Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Feelings"



"Steps for Writing Feelings"

You decide what's good and what's bad
You give your reader a character for a compass
You create a story world
You inject an element of change
You draw motive power from cause and effect
You pin down development to motivation and reaction
You make motivation-reaction units shape emotion
You measure copy length with tension (D. V. Swain)




So, my question today is how do we decide whether a thing is good or bad? Everything is good and bad, in varying degrees. Is a rainstorm bad or good? How about a bombing raid? A strike? A divorce?  A marriage? A cigarette? A chocolate bar? A job? A baby? A weed?

Because we're human, we measure each instance with cause and effect, pushed together with our feelings of the world we live in. 

You, the writer, decides how significant a rainstorm, a marriage, a chocolate bar or a divorce is to your fiction world. Whether we have a hand full of facts or three barrels full, we humans judge and respond with our feelings.

Happy Writing,
Sherry L White 









Friday, August 1, 2014

Eat chocolate daily . . .

Whose Stories?

Once upon a time, we sat around the campfire and told our stories. It united our clan and our culture inside the safety of our cave. Today's stories are instant, demanding, and in our face. The venues are numerous. Many stories encourage that we have value and a voice, others deflate our confidence in the human race. The question is: whose stories and what media can you believe? The world today is an ongoing story, and somehow, we have to sort it all out to a story that makes sense to us.

What's your view on story?

Sherry





Sunday, July 13, 2014

Eat chocolate daily . . .

Time: "What does it mean to you?"

Time: is constant
Time: it waits not for nobility
Time: plays heavy on wrinkles
Time: gives way to change
Time: multiplies flies
Time: fosters forgiveness
Time: nurtures children
Time: swallows up our sorrows
Time:  creates smiles
Time: is equal to all

Have a great Sunday watching the world cup.

Sherry


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Eat chocolate daily . . .

A scene from Hybrid. 

Pages 155-158

            Captain Elswick grabbed his orders and closed the door behind him.  His visit with Major Reni had shaken him. What she’d ask was a serious breach of Alfiniaian law. They both could be court-martialed. He glanced down at his watch. He was ten minutes late for his briefing with his crew. This would be their last meeting before departure.
            The chatter stopped as Captain Elswick entered the briefing room.
            “Good evening,” he said, half smiling. He made no apologies why he was late. He hoped no one had seen Major Reni leave his quarters.
            “We have exactly four hours before lift off. Let’s run through the schedule. Dr. Romas, let’s start with you.”
            Dr. Romas, a short, robust man, stood up. He was a twenty-five-year veteran as an embryologist. Once the eggs were harvested his primary responsibility were the freezer tanks. Dr. Romas spread opened his briefcase, placed his report in front of him, and cleared his throat.
            “All calculation, accurate, Captain. I’ve double-checked the liquid nitrogen. Full capacity, Sir. The embryology lab, sterile and ready.”
            “Excellent,” the Captain answered. “Good work.”
            The Captain leaned forward and pushed a red button. A six by six hologram screen burst to life, illuminating the entire room.
            “This mission to Earth will be more of a challenge,” he said, pointing to the lower half of the screen. “We’ve been monitoring E/421 for several months. Its drifting path is dead center of our exit point, which could be a real problem for us.”
            From the back of the room, Navigator Blaine raised his hand and cleared his throat. “Sir, I checked E/421 less than an hour ago. It's closer than originally recorded. We may have to delay our lift off time.”
            Lt. Warnock’s jaw muscle knotted up. He was the crew’s rebel. He didn’t get along with anyone, but as a trained physicist he knew his stuff when it came to traversable wormholes. He interrupted Lt. Blaine. “Sir, the portal’s opening has its own time clock. There’s no variance with its window of 24 hours.”
            “Why not use our new LD prototype, Captain?” asked Lt. Skyler. “Its beam could shift the E/421 asteroid to either side of the exit point. We only need a five mile clearance to exit safely.” Skyler was twenty-four, the youngest of Captain Elswick’s crew. He’d just graduated from Alfinia’s Royal Officers Academy with a degree in Quantum Mechanics.
            “Good point, Lt. Skyler,” the Captain answered.
            Captain Elswick had received a report on the new LD prototype, but it wasn’t scheduled for release for six months. “Lt. Blaine, get with Lt. Skyler after the briefing. Run the numbers. I’ll contact General Dalmar to request an earlier release.”
            Lt. Blaine nodded. “Consider it done, Sir.”
            During the last few minutes of the briefing, Captain Elswick eyes shifted to the darkened balcony. The door stood half opened with an outlined of body. He quickly recognized the female frame. Major Reni had joined their briefing. He hesitated, unsure of what to say or do. He braced himself.
            “Major Reni,” his voice finally spit out. “Please, want you join our briefing.” 
             Major Reni stepped into the light. Her auburn hair fell in loose curls, framing her ivory face. She was stunning. Any male would have to be blind not to recognize her beauty. She maneuvered her body down the stairs with care, replicating the grace of her mother, the Queen. Major Reni no doubt was one confident and resourceful woman. She had carved out a superior career for herself.
            The Captain’s crew stood and bowed. After all, not only was Major Reni a major in the Elite Army, she was a Princess.
            “Thank you, Captain,” she answered. She sat down in the chair next to Skyler and motioned for the crew to return to their seats.
            Skyler eased down into his seat and wiped the sweat from his brow. He’d never been that close to a Princess before. He closed his eyes, breathing in her lavender scent.
            Major Reni’s slender fingers brushed her curls from her eyes. 
             “If I may, Captain,” she said, pointing to the screen. “This E/421 is the same asteroid my crew and I confronted six weeks ago. It’s big and it’s tough. Our systems calculated that something caused Jupiter’s gravitational pull to kick this particular asteroid out of the belt. It’s running wild. It’s been hard to monitor or even get a handled on where its heading. We’d installed the new LD prototype in my ship, but had never had the call to use it until then. We shot the beam into its lower south side. Luckily, our calculations were right. It nudged it just enough for us to accelerate our thrusters into jump drive, and we cleared an impact. It’s an extraordinary tool to have aboard you ship. I just wished we’d had it eight centuries ago. Get clearance for its installation, Captain. You’ll need it.”
            For a moment, a frozen expression spread across the Captain’s face. He wasn’t aware that the new probe had been approved, installed or even tested.
            “Thank you, Major Reni,” the Captain replied. “We appreciate your info.”           
            Major Reni stood and strolled across the room.
            Captain Elswick eyes followed her. He swallowed hard. He’d never had his own female partner. His alliance to Alfinia ranked first priority. 
            Leaving a trail of lavender scent behind her, the crew jumped to attention like frighten rabbits as Major Reni passed.
            Captain Elswick coughed, grabbing back his crew’s mental attention.
            “Remember, no wine before the launch. If there’s nothing else, you’re dismissed.”
            “Sir, there’s just one more thing,” Navigator Blaine said, standing up. “Do our orders still include Major Reni’s daughter?”
            Captain Elswick’s composure wilted.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Eat chocolate daily . . .

