Monthly Archives: June 2013

All Authors Blog Blitz Featuring Author Aramis Barron

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Roaming Cadenza ebook Cover  Dust Requiem ebook Cover

Today I am pleased to feature author Aramis Barron through the All Authors Blog Blitz put on at Goodreads by author Y. Correa. I hope you enjoy reading this article by Aramis, and will pick up one or both of his books. Enjoy!

 

Leave a Good Story by Aramis Barron

One of the biggest challenges I’ve encountered as a writer is turning interesting ideas into good writing. The theory is simple enough—have a good idea, write it down, flesh it out. Success! Or so the theory goes.

In practice, I’ve found there’s often some sort of disconnect where the awesome gets lost, and what started out as an innovative idea turns into boring clichés in a vain attempt to fill the page. Maybe this doesn’t happen to you, but if this sounds familiar, what can be done?

For me, the best option has been to ask this question: what do you expect to see vs. what would you like to see?

It’s all too easy to fill the page with some generic plot progression while waiting to get to the “good part,” but that’s exactly where excellent writing stands out—it takes advantage of every opportunity to add more to (or remove the unnecessary from) the story. For example, a star-struck couple fights over a misunderstanding and then they make up. That’s the storyline. But what if they didn’t? What if one went into a jealous rage and started an anti-dating corporation/poisoned every box of chocolates in the city/contracted the t-virus and flew away into outer space instead (depending on your genre)?

Think about every story you’ve read, heard, watched, in which you knew exactly what was coming next. How did you feel when you knew what the protagonist or cookie-cutter villain was going to do before they did? Then look at it from the other side: do you remember some of the greatest surprises you’ve ever read in a story? Why was it surprising? What made it work?

An example from literature (spoilers!): In the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, after Martin is revealed as a serial killer, he asks Blomkvist who killed his sister. This opens up a whole new, fascinating plot line since it is implied Martin had killed her, which although short, works very well and creates the opening for an even more surprising ending. Another example is from the television show Prison Break when Michael and Lincoln miss their plane after they escape Fox River. After everything that’s happened up to that point, the audience has a vested interest in seeing the brothers escape, and expects them to, only to watch them fail. As it turns out, failure is an acceptable storyline!

Each writer has their own methods and styles, but if you find your pieces need a little something more to stand out, consider the questions above and don’t be afraid to explore the results. Sometimes the plot or even the entire storyline may change—that’s okay! Moments happen in life that are completely messed up and change the way things are “supposed to go,” but those exact moments are the ones worth telling. In the end, explore different options and see what works best for you, but most of all—leave a good story.

Before I wrap this up, I’ll include a brief advert for my book series, A Bard’s Folktale. The first book, “Roaming Cadenza,” is about three high schoolers and their mental unstable college friend driving across country to get the hell out of their hometown just after graduation. Finally getting out of their protective bubble, however, they see just how difficult the “real world” can be, and whether they each have what it takes to get by. The second book, “Dustland Requiem,” (available June 25th) continues the story by dealing with the fallout of the group’s decisions and trying to survive the lawless desert of gangland Mexico.

For more information, including a free copy of the first e-book, please visit http://emarosa.net

T. Aramis Barron
His Website
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Please leave your comments and let Aramis know how much you enjoyed his post!

 

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Writers are On a Journey – Everything in Life is a Lesson

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A writer’s life is akin to taking a journey.

Guaranteed, the journey is going to be a long and winding road.

It is sometimes an arduous trek.

As we are writing, we learn, we mature, and we transform—sometimes at a feverish pace. This can be an extremely painful process as we are pushing hard to attain the goals we have set for ourselves and our writing. I believe, as writers, we learn more about who we really are, than through any other path. Writing can be very therapeutic and cathartic if a person has lived through very traumatic life situations. Personally, I find that as I write, I can work through serious life questions I am seeking and be rewarded with answers that I would not otherwise find.

The other night, I dreamt about mountains.

These were no ordinary mountains.

They were vivid blue and white with peaks so tall, pointy, and sheer that no one could even attempt to scale them. They resembled some of those magnificent cathedrals in Europe with spires that go on and on forever. I awoke, amazed at the picture still vivid in my memory and the analogy that came to my mind:

“Everything in life is a lesson.”

