Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Short #Writing: Tips for Pacing and Structure - Part 4

In SHORT WRITING, word choice is key for specificity...
But STRUCTURE is key for readability.
If all the words sounds or meanings are the same or too similar, the reading gets boring. The emphasis is the same for every word and/or sentence. If the sentence structure is the same throughout what you get is flat, boring, or dull.
I'm ready to snooze. ZZZZ How about you? The monotone puts us to sleep or we can't stay focused on the subject.
BAM! Wake up! Use impact words. Shorten your sentences. Place emphasis where the reader won't expect it. Use different words and sentence arrangement to change the reader's mood. 

What about humor? 

It is often created by surprise. Something changes in the scene, or is unexpectedly different. This may catch the reader off guard and surprise can create humor. Humor can be merely something the reader wasn't expecting. 

What about Structure? How you structure your sentence increases or decreases the emphasis on the words you choose.

When we write short, creating good pacing is important. You have a minimal number of words to create that special mood. Don't waste any words making it happen.

What do you want the readers to remember about your book if the house burns down before they finish the story? What will make them want to finish reading where they left off before their world flipped upside down?

Vary your sentence structure. Make it interesting. 

Hooks. Emphasis should end on the short sentence.

BALANCE is even more important in Short writing.

Use dialogue effectively to write SHORT. Dialogue tags can be replaced with SHORT, descriptive narrative that tells something IMPORTANT about the character, location, or scene. Even that should express necessary information with impact.

Narrative slows pacing. Show don't tell.
  • Inconsequential details slow the pace
  • Confuse the reader
  • Take away from the important information.

This is where reader skimming begins. The reader's eyes glaze over until an interesting word or phrase jumps off the page and grabs them back into the story.

Beware! If it happens too often, the reader may not return. And since we're talking about writing short, you don't have the word count to waste.

  •  Use short paragraphs.
  •  Include white space.
  •  Apply sharp, crisp verbs and sentences with punch.
  •  Think advertising.
  •  Think fragments.

This All Affects Pace…and Pace Creates Mood
  • Vary your word choices for impact and rhythm.
  • Every word, every sentence, should have a reason for being.
  • Not every word will carry as much weight as another.
  • Not every sentence should have the same power as every other.
  • Pacing keeps the reader reading.
  • Word choices and word count determine pacing.
  • Pacing impacts mood.
  • Mood is what the reader wants. Then change it to keep them interested.
Choose your words wisely. Vary sentence structure. Mood makes the writing interesting. Change it up. 

copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved Maureen Sevilla
I will be presenting a two hour workshop while joining a host of other speakers at the LVWC next month. here is the information if you plan to be in the area.

The Henderson Writers’ Group

April 28 – 30, 2016

Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall
Las Vegas, Nevada

Throughout the weekend, you will be able to meet and socialize with our faculty, pitch to agents and publishers, and learn from experts in fields connected to writing and publishing. The faculty is now complete; the Keynote Address will be given by “story fixer” Larry Brooks at the final banquet on Saturday – a treat you won’t want to miss.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Monday, March 21, 2016

FIVE New #Books for SPRING by #ElizaMarch

WHAT'S happening with my book releases?

Well, hold on it's a busy year. Looks like the beginning of the year will be immersed in IATO book suspense. I'm saving the first in my fantasy Gemini Prophecy series until later this year.

Now the Suspense: International Anti-Terrorist Organization books started with the sexy, spring break novella TROUBLE IN THE TROPICS, a part of the SIZZLING FLORIDA HEAT boxed set from some best-selling Florida authors.

Next there's INNOCENCE LOST, Book One of  the IATO, ACROSS A CROWDED ROOM series. That will be available for sale at Amazon on March 25th.   Part Two  - THE MONTE CARLO AFFAIR is available for Pre-Sale now and will be available for download April 8th. Part Three, CYBER SEDUCTION  will be available the beginning of May. No Cover yet... Keep your eyes open for it!

More great news for May: CYBER TRACKED, an IATO based series story by Eliza March, will be released at Kindle Worlds as part of Desiree Holt's OMEGA TEAM series... This is very exciting. Eliza's favorite brother from Across A Crowded Room, Cade Holmes will return in a dark cyber suspense to retrieve a program for IATO and share critical information with Desiree Holt's OMEGA TEAM.
Stay tuned...more details to follow.

Monday, March 14, 2016

What Am I Up To? How About Giving Away a #FREE Book?

#FREE with Smashwords code UT96C

by Eliza March

My next WIP is tied into a similar topic of cyber espionage and terrorist activity.

I'm working on another project too to tie in my IATO books with Desiree Holt's OMEGA series at AMAZON KINDLE WORLD. Now I must get busy if you want to read it by May.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Why #Write Short? Part 3 - Like Novellas or Novels?

Writing Short Part 3  -  Why write short? Novellas or Novels?

In the last posts on the subject of writing short, I talked about certain techniques of writing short -- the professional aspect of creating shorts to identify your story; promo blips, tag lines and log lines, long and short synopsis and blurbs, and if I haven't fully covered the art of condensing your words, thoughts, characters, and plots...I will. But today, I want to discuss WHY?

I realize long involved novels draw readers in, taking them to another place or adventure. Epic I-want-to-move-in-and-live-here novels are the stuff huge best sellers are made of. They are the ones we never want to put down.

BUT...there are also uses for shorts and novellas. Newspapers and magazine articles fulfill our needs for the short non-fiction information we don't get on 140 character social media sites, yet there's a dynamic market for short fiction, too. TRUE ROMANCE, TRUE CONFESSIONS and others are still around and selling. They may not be as convenient as choosing what you want when you want it off your iPhone, Android, Nook, or Kindle.

