Posts made in April, 2013

The Scorpio Races review

The Scorpio Races review

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is an absolutely beautiful book masquerading as young adult literature.  I mean that as a compliment.  Her arrangement of words is a thing of beauty.  As a writer, it can both inspire and irritate as you envy over the simple ways she paints the watercolor scene in black and white (or sepia if you have chosen to set your e-reader that way). For the purpose of this blog, I’m not going to focus so much on the things like word choice, sentence structure, or syntax.  These are style issues that are personal and develop over time and with practice.  Instead, I’m going to focus on particulars within the book that I believe every writer can incorporate to improve his/her writing and chances of getting published. Structure The book is written in first person present tense (fpp).  Common in many YA books, and I really like this  as it removes all the barriers.  Third person POV places a narrator in the way.  Past tense can create distance since the reader feels like someone is telling what already happened.  With fpp, you are the character and you are there now.  Whatever the character is experiencing the reader does too–as it’s happening. The all critical first line sets the mood and sucks the reader in: It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die.  Right away, the reader wants to know:  What happens in November that kills people?  As a writer you might be able to get away with that meandering chapter that paints the scenery and builds suspense along the way, but I think the truth of it is: You can only get away with it if you are a proven author who the publisher believes the readers will trust enough to put up with your meandering. –and– The readers do in fact trust you to get wherever “there” is. Bottom line for me is: I’m not a published well known author.  I should probably stick close to convention.  I’m not saying it can’t be done, but there are simply too many agents/publishers who preach this concept to ignore. Characters She establishes the character’s voices right away, doing what I think is quite difficult to do—she creates a “loner” character that readers want to know more about in Sean Kendrick. I am wretchedly attached to creating loner characters—orphaned, isolated, wall flowers.  These...

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