Ok, I admit it. I can’t get away from the NBA finals and completely dedicate myself to writing. There. I said it. I am writing during time-outs, stoppages and commercial breaks so if I don’t sound completely coherent, I got an excuse. That being said, I would like to share something.
I went to my writers group meeting last night with my prologue for the book I’m working on. I thought about telling the others what the story is about and then I decided against it. I mean, What could be a better test of a hook than reading to people who do not know what’s coming.
My main goal was to see whether the hook works. I do care about the style and grammar and whatnot, but that could be fairly easily dealt with. If the hook fails, it’s a whole new can of tomatoes (btw – canned tomatoes is one of the worst things you can eat).
The reactions I received indicated that the hook is in place. For that I am proud. Now there’s that small matter of writing a compelling plot with interesting and engaging characters.
Here are a few things I intend to focus a lot of my energy on:
1. Scene building – define the purpose, draw up the “flow chart“, set the background and pay close attention to the dialogue. Which brings me to:
2. Examine dialogue – Determine what is necessary and what is “chit-chat”. I really need to make sure my writing is as tight as possible as I do have a tendency to insert some filler. I don’t do that intentionally mind you. It’s my constant “reality checker” at work. I keep thinking about how people talk in “real life” and every once in a while I forget that “reality” is not what people are looking for in a fiction book. Think about it. When you pick up a book, are you willing to wait until your characters finish with the pleasantries before they actually say something that moves the story forward? Didn’t think so…
3. Ending every scene with a mini-hook, or heightened tension. Escalating.
There’s a ton of other things to pay attention to but I am going to make sure that these three are taken care of.
Back to the NBA finals now. Go Heat! Go Mavs! here’s to a good game.