October Meeting!

The next Granbury Writers’ Bloc meeting will take place at:

  • The Point at Waterview – 2nd Floor
  • 5:00 p.m. Monday October 23
  • Critique + Speaker

Our Speaker is our own Jeffery McClanahan. Her topic is:

Sins, Sorrows, and Successes in Self Publishing!

 

  • 101 Watermark Blvd.
  • South Side of Pearl Street
  • Near the Hilton Garden Inn

You can find our meeting place here:

Don’t Miss Jeffery McClanahan’s presentation!

See You There!

Tips – September 2017

Seven Tips on Writing Great Suspense Novels

(excerpts from Post by Tony Lee Moral on The Writer’s Dig, May 15, 2017)

  1. The number one rule of suspense is to give your reader information, i.e., there is a bomb in the room or there is a ghost in the room.
  2. Use counterpoint contrast. Per Alfred Hitchcock, “Suspense doesn’t have any value unless it’s balanced by humor.” Comedy can make your writing more dramatic and give your reader a chance to reflect on the suspense.
  3. A good story should start with an earthquake and be followed by rising tension.
  4. Never use a setting as a simple background. Use it 100%. Incorporate them into the drama.
  5. At the same time, avoid the cliché in your locations, such as staging a murder in a dark alleyway or at night. The sense of the unexpected and the idea that turmoil can erupt at any moment, will keep your readers on their guard.
  6. Keep your story moving. Use sudden switches in location to change the setting and promote suspense drama changes. Set up the locations at the beginning and use them for action later on.
  7. Avoid stereotypes whether it is the character or the plot. Make your villains attractive, so they can get near the victims.

 

Writing Tips

Body Language as a TAG

 

  1. Use body language to add depth to dialog.
  2. Use it because more than 50% of human communication is non-verbal.
  3. Use it to show how your character’s emotions affect his or her actions.
  4. Use it to help you show rather than tell your reader everything.
  5. Use it in moderation. If overused, it can slow your story down.

A few ideas from writerswrite.co.za:

 

Anger or aggression: shake fist, point finger, stab finger, slam fist on a table, flushed face, throbbing veins in neck, jutting chin, clench fists, clench jaw, lower eyebrows, squint eyes, bare teeth, a wide stance, tight-lipped smile.

Boredom: yawn, avoid eye contact, tap feet, twirl a pen, doodle, fidget, slouch.

Confusion: tilt head, narrow eyes, furrowed brow, shrug.

Defensive: cross arms or legs, arms out with palms forward, hands up, place anything in front of body, hands in pockets.

Embarrassment: blush, stammer, cover face with hands, bow head, trouble maintaining eye contact, look down and away, blink back tears.

Fear: hunch shoulders, shrink back, mouth open, widen eyes, shake, tremble, freeze, rock from side to side, wrap arms around self, shaky hands.

Jealousy: tight lips, sour expression, narrow eyes, crossed arms.

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Deep POV Characters

 

This is a technique that draws us in, so that as the reader we feel one with the POV character. It is as if you are that person. Authors like Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King), Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games), and Cassandra Clare (Shadowhunters) use this technique effectively.

It is best used in novels that seek to thrill the reader or take them on an emotional journey. It is a technique that cannot be perfected overnight.

The Basics:

Limit your character’s knowledge and only reveal the things your character actually knows to keep readers engaged. Cut our filter words like “thought, wondered, or saw.” Just state it, e.g. She wondered how bad the tornado had been. VS. How bad had it been?

Limit your dialog tags. Use attribute tags instead, e.g. “Are you okay?” she asked. VS.  Are you okay?” She reached for his hand, but he pulled it away.

Employ the ultimate show, and don’t tell. Deep POV is all about getting into your character’s head, so avoid as many instances of telling as possible.

Don’t use the passive voice. No action should be done unto someone. Someone should always do it., e.g. Her shoulder was hit. VS. He hit her shoulder.

Be careful when identifying characters. In Deep POV, your character relationships aren’t easy. Use dialog when possible, e.g. Not “John, her brother, stood next to her” but “John stood next to her.” Or “Eric, this is my brother John.”

Relate backstory with memory flashes.

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August Program – Deep Point of View and Layering

The August program will be on Deep Point of View, Layering and How they are Co-Dependent.
Speaker:

Anna Jeffrey writes steamy, yet heart-warming books. Dixie Cash, on the other hand, will keep you laughing.

 

Anna Jeffrey is an award-winning author of romance novels as well as romantic comedy/mystery. She has written 10 romance novels and co-authored 7 as USA Today Bestselling author, Dixie Cash. Her most recent book is “The Cattleman.”

Her Anna Jeffrey’s books have won the Write Touch Readers’ Award, the Aspen Gold, and the More Than Magic awards. Her books have been finalists in the Colorado Romance Writers award, the Golden Quill and Southern Magic as well as the Write Touch Readers’ Award, the Aspen Gold and the More than Magic awards. She is a member of Romance Writers of America.

Anna is a fifth generation Texan. She was born and grew up in West Texas, where most of her family members were farmers and ranchers or worked in the oil fields. She left Texas for many years and lived in four of the western states, a rich experience she’ll never forget.

She loves most things western, from the customs and culture to the philosophy of life. She enjoys many hobbies, i.e., reading, painting and drawing, crafting, needlework and beading.

These days, she’s back home in Texas. She and her husband currently live in a small town not far from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

Tips on Book Cover and Graphic Designs

Monday night 7pm at Lakestone Terrace 3rd floor game room, should be one of those programs you aren’t sure you need until you need it and then it’s too late to learn all you need to know fast. Book Covers are the second most important thing about publishing a great book. The first is writing a great book. Join the Writers Bloc Monday, June26, 2017 as graphic designer, Steve Torres, shares the importance of excellence in design.

Amanda Arista Presenting “Getting the Words Right”

Getting the Words Right”

Why am I writing this? How does it serve my story? Is this the best way to say it

Amanda Arista – Author and teacher with SMU’s Writers Path – Originally from Illinois, Amanda now lives in Dallas with her husband and daughter. Published author and instructor with the SMU Writers Path, she likes to be known as the character lady who prefers demons and witchcraft to slasher films.

“The World of Publishing Today”  Marketing & Where do I fit in?

Lena Nelson Dooley – Award Winning Author – Award-winning author, Lena has sold more than 850,000 copies of her books. As a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Christian Author’s Network, Lena loves mentoring budding authors.

Writers’ workshop and writing group