Success! I finished designing my novel using my nifty Snowflake Pro. Now all I have to do is write it! Believe it or not, I started yesterday with about 1,000 words. Before I started throwing words on the page, however, I needed a shot of inspiration. So I read the first couple of pages of a few novels on my shelf. Then, I pulled out the nifty book I bought back in 2007 or so (the first time I tried to write a novel) called “This Year You Write Your Novel” by Walter Mosley. The book is pretty is awesome because it’s so short and to the point. I re-read the part on how to “show” rather than “tell” and these are the tools Walter says I need:
1. Sensations. “If you can include the physical reactions to the emotional situations that your characters find themselves in, you will be bringing your readers closer to the experience of the novel.”
2. Emotions. “To say ‘I love you’ rather than using a more vivid expression is not strong enough for fiction. You have to get down to the place where the character (and therefore the reader) feels the emotions that drive your novel.”
3. The Pedestrian in Fiction. “Pedestrian details tells and also shows us something about our protagonist and/or her world…Everyday experiences help the reader relate to the character, which sets up the reader’s acceptance of more extraordinary events that may unfold.”
4. Methaphor and similie. “The methaphor shows us something—something we both see and imagine. And it’s not only human beings that are transformed by methaphor [e.g., “the man was a lion among sheep”]; anything in the writer’s realm can also be something else [e.g., “the sun is a grueling taskmaster with a solar whip in hand”].” (His examples). When the methaphor is too strong, turn to the simile.
5. Final note. “A novel is more experiential than it is informational. Most of what your reader learns is gain through what they are shown about the lives and circumstances of the characters therein.”
It worked! After I read those pages, I felt inspired! Pumped! I was ready to sit down and write something sensational and emotional, but also pedestrian and employing literary techniques. And, I did…sort of. But I found that trying to be so creative at this point slows both me and my story down. As I’ve occasionally discussed in the context of blogging, I like to just freestyle write and worry about editing later. So now my plan is to do what I do (snowflake designed outline and stuff) and then worry about Walter’s “showing” tools later.
Have a great weekend!!