Now we have the ability to read short fiction in almost any genre we want, in any location, in novella or novel format, on our electronic readers. I don't have to read that AARP article in the doctor's office. I can read about a cute sci-fi romance in space or a sexy Valentine surprise while I'm waiting for the dentist. That's better than the material in their office that already makes my mouth hurt. Escape into fiction wherever you go.

The advantage of a short, satisfying lunch time read is the way you can reach that happily ever after before you head back to work. Read a good story and change your attitude. Have you noticed how short "The Chicken Soup for the Soul" stories are? There's a reason. Short, example-driven advice has more impact when it's delivered concisely. The stories are interesting, quick paced, and send a message. Poof - you're done and look up from the story with a new attitude or insight. The same can be said for any good fiction short.

Read my first post here Writing Short 1 and my second post here Writing Short 2

So download my new short today.  Tell your friends it is FREE in all  electronic formats at
Promotional price: $0.00 
Coupon Code: UT96C
Expires: April 30, 2016 Please, leave a quick review so I know how you liked it.

And visit here to check out THE WRITE LIFE for freelance writing gigs.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

#Writing Short Part 2 for Eliza March

#Writing Short - Installment 2  for Eliza March

My editor persona is compiling ideas about writing short for a presentation I am giving in Las Vegas. Any and all ideas or opinions will be appreciated. 

WRITING SHORT Part 2 by M.F. Sevilla

In this installment I'd like to focus on the basics of writing short.

When you're writing short, you don't have time for the poetry of the moment. Adjectives and adverbs become extraneous unless they really count. It's more important to be precise with your choice of words, by carefully considering the adverbs or adjectives you want to use. Make certain every word works to your advantage.

Your sentence structure should be precise for impact. Positioning for impact makes a difference, especially when you're goal is a hook.

Lets consider blurbs. If you write a long blurb about your book for instance, consider it being two-hundred and fifty words, you can afford to use a number of words that describe what's going on in your story. But when your blurb/tag is 25 words, you're going to have to go into those two-hundred and fifty words and extract the ones with the most clout for impact.

You are probably asking, what's the difference between writing short and writing long other than the length of the story? Actually, writing long means you can create a bigger story with more characters and a bigger plot. The very first thing you should consider when writing short is condensing the story you want to write into a carefully constructed hypothesis sentence. Simple is better.

Yes, you probably hated doing that when you were writing a story or project or thesis in school. But now it's important to condense your plot and your characters into the most precise words to impart that story. It's probably unrealistic to consider writing something like War and Peace and think you can condense that plot to a short story. More likely, you could take some sub plot from War and Peace, a point that you want to make, and focus on those details to write a shorter story.

Here is the point where I emphasize the importance of condensing your idea or plot if you have a limited word count. Why? Because it's important to thoroughly explore the story you're writing. Give it the attention it requires to satisfy the reader. Leave no questions unanswered. 

Why should we write short? Because often we have to. 

We write short because in this day and age with so much coming at us, it's very difficult to absorb everything that's out there. Social media, electronics, and information bombard us constantly. Medi fight for a parking spot in your brain and often it must double park. We have maybe an equal number of commercial breaks on commercial TV during the course of one program as we do the actual story that we're trying to appreciate.

And watching the news casts are almost frightening. During the news they've got a ticker-tape running underneath -- not always just one -- probably two boxes placed in the lower left-hand corner, another in the upper left-hand corner, and another in the background behind the newscaster. For a weather forecast you have to look at all of those things on your screen at the same time. It's very difficult to get information and pay attention to everything there. You are constantly making choices about what you want to watch, hear, or speak.

Therefore, you can be more effective in a short period of time if you can condense your thoughts and story or purpose.

So why is this important to writer's?

Well, you've heard of the elevator pitch, right? If some agent or publisher or editor turns to you and says, “Gee, what's your story about?”  You want to be prepared to reply in one simple, concise sentence; a sentence that grabs his attention so you have time to go on and explain your story in a little more detail.

What does it take to get that kind of attention? What will it take to have him asking for more?

Then what if he requests a synopsis? If he requests a synopsis how can you write a synopsis short or long enough to fit his criteria. If a short synopsis is requested, how can you explain your hundred thousand word book in one page? Since a synopsis is usually written before your book, and the purpose of that is to help you stay on task. And once the book is fully written, it’s more difficult for you to figure out where to cut the synopsis down. Perhaps once it’s completely written you know too much detail about your book to make the choices of what to include. 

A synopsis is a condensed version of your story. It can be ten pages long or it can be one page. If it's ten  pages you have a lot of options, but only if you know how to cut it. Say an agent requests one page, how do you shorten ten pages into one page? Maybe you could go chapter by chapter, scene by scene, and reproduce a synopsis by focusing on the most important thing in that scene or chapter.

That's where the secret of writing short comes in handy. Those ten pages have extraneous words and those ten pages have less important points you've made that you could skip over. Focus on goal motivation and conflict. Focus on your over arcing plot. Putting it into as few words as possible, making those few words count. 

Use words that will entice the reader to read your book. Hook them and reel them in.

All Rights Reserved Copyright M.F. Sevilla 2016

Read my first post here Writing Short 1

Coming soon in ebook and paperback ... Techniques for Writing Short by M.F. Sevilla

Today is the Insecure Writers Support Group  day. I hope they enjoy this special post for them.