So you can read my books

Wednesday, December 18, 2013




What am I going on about now?


See? I've engaged your mind by my title.

I.) Just like you have to engage the mind of your reader.

A.) If you don't ...

1.) Readers will have nothing to do with their imaginations ...

2.) They become passive, restless.

3.) Finally, they grow bored, leading to ...

4.) Becoming non-readers!

B.) When you think Author/Reader think of a partnership like marriage ...

C.) Your imagination married to that of your reader's.

II.) Take characterization -

A.) If you want to really know someone :

1.) Watch what they do.

2.) Listen to what they say.

3.) Look to see if the Talk matches the Walk.

4.) If it does, that tells you something important about that person.

5.) If it doesn't, that tells you something even more important.

B.) Don't say Jill is a back-stabbing tramp, rather ...

1.) Show her best friend going to the hospital for an extended stay.

2.) Show Jill inviting her friend's husband over for a nice home-cooked meal for a change.

3.) Have Jill get the husband ...

a.) first, drunk.

b.) then in her bed.

C.) Draw the reader into making her own conclusions about your characters ...

1.) By showing the world through your character's eyes.

2.) By revealing what makes your character laugh or cry or swear.


Maija looked down wistfully upon the unconscious teenager bound on her gold throne and smiled.

Where to maim first?

His eyes?
No, she wanted the boy to fully take in his surroundings: the human heads mounted on the marble walls of her throne room, the steel chains snug around his body, the hopelessness of his situation.

His impish tongue?

No, Maija wanted to hear his screams of agony and his cries for mercy.

His eyelids flickered. He was finally awakening. Good. Maija squirmed in esctasy. His torture would be such a marvelous birthday present to herself.

Victor Standish awoke, consciousness returning almost instantly. His eyes widened at the mounted human heads as he looked up at the smiling Maija. Victor drew in a breath, something dark flickering in his narrowing eyes.  His lips curled into a smirk that stole her joy.

"Who's your interior decorator," he laughed, "Stephen King?"


But by their end, you know quite a lot about Maija. Her station in life. Her mindset. Her mental health. You even know a bit about Victor Standish.

Yet, I've said nothing directly about either Maija or Victor.

III.) When you present your readers with already-arrived at conclusions --

A.) You've left them with nothing to do with their minds.

B.) When you make them come to their own conclusions by DIALOGUE and ACTION

C.) You've made partners of them and the images of your characters crystalize firmly in their imaginations, taking on a life of their own.

IV.) Bore your readers and soon they'll divorce you for a more exciting, engaging partner.

A.) A few bold and subtle brushstrokes of prose on the canvas of your page ...

1.) leads your reader to fill in the rest of the scene
2.) making her a partner in your story.

B.) And it removes limitations to the depth of the characters about whom you write.

C.) Write intuitively as you go along ...

And your novel will go places that will astound both you and your happy partner in prose, the reader.


  1. Right now, I'd just like my outline to go someplace good...

  2. Alex:
    It helps to have the ending in your mind before you start the outline -- like traveling -- how will you know you got to your destination if you don't know it before hand? See you Friday

  3. What a kid reads is going to come out in his snow sculpture or something like that. . .it's better than putting your eye out with a BB gun.

  4. D.G.:
    Definitely. All the mythology and Sherlock Holmes stories I read just emphasized how important the mind was. :-)

  5. Hi Roland - I hate to say it but I laughed at the 'suicide' cartoon - what a fun thought! Cracked I know ..

    You are so right we need to write as we feel, yet make sure our work engages the reader.

    Cheers and hope all is relatively quiet and peaceful for you - Hilary

  6. Ignorance is not bliss. I wanted to share with you what happened the other night. I was reading one of your post, and I showed my daughter Gypsy and MAUKIE - THE VIRTUAL CAT. She had too much fun playing with it!

  7. I LOVED this post! Not only the great information on writing, but I love C and H!! Always have, always will. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hilary:
    Yes, Calvin and Hobbes always make me smile and laugh out loud! May your Christmas be healing and happy!

    Gypsy and Maukie are on the endangered list -- the companies fueling them are about to go out of business. Tell you daughter to visit them while they are still around to play back!

    I wish Bill had kept doing them. Sigh. Thanks for visiting and chatting awhile. :-)