Writer's Blog

Wake up and smell the coffee: using your senses in your writing

Writers Tip of the Day. We experience the universe in several ways. Yes, we see it, but we have much more than one sense: smell, hearing, touch and taste. Yet, it is surprising how many writers don’t make use of all these tools to present their lively version of the world. If we want to entice the reader into believing in our stories, we need to use all five senses in our writing. Not only can they create a three-dimensional setting but, with their use, they also have the power to evoke associations and memories. Marcel Proust’s taste of a madeleine transported him (and his readers) on the long journey (seven volumes) into times past. So don’t just tell the reader about a rose, recreate its scent, the feel of its thorny stem. Let your character hear the sound of the sea like a wild beast, hurling itself against the shore, don’t just say it was rough. The sense of taste can be used powerfully to set your readers’ taste buds tingling as you set a fictional feast before them. You are in possession of these senses, all you have to do is employ them. And you’ll bring your writing to life.

Write the right synopsis that doesn't confuse.

  Last time i suggested you tell us something about 'who is telling your story'...in other words your main protagonist. But you want to tell about all the other intriguing characters you have created. Don't!  Don't give us the full cast list, don't give many names, at all. Your page will look cluttered and make your synopsis confusing and difficult to understanblue flower

Less is certainly more in this respect.

Writing synopsis: don't lose the plot

Now is the time to tell us about the plot of your novel. Make this as simple as possible. You may have written intriguing twists and turns and subplots. Leave them out. You only need to give the major plot points to demonstrate what your novel is about and how you have tackledblue flower moving the story forward. 

Struggling with your synopsis?

I hope I haven't given you anxious hours struggling with your 'pitch'. That's the last thing I want to do but, I admit, it isn't an easy thing to do in one shot. If you are despairing, try this instead: include a quote from your novel, something that gives a tantalising glimpse of its tone, enticing the reader in. So, if you decide the pitch is not for you, offer a quote but do one or the other, you don't need both.

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Write the right synopsis

We've all heard the phrase 'pitch your work' What does it mean?  Well, this is the 'heart' of your novel...the key question, dilemma or what drives the book along. It should be high on your list of points to make in your synopsis, but writers get anxious about getting their pitch lines perfectly right. Calm down, have a cup of tea, or a glass of wine and let your mind concentrate on your book. What was it you were trying to say? You;ll be saying more about your story later on - it is not all about that one line!! lily 3624481 1920

Too busy to write

'I'd love to be like you and have time to write' is a remark I've heard on msny occasions. It seems that, because I am not a wife and mother, I have so much more free time to sit at my desk and write. But this isn;t true. I havr numerous calls on my time during a day: a house to run, a large-ish garden to tend, nutritious meals to cook, washing, ironing...that's apart from a health regime of exercise and caring for my body and mind (no one writes well if they are ill)  And yet, at a certain time of day I say 'Enought' because these are the hours I devote to writing. You might call it selfish or slovenly (there may be dirty plates in the sink and a grubby bath) I call it being true to myself and my art and craft. Anyone who wants to write HAS to allot the time and disciplineto do it and not allow themselves to be  swayed.

Take me on your holiday

Looking for your ideal holiday read? I think you'll find Monet's Angels fills ther bill.

                         It is a story of passion and intrigue, of two women drawn together by destiny.   It is set in the last golden days before the First World War when a beautiful house and garden inspired some of the world’s greatest paintings.

            In the Normandy village of Giverny the two women meet, Their backgrounds are worlds apart: Blanche is French, provincial and middle aged; Judith is a young, beautiful, rich American heiress, Their common ground lies in Claude Monet, the impressionist painter, but their motives are very different.

            It is 1913 and the elderly Monet is fighting his failing eyesight to create his Water Lily panels, which will be his swansong Blanche, his dutiful step-daughter, has renounced her considerable painting talent to support him.

            Into this orderly household, Judith arrives like a shooting star, fascinating everyone she encounters, She is determined to flout her parents’ wishes for a strategic marriage and live her bohemian dream. Her reckless presence heralds change and disturbs long buried memories of the past.

            Blanche relives her ill-fated love affair with John Leslie, when she defied Monet’s disapproval, while Robert, an American artist, is alarmed by Judith’s wild passion for life and strives to protect her from herself, conscious as he does so that he is trying to change his own past.

            After initially welcoming Judith as an invigorating influence on Monet, Blanche comes to realise that the young American is eroding her close relationship with her stepfather. And when she learns of Judith’s fling with Michel, an under-gardener, which threatens the happiness of her favourite laundry-maid, Lilli, it is the final straw for Blanche,

            She intervenes with tragic results. Gradually the old relationship between Blanche and Monet returns. She can finally lay her memories and regrets of John Leslie to rest, reconciled to her life living and working with Monet.

            She never really had a choice

THE NINE RULES OF WRITING DIALOGUE

We will discuss the nine rules of writing good dialogue using examples of text and short written exercises including the following:

Dialogue Must Be In Conflict

The two characters should have conflicting goals – one of them wants one thing, the other something else. The underlying tension will be all you need to keep the readers turning those pages.

Dialogue Should Drive the Story Forward

Conversations in the real world often have little or no point to them, with the circumstances of the people involved remaining unchanged at the end.

Fictional dialogue should advance the plot in some way.

Dialogue Should Characterise

Another way of giving dialogue a purpose is adding to the readers’ understanding of a character’s personality.

Dialogue Should Provide Information

Dialogue is one of the best methods there is for getting information across in a bite-sized way. If done well enough, the readers won’t even know what is happening!

Apologies

To all my dear friends on Facebook. This is to say sorry that I have been silent in posting for some weeks. various events have prevented me from doing so but I am now surfacing and look forward to hear from you all! With love.

LIFE WITHOUT CATS

As I was summoned to the bathroom for the second time today by a cat who had decided she wanted to be combed, I asked myself the question of a life without cats. It goes without say that we love them, no adore them, but just for a moment imagine how your life would be without your moggy. For a start you would have more time. A feline can interrupt almost every daily task from cleaning your teeth to printing out s document. Sleep would be more peaceful when you are not pushed towards the edge of the bed or practically smothered by a cat, like my Sheba, who wants to sleep as close to your face as she can. Door duty would be cancelled. Sheba can spend several minutes waiting for the door to be opened, sitting and deciding whether to go out or not, deciding against it and then, just as I turn away, meowing to go out.

Life without cats? I think you know the answer. No way, we couldn't live without them!

Writing a great synopsis: genre 2

Finding a literary agent has become increasingly difficult. That's why many authors choose to go the self publishing route. When you upload a digital self-published release, you’re allowed to choose several categories/genres for your novel. You need to choose a broad genre that fits your right readers' expectations. Then, you choose a niche, preferably one that isn’t heavily populated, that also fits your novel. For example, if you've written a mystery that involves a detective, you might pick 'Mystery, Thriller and Suspense' category. However, a look at Kindle books will reveal there are107,974 offers...the number of ebooks using that category. Go to a subcategory, say 'police procedurals', and this number drops to 4,844. Explore further. Maybe your detective is a 'cat sleuth'. In that case the number of books drops to a mere 23. You'd be by default in the top 100!  A word of warning: if you DON'T have a cat sleuth, don't choose this, just to get a better ranking. Misleading niche readers will hardly gain you good reviews!

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I am based in Shoreham-by-Sea
West Sussex

Email: info@jenniferpulling.co.uk

 

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Unleash your imagination at one of my forthcoming workshops, beginners welcome, I take an organic approach which encourages the writer to sift through experience and allow it to compost in the imagination.... read more