Monday, October 31, 2011

Writing Tip of the Day: Kind to be Cruel

If you want to be kind to your book, you have to be cruel to your characters. By that I mean don't over-protect your creations, no matter how much you love them. Do let bad things happen to them; your characters need to make mistakes, behave badly and get in trouble.

Your poor characters will suffer, and perhaps your readers will, too ... but they'll turn the page. And what's more important than that?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Writing Tip of the Day: Defining the Goal

What does your main character want?

If you can answer this question, you've got the central issue that will drive the narrative arc of your story. Now throw obstacles in his or her way, and voila--instant novel!

Okay, that may be a little facile, but you get the point. Figuring out what your protagonist wants draws the reader in and steers the plot.

Happy writing ...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Writing Tip of the Day: Show and Tell

"Show don't tell" is probably the most common writing advice people get, but it's often misunderstood. It does not mean "avoid exposition at all cost." Storytelling requires a certain amount of exposition. So relax on that front. And whatever you do, don't cram your exposition into the dialogue.

"Show don't tell" simply means that you need to let the reader experience what the character is going through. So instead of writing, "Craig was angry at Mabel," show us his anger through dialogue or action. Make him roll his eyes at her, or respond sarcastically when she asks if he picked up his jacket from the cleaners, or storm out the door because she didn't put enough ice in his drink. Your writing will be more vivid and effective.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

And the winner of the Ann Curry's Loss is Your Gain giveaway is ...

Huge thanks to all who participated in my Ann Curry's Loss is Your Gain giveaway. I loved reading each of the entries and appreciate the kind thoughts and good wishes. You were all so generous.

Alas, I can only choose one winner, and I did so using a random number generator. The prize of Ann Curry's signed copy of THE OTHER LIFE goes to ...

Rae Rae!

Congrats, hon! Send me your mailing address and I'll get the book right out to you. Hope you like it!

And Ann Curry? Your loss, baby ...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Want to win a Dorothy Parker t-shirt?

To celebrate my 10,000th follower on the Dorothy Parker Facebook page I'm giving away this great t-shirt:

Click here for details. (If you haven't yet "liked" the page, you'll have to do that before you enter.)

Tomorrow I'll announce the winner of THE OTHER LIFE with Ann Curry 's signature.

Good luck!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Ann Curry's Loss is Your Gain!

A few months ago I tried sending Ann Curry a signed copy of THE OTHER LIFE, because I thought she'd enjoy it. Alas, it never got to her as the NBC mailroom returned the package unopened. I tried again, but those heartless gatekeepers still refused delivery.

So now, after spending the money on postage twice, I'm left with a $25 hardcover book inscribed to Ann Curry.

I won't try again, so if Ann Curry wants a copy of THE OTHER LIFE she's just going to have to buy one.* Meanwhile, her loss is your gain, as I'm giving this one away in a random drawing to someone who responds in the comments section below with an answer to the following question:

Why should Ann Curry read THE OTHER LIFE?

 Every response counts as an entry and multiple responses are welcome. Offer ends midnight October 10. U.S. residents only. Good luck!

*Who am I kidding? If Ann Curry wants a copy of the book, all she has to do is contact my publicist, who would be thrilled to book me on The Today Show.