not inform. So, let's get to it: 

Question: What single, personal experience most influences your writing?
Answer: As a child I was kidnapped by venomous spider people from the Amazon and felt that life in the normal world is somewhat dismal by comparison.  Therefore I was forced to use my imagination. 

Question: What would litter your writing if you knew your mother or child would never read your work?
Answer:  Are you kidding?  My own sister won’t read my writing and I’m pretty sure my child will probably be appalled until she’s about thirty-five, so it’s probably for the best. 

Question: What deep, dark, sexual fetish would you most like to get into every piece of writing?
Answer:  Oh, systematic toe sucking of course.  I can’t always work it in, however. 

Question: Your deity informed you the protagonist of your next novel must either be a bisexual werewolf or trampy dwarf who makes a living selling macramé. Which do you choose and why?
Answer:  I think I would go for the bisexual, trampy werewolf dwarf who makes a living selling macramé.  (By the way, I can never actually pronounce the word, macramé, so basically I’m hosed on that one.) 

Question: What is the creepiest personality trait of your all-time-favorite character?
Answer:  I always wanted to do a cannibal story so it’s got to be Hannibal Lecter and his interest in an open-minded diet.  

Question: Have you ever told about the loss of your virginity from a character's point of view? If not, why not?
Answer:  Well, you did say your questions wouldn’t be boring.  No, I have not done this in my writing.  Why not?  That one never occurred to me, but now I’m going to have go re-read all your stuff, Mac. 

Question: If you could snap your fingers and become one of your characters in his/her world, who/where would that be, and why?
Answer: One of my favorite characters is Bayou Billy and it would be fun to be a rude, misogynic asshat for a little while.  You know, just to get a different perspective.  Also to be able to shoot people in their butts.  (If you haven’t read the book then you wouldn’t understand.  But here’s your motivation.) 

Rude parting shot:  Yoda lives. 

Polite parting shot:  Yoda doesn’t live.  And George Lucas is crazy for not doing Star Wars sequels. 

If you haven't read any of Caren's work, are you crazy, or what? 
R. Mac Wheeler
Home PageBlogOn Kindle

Monday, January 23, 2012

Today's Favorite Passage

     The birds that filled the tree line flowing along the first fairway celebrated the rising sun with more vigor than seemed necessary to Toni. Though she had been on-planet two days, her ears were far from adjusted to planet-side noise. A flock of obnoxious grackles wasn't something you frequently heard in space. It made the explosion of a collapsing distortion field seem musical—almost. Also, the chill of the air was an unexpected annoyance.
She pulled the zipper of the warm-up top she had bought the previous day up the last few centimeters. It didn't help. She shivered and felt like vocalizing an un-lady-like expression. The presence of the too-gentlemanly Colonel seemed to make her regular vocabulary non-gratis. She must like him. Nothing else could move her to behave.
She rolled her eyes and asked herself what in the hell she was doing there? She pulled her shoulders up and sunk her chin down to her chest. She studied the grass at her feet—the silvery dew that clung tenaciously to the thin, short blades enthralled her for the moment, until she heard the clack of a ball flying off the head of a seven iron, interrupting the sound of the birds.
R. Mac Wheeler
Home PageBlogOn Kindle

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pix--Sunday Hike on the Channel

Minor catastrophe during our hike on the channel. Lucy, my Rottie, jumped from the sea wall onto barnacles and cut her paws to shreds *we all say oweee*  Poor baby :O(

Friday, January 20, 2012

Today's Favorite Passage

Toni drank one ale after another, and somehow relaxed.
The remnants of their meals were removed and the visiting and drinking continued. Toni felt relieved as her guest got into conversations with others about a favorite pastime—golf.
The discussion demonstrated a reverence for a sport she had never watched, spoken of, or considered. She listened to the stories at a loss for how otherwise intelligent adults could discuss the act of hitting a little ball with such adoration.
She got little enlightenment as the talk continued.
R. Mac Wheeler
Home PageBlogOn Kindle

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Today's Favorite Passage

"The back brace?" she asked.
"It may—"
"If you can't assure me the support will be significantly better than the improved muscle tone I could develop without it, the decision is an easy one."
"I strongly—"
"Then  it comes off."
His face turned red, as though he pushed against a particular uncomfortable case of constipation.
"I'll send in the physical therapist," he barked, and strode out. 