Our writing goals are our mountains.

The peaks are what we aspire to reach.

Of course, before we reach the peaks, we must all start at the bottom.

All of us must.

You, me, and everyone in the entire world since the beginning of time, who have already attained what they aspired to.

We stand on the prairie at the bottom, at the foot of the mountain, craning our neck, shielding our eyes from the sun, and squint as we try to make out the peaks hidden in the clouds.

They seem so far away, don’t they?

Almost unattainable and unreachable.

Especially when those peaks cannot be seen by human eyes.

We wonder, can we really do this?

Ah, but that is where the faith part comes in. Faith in our abilities, our writing, our stubbornness, and our persistence to push through at all odds. We must have faith that if God has given us this desire, this unquenching fire of a desire in our bellies to write and write and not stop, then we must have faith that the lessons He is trying to teach us, are in the process of the writing.

We slowly begin to climb our mountain, taking tiny, tentative steps.

As we scale the face, struggling to reach the top, each step is a lesson learned.

When we strain and grunt and groan on our way up, we keep on learning, stretching and growing. It’s difficult at times, but not impossible. Sometimes, we pause to wipe the sweat off our brow and may feel like quitting. Once we finally reach the peak of that mountain, we breathe a sigh of relief that we are home free—the lesson has been learned–but they are far from over.

Again, Everything is a lesson.

In a writer’s life there will be many more lessons to learn and more mountains to climb.

Hold your writing close to your breast, breathe a prayer of thanks for the gift that you have been blessed with, and open wide your eyes to the lessons you have been taught…

and to the lessons still waiting to be learned.

Leave a comment and let me know what kinds of lessons you have learned on your writer’s journey! I love to hear from other writers.

PenelopeBTR2tiny
Penelope Silvers is founder of PhilosBooks.com,
where “Independent Authors are introduced to the World!”
She is a freelance writer, publisher, and radio host of
Penelope’s Book Chat on Blog Talk Radio.

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A Great Gatsby of a Story – Writing Tips from a Great Movie

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In my estimation, there are so few skillfully told stories that can keep you absolutely gripped to the book page, TV, or big screen.

When I find such a story, I want to tell the world.

Last week I become totally immersed in a captivating story.

I have never read the classic novel, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald or seen the movie made in the 70’s with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. Last week, when I plopped down in my cushy seat inside the darkened movie theater with my popcorn, all I could do was grouse about how long this movie was going to be! 2 hours and 22 minutes!

I just knew I was going to be looking at my watch all the way through, and my rear was going to be sore, and….

I did not glance at my watch even one time.

Once the previews were finished, and the movie began, I was absolutely entranced.

It was a visual masterpiece to behold and the story of J. Gatsby kept me glued to my seat.

The story held me spellbound from the start and never let go.

I pondered over the story later that day and the next, and came up with a short list of what I felt were some essentials to a great story:

1)   An element of mystery
2)   Symbols
3)   Romance
4)   A not necessarily happy ending

From the start, this Gatsby fellow was a mystery.

We were shown his life being a certain way, but we were kept wondering who he really was, from the time we first heard his name. And of course, he was not who we thought he was. We didn’t find out the truth until much later in the movie. This keeps us constantly guessing and watching to learn more.

Many symbols were used throughout, like little bread crumb clues that something more was about to happen. Different colors were sprinkled throughout the story, to lead us to think a certain way—when circumstances actually took quite a dramatic turn.

Stories with a touch of romance are always fun.

Mystery and romance bundled together?

Irresistible.

Some of the best stories don’t have happy endings.

I’m not going to give it away, but a sad ending will sometimes leave more of an impression than a happy one.

Suffice it to say that “The Great Gatsby” is no Disney movie.

Do you have some favorite movies that are great “stories?” Tell us about them and what makes them worth watching.

PenelopeBTR2tiny
Penelope Silvers is founder of PhilosBooks.com,
where “Independent Authors are introduced to the World!”
She is a freelance writer, publisher, and radio host of
Penelope’s Book Chat on Blog Talk Radio.

2 Comments

Filed under BLOG, WRITING TIPS