Hibbs, the cub with no clue, here.
I'm all done in, guys. I can't even lift my head.
I have just enough strength to give you the schedule for next week 's Book Blog Tour for THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS --
that's me when I grow up :
Monday (21st) -- Donna Hole - DONNA HOLE
Tuesday (22nd) -- Summer Ross - MY INNER FAIRY
Wednesday (23rd) -- J. C. Martin - FIGHTER, WRITER
Thursday (24th) -- Nas Dean - ROMANCE FROM THE PARADISE IN THE PACIFIC
Friday (25th) -- Jo Schaffer Part I - SHOVELING IN A JO STORM
Saturday (26th) -- Jo Schaffer Part II - SHOVELING IN A JO STORM
Now, guys, I am going to sleep for a century or so. YAWN. Maybe more.
Little Hibbs asked me a moment ago, "How do you write a classic, Mr. Roland."
That's a question you would like to know, too.
Sure you do. Deep down we all do.
But how to pull off that miracle?
Like the photo to today's post suggests ... by giving the reader what he wants to read.
And that's what has readers come back to read our novel a second ... even a third time.
It's what has them rush to their friends, talking about the book that they just have to read.
Word of mouth gives birth to bestsellers that become modern day classics ... to movies being made of said novels ... maybe your book.
Word of mouth.
That phrase leads us to one of the three things will ensure your book is worthy of coming back for seconds,
thus becoming a classic -- (Sorry, I ran out of space -- I only got to one of the three.) :
1) Dialogue that sparkles.
Take the sixties Western, THE PROFESSIONALS :
Burt Lancaster. Lee Marvin. Robert Ryan. Ralph Bellamy. Jack Palance. Woody Strode.
Each actor at the apex of their careers. How did the director draw in so many large stars at the time of one-star vechiles?
The studio couldn't afford that much in salaries.
Each actor was given lines that didn't just say something but words that MEANT something. Words that didn't just move the plot along but spoke to something primal within the hearts of the audience.
Such as :
Bill Dolworth (Burt Lancaster) : Rico, buddy. I don't deserve you.
Rico (Lee Marvin): I agree. I can understand you getting in a crap game and losing $700 you didn't have, but how'd you lose your pants?
Bill Dolworth: In a ladies bedroom, trying to raise the cash. Almost had it made, too. Do you realize that people are the only animals that make love face to face?
Bill Dolworth (Burt Lancaster) : Maybe there's only one revolution, since the beginning, the good guys against the bad guys. Question is, who are the good guys?
Rico: So what else is on your mind besides hundred-proof women, 'n' ninety-proof whiskey, 'n' fourteen-carat gold?
Bill Dolworth: Amigo, you just wrote my epitaph!
Jake Sharp (Woody Strode) : Mr. D, whatever got a loving man like you in the dynamite business?
Bill Dolworth: Well, I'll tell you. I was born with a powerful passion to create. I can't write, can't paint, can't make up a song...
Hans Ehrengard (Robert Ryan) : So you explode things.
Bill Dolworth: Well that's how the world was born. Biggest damn explosion you ever saw.
Jesus Raza (Jack Palance) : La RevoluciÛn is like a great love affair. In the beginning, she is a goddess. A holy cause. But...
every love affair has a terrible enemy: time. We see her as she is. La RevoluciÛn is not a goddess but a whore.
She was never pure, never saintly, never perfect. And we run away, find another lover, another cause. Quick, sordid affairs. Lust, but no love. Passion, but no compassion.
Without love, without a cause, we are... *nothing*! We stay because we believe. We leave because we are disillusioned. We come back because we are lost. We die because we are committed.
J.W. Grant (Ralph Bellamy) : You bastard.
Rico: Yes, Sir. In my case an accident of birth. But you, Sir, you're a self-made man.
On the surface THE PROFESSIONALS was just an adventure tale, plain and simple.
But your novel to become a classic cannot be plain and simple.
It must have depth. Your dialogue must do more than say something -- it must MEAN something.
As THE PROFESSIONALS had depth. Beneath the adventure was an examination of what it means to be a professional in all you did, what it took for mature, intelligent men to fight for love or for a cause when ultimately all loves, all causes, betray you.
Each character had a different surface answer. But their base-rock answer was the same : you lived in such a way as to not betray yourself -- you fought because of the people you battled alongside and for.
And that leads back to us :
as authors we write for ourselves and for those who read our words -- not to betray ourselves or the readers who paid cash money for tale. In the end, we want what all authors want :
to tell a story that sings a song of the soul, that murmurs "You are not alone."