Friday, February 17, 2012

Let's Talk About Sex

We've all heard the classic advice for writers, "Show don't tell." When describing a scene, character or situation it can be challenging, but well worth the effort to truly show the reader. When it comes to sex though, there's a fine line between suggestive literature and just plain old smut.

Where does one draw the line? If so, how much can be shared with the reader before it crosses that line?" These are some of the difficult questions that authors must battle through as they deal with (or avoid) the biggest issue to face your typical red-blooded human being... SEX.

I don't pretend to have the answer for when it is, or is not, appropriate for an author to include a sex scene (romance novels and erotica aside). I know in my own reading adventures, I've discovered a lot can be implied with little said and that sometimes the best place to take the readers is into the darker recesses of their own minds via the "..."

In a good book (Romance and Erotica aside) do you prefer a sex scene or two? How much it too much?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tell Me a Story

So my 3 year old step daughter and I have begun something of a nightly routine. Upon telling the kiddos that it's time for bed, she promptly runs up to me and begs "Daddy!? You read me a story?"

What daddy could say no to a request like that? Honestly though what she really means is, "will you tell me a story."

So, I take her to her bed and make up something cheesy along the lines of a "once upon a time...something about a princess...gets married to her prince after... and lives happily ever after."

The wonderful part is, no matter how terrible those "..." details are, she always loves the story. Unfortunately our writing critiques don't hold that same mentality when they read our manuscripts. For us, the details are what it's all about. Anyone can make up a character and a scene (yes, some are more dimensional than others) but it takes a lot of skill and effort to pull those characters together and fluidly detail a believable, if not lovable, story.

Question: Does your plot command the details, or do the details determine your plot?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Scrambling the Pot

Today I'd like to propose a little creative writing exercise for you writers out there. It's no secret that with so much of our effort and energy poured into our WIPs that we can sometimes drive straight into a roadblock of ideas. At the very least, we can become so immersed into our current WIP that we develop a sort of tunnel vision that stifles our creativity. With this in mind, I present to you my creative writing exercise, which I'll call:

"Scrambling the Pot"

First of all, in order to participate in this exercise, you need to have at least 2 WIPs (even if one of them is on hold)

The object of this exercise is to write a short story using protagonists from your WIPs. You may only use Protagonists in this short story and may use as many as you like from any work in progress you currently have. This short story should be general style of beginning, middle and end, as well as contain some kind of conflict/solution scenario.

The idea behind this is to help you see how dimensional your MC's are. It will help you to understand their similarities as well as contrasts, giving you room to expand on their development.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Math Attack

I've never been a big math fan myself. I always did better in English and Science as they are more interesting subjects to me, but strangely enough I never realized how closely related some math questions were to those subjects. For instance:

"If one typist can type 1 page in 3 minutes, how many typists would it take to type 36 pages in 5 minutes?"

Of this question I remember thinking to myself... 'who the hell cares?'

Now that I'm "all grown up" I find myself in a funny situation to actually caring. I'm in the process of putting together a business proposal/plan to submit to an investor so I can possibly start a new small business in the writing industry. Ultimately, I've actually had to do the math in that above, dreaded, question since it does apply to my business proposition.

Question: How does your K-12 education affect your writing today, be it career or hobby writing?