"Talent: Who decides?"

The making or breaking of a writer. If you're a writer, I thought you might like to read this parallel story about a violin player from author, Lawrence Block.

     A man once wanted to become a famous violinist. He loved the violin. He worried though about whether or not he had talent. He said, "Someday, I will play for Mr. Heifetz, the greatest violinist of all. If he says I have talent, I will pursue a career in music. If not, I'll get a job in a bank."
     Time went by and eventually he got his wish, he played for the master. Afterwards, he waited breathlessly for the response. His whole future hinged on the master's reply.
     "Tell me," he said anxiously. "Do I have talent? Do I have the makings of a successful violinist?"
     The master shook his head. "You don't have the fire," he told him.
     The would-be violinist was a broken man. But he had heard it from the master. He would give up his career in music and go into another field of work. He became a very successful businessman, and many years later, after a concert he went backstage to thank Mr. Heifetz for the words that changed his life. As he shook the master's hand, he said, "It was because of you that I gave up violin and went into business."
     "What did I tell you?" asked the master, frowning.
     "You said I did not have the fire."
     "Oh," answered the master, waving the comment away.
     "I tell everyone that. Anyone who would come and ask me doesn't have enough belief in himself to succeed."

      Man, what a rocking and powerful little story. I thought about these words all afternoon. My passion is writing the next best seller. (Ha Ha)  Well, why not? If you're going to dream, don't waste your energy. Dream big. Right?
     However, I do think having writing talent is important, but I had to really think about the fire the master was talking about. Do I have the fire in my gut to stay with my novel. To write each day? To make deadlines for myself? To get my ass to my critique group each week? And most of all to finish the damn thing? My conclusion: Yes, I do. I'm not the type of writer or person who needs to shop around for others to tell me how much talent I have. If I need others to inflate my ego, then I most certainly don't have the fire or self-confidence for the long haul of writing.

Lawrence also says: "He cannot tell his students they are not talented, only that their talent is not visible. And that writing can be learned but it cannot be taught."

What's your thoughts on having talent?

Happy Writing,
Sherry L. White



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Eat chocolate daily . . .

Time at Christmas:

Have you ever reflected back on a moment that you wished you'd given someone your time?

I think we all could answer that question with a big, YES.

In the rush of the holiday season, do stop for a moment and give your child, hubby, neighbor, grandchild or someone in a nursing home a moment of your time.

A gift of 'your' time could be the most memorable Christmas gift of all.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Eat chocolate daily . . .

Question of the day. How many books have you stopped reading and why?

If you're like me, your book shelves are bursting with books. Most of my books, I love, dust often, and treasure. However, there are several who take up valuable space and haven't seen the light of day for years. So, I ask myself, Why do I keep these books? What turned me off? Why didn't they keep me reading? I pulled four from the shelf and started to re-read. In one hour, I had my answer. All the authors started with BACKSTORY and SCENERY. I had no idea what was going on. No main character showed-up. No question of trouble brewing. How on earth could I get emotional involved? I had nothing to connect, too. A good beginning for me has to grab me emotionally with people doing something. I have to care. I want to know the story-worthy problem. Oak trees, lakes, birds flying, sun in the sky, doesn't do the job. Boring as hell!!!!!!!  Please, write me an opening scene with action. Stories are about one thing and one thing only, Trouble. The story simply doesn't exist before this point.

Remember: A good beginning could possibly buy you another page or two with your reader. A poor beginning can doom you story on the first page. 

Happy Writing, and I wish all my friends a very happy holiday season.
Sherry L. White