R. Mac Wheeler
Home PageBlogOn Kindle

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guest Calista Taylor

I've never read an author interview (more than a few lines anyway). They bore me to death. So my guest today, Calista Taylor, gets a reverse interview to see if she can entertain Me. (Since Calista writes about heaving bosoms, you can imagine what I'm looking for.)  

I present answers, and Cali has to develop the questions. I promise to give her lots of rope to… entertain you, too.

If you just want a boring interview (no offense, Dean), jump over to one she did last November. Calista's Traditional Interview.
 (Did I mention, besides authoring kick-butt novels, she has a knack for generating slick covers. Those on the right are examples.)

Answer 1: Straight sex has been overdone.
Question:  Have you always written sex scenes that involve more than one alien artifact and take place in a zero gravity zone? 

Answer 2: Sophomore year of high school.
Question:  The year you were assimilated by Cybermen? 

Answer 3: The back seat.
Question:  Where did you put the sonic screw driver? 

Answer 4: 6 Ways to Die.
Question:  What ebook has the most kick-ass cover? 

Answer 5: The latter is much harder.
Question:  Sex while driving down winding mountain roads or resisting the urge to use Elephant as your font? [an inside joke between us]

Answer 6: That's why the balls are orange.
Question:  Is that an orange tabby down your pants or are you just happy to see me? 

Answer 7: In the dark, with a modicum of painful writhing.
Question:  How do you get out of being hog-tied naked and strapped to the bed with duck tape? 

Answer 8: Jack.
Question:  You have a new title coming out, a grim reaper romance involving Jack the Ripper and soon to be released…what's the title? 

For the stuff she didn't answer, visit her bio. Visit Calista's home page over here. She blogs fromthewriteangle. 

Have a great day, yall.

R. Mac Wheeler
Home PageBlogOn Kindle

Monday, January 16, 2012

Today's Favorite Passage

"The captain lives for the bridge, Richard."
Richard. A ridiculous code name.
"She has three times more hours behind a helm per year than the closest mariner. I assure you she would prefer to be there now, if we hadn't kidnapped her."
Rob's lips continued to move but Toni stopped listening. She was more interested in finishing off her ale.
The colonel's expression eased, perhaps happy for an opening to the conversation he was truly interested in. "How has your venture been going? I was disappointed I wasn't able to assist."
Toni tried to undo the glare she knew must have focused upon their host, but it felt glued on her face. She returned to her schooner to escape.
She watched the bubbles slowly making their way up through the dark brew. She left the two men to dance without her. Rob worked hard to avoid saying anything tangible. The colonel worked as tactfully as any salesman to wiggle out a nugget of information.
R. Mac Wheeler
Home PageBlogOn Kindle

Sunday, January 15, 2012

PIX - Sunday Morning Hike

Lucy, Molly, Gracy and I had a marvelous hike at Hidden River this morning. Clear skies, 55 degrees. Yes, Molly took a number of swims...somehow I missed taking a great photo, but if you've seen one Lab in the water...

Have a great week, folks. Love ya

R. Mac Wheeler
Home PageBlogOn Kindle

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Today's Favorite Passage

It was a little backward for him to be consoling her. The irony made her feel guilty. "To me, immediate gratification has always taken too long." She paused, as her memory tripped back a decade. "I had a crewmate once who constantly advised me not to get my panties in a snit, because it was just a job.
"Each day was just like any other, and nothing we did on Monday impacted much of anything in the galaxy on Tuesday. Keep the ship from plowing into a star, and the reactor from going critical, and you could consider yourself a hero for the day."
Rob nodded in agreement. Toni clapped him on the shoulder as she headed for the galley, Molly's nails scratching the metal plating of the deck for traction as she struggled to scramble up from her niche under the con to catch up.
"You're not getting your twenty-three hours of sleep a day are you girl, with me traipsing back and forth? You poor thing. You'll deserve an extra treat this evening, won't you?" 
R. Mac Wheeler
Home PageBlogOn Kindle

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

COVER REVEAL – Persona Kory Mae

Calista Taylor has worked her fingers to the bone creating a breathtaking spread of covers for my Persona Kory Mae series. I may not become famous, but if I do, I'll consider it in big part  due to a shoutout on some blog that got me to Calista's website.
Thank you, Calista, for all your hard work! 
R. Mac Wheeler
Home PageBlogOn Kindle

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pix -- Sunday Morning Hike

You had to expect the Labrador in the water, from me

Today's pictures at the Telecom Park campus in Temple Terrace, FL

What can I say, I like snails

Time to go home
(Gracie and Lucy)