Tuesday, September 16, 2014

On Writing: When in doubt, KISS

Thanks to Luke Neff's great Writing Prompts Tumblr

My father always used to remind us of the KISS rule: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Good advice, Pop.

Many of the writing seminars and convention panel sessions I've attended over the past few years talk about how important it is to set the scene of your story as quickly as possible. Readers need a character's voice or vision as their Point of View (POV) into your story. And they need something to draw them in from one sentence to the next, one paragraph to the next, one page to the next. What's your hook? What's the plot? What's the problem or conflict  that needs to be resolved?

Here's a great example: the opening sentence from D.B. Jackson's wonderful Thieftaker:
Ethan Kaille eased his knife from the leather sheath on his belt as he approached Griffin's Wharf, the words of a warding spell on his lips.
And from Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock series, Raven Cursed:
I rose into Asheville, North Carolina, for all the wrong reasons, from the wrong direction, on a borrowed bike, with no weapons, ready to work for the vamps again.

And from Laura J. Underwood's The Hounds of Ardagh:
The throaty growls of the moor terrier alerted Ginny Ni Cooley to the mischief on the moors that night.
Here's mine for the night:
Houdini raced through the door and up the hill, her deep bark echoing through the foggy tendrils that lay heavy in the night air.

Share yours?

And so, with a loving heart, I offer you
I’ve heard many translations. Here’s one I love:
The light of the universe that shines within me recognizes
the light of the universe that shines within you.

Dogs in House
Houdini, Brindle

Time writing
50 minutes, including researching first lines

September word count

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