Scribes! Considered this could warrant a good read. Ideas?

http://flashfictiononline.com/main/article/the-lie-2/

Good Day Scribes, this might be worth checking out.

The hours had passed with the miraculous rapidity which tinctures time when one is on the river, and now overhead the moon was a gorgeous yellow lantern in a greyish purple sky. The punt was moored at the lower end of Glover’s Island on the Middlesex side, and rose and fell gently on the ebbing […]

The post The Lie appeared first on Flash Fiction Online.

Was I right on?
Was I on target?

Freelancers! Hoping that this just may qualify for a good read. What do you think?

https://www.writersdigest.com/write-better-fiction/how-artificial-intelligence-can-help-authors-write-a-better-novel

Greetings Budding Authors, this has an outside chance to be worthless.

In this post, J.D. Lasica of Authors A.I. shares how artificial intelligence can help authors write a better novel and questions whether A.I. could be a boon to future writers and authors.

Of all the sectors that artificial intelligence is disrupting—finance, health care, transportation—the creative art of fiction writing seems like the least likely candidate to be impacted by A.I. 

But A.I. has arrived like a gift-wrapped box on the doorstep of the author community. Should we open it up? Or do we need to worry that what’s inside will put authors out of a job?

(Why writers have a love-hate relationship with technology.)

It turns out that a new fiction-savvy bot is not out to take the place of the next Hemingway, Steinbeck, or Atwood. Nor is it out to displace editors or other humans.

The A.I. program, from the tech startup Authors A.I., was built to help the next generation of authors write great books, attract large readerships and maybe even hit the bestseller lists. And, yes, to help authors’ own careers.

Marlowe: A.I. created by authors

Many maverick fiction authors start writing their first manuscript thinking they’ll write a book that defies the rules and blazes a completely new path—wholly original, conventions be damned. They imagine writing a work of such staggering genius, as Dave Eggers might put it, that it could give birth to an entire sub-genre all its own.

Marlowe, the name the founders gave to the A.I., is adept at identifying the shortcomings of a fiction manuscript. She is programmed to send authors down the proper path. In the end, novel writing often involves a right way and a wrong way to tell a story. You don’t want to end your romance novel with a murder-suicide, no matter how brilliant your prose.

(Forced proximity: 50 reasons for your characters to be stuck together.)

That’s where artificial intelligence can help. Marlowe won’t write any passages for authors. But she has studied a large number of books that hit the bestseller lists and she’s reverse-engineered the components of popular novels that resonated with readers.

The best novels are those that meet certain reader expectations for their genre while delivering the story in a fresh and original way. That insight is liberating, because it frees authors to write books that delight readers instead of wasting time raging against literary conventions or the strictures of traditional editors.

*****

Dive into the world of writing and learn all 12 steps needed to complete a first draft. In this writing workshop you will tackle the steps to writing a book, learn effective writing techniques along the way, and of course, begin writing your first draft.

Click to continue.

*****

Plot structure and narrative arc

The first area where A.I. can help with storytelling is a sort of big-picture eye-of-God look at the plot structure and spine of a story.

Many of the best stories follow a certain playbook (“formula” is such a nasty word), with a beginning hook, an inciting event that propels the protagonist into the middle build, a midpoint shift that turns the story in an entirely new direction, an assortment of reversals and revelations, and a climactic buildup leading to an ending payoff.

Marlowe can identify these major plot points and tell at a glance whether they’re positioned correctly. (“What? My inciting incident happens at the 37% mark? That’s not good.”) She will point out the specific passage or line of dialogue where these major plot turns occur. She will tell authors if they have a sagging middle—and not because they’re spending too much time at the computer.

Authors who use Marlowe are running each draft of their manuscripts through her as they reposition chapters and major action scenes.

Pacing

It generally takes authors time and dedication to master the art of pacing. A story ebbs and flows. Authors may start out their novel in media res, with a big action scene, or at a more languid pace, focusing on world building or foreshadowing or fleshing out characters.

But even veteran authors have a hard time assessing whether they’ve properly spaced out their peaks and valleys—the spots where readers turn pages quickly or slowly. The most successful writers vary the pace of their story to provide variety, and also to provide relief to the reader. No one wants to read a thriller with 60 chapters of nonstop action and no letup. One of Marlowe’s most popular features is a visualization of a novel’s pacing.

Other attributes

Marlowe takes the pulse of major characters and lets authors know if they’ve done a good job providing enough variety through the actions they take. (As Henry James said, plot is the act of putting characters under pressure.) Unlike feedback from critique groups, who are unfailingly polite, Marlowe has no hesitation in pointing out that a hero is too passive or a villain is way too much of a nice guy.

This A.I. breaks down the ratio of dialogue versus narration in a work and compares the percentages to that of bestselling novels. Several authors have found, after using Marlowe, that they hadn’t realized they had tipped too far into dialogue when narrative summary was called for.

(Keys to realistic dialogue.)

It turns out that subject matter is a major determinant of whether a book becomes a bestseller—not the specific topic or theme of the book so much as the importance of streamlining the story so only one or two major subjects dominate instead of a lots of tangential side plots that dilute the main storyline. 

This is a tendency seen in a lot of debut novels where the author is tempted to draw from life experience and cram everything under the sun into an overstuffed narrative. William Faulkner put it well: “You must kill all your darlings.” With that awareness in mind, Marlowe charts out top subject matters and their presence in the novel.

The writing matters—a lot

Why do readers find themselves drawn to certain authors? The storytelling and imaginative subject matter, sure; but so does the writing. Marlowe can’t teach someone how to write, but she can point out where even veteran authors miss the mark.

Her cliché finder tells authors about that bird in the hand, but it’s up to them to decide if they should avoid clichés like the plague or are striking the right balance for readers.

She plays copy editor, too, pointing out not just misspellings, but your authorial tics—repetitive phrases, overused adjectives and adverbs, as well as use of the passive voice—and provides the reading grade level and complexity score for the book.

The goal: To advance authors’ careers

Fiction authors have seen the marketplace change radically in the past decade with the dawn of ebooks, self-publishing and, now, a boom in audiobooks.

It’s time to add artificial intelligence to the list.

Was I right on?
Was I correct?

Persons of Letters! Hoping this just might be worth a value post. Any thoughts?

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/EverythingTheatre/~3/XJ0xlbMtzAM/moon-river-online-review.html

Yo Free Spirits, this may be worth reading.

Free online at Little Angel Theatre website (donation optional)

Moon River, Online – Review

Free online at Little Angel Theatre website (donation optional) The Little Angel Theatre has been a triumph during lockdown. Their adaptations of Ross Collins’ What Does an Anteater Eat? and Jon Klassen’s Hat trilogy have collectively had over 200,000 views to date and been watched in over 70 countries worldwide. More than that, children and their carers stuck inside everywhere have been inspired to imitate the simple but effective techniques to devise their own productions at home and possibly put them online. Moon River, created in a similar vein, is a tiny but twinkling star of a production. It’s also another socially distanced…

Summary

Rating

80

Excellent

Escape lockdown and enjoy a relaxing family adventure to dreamland, in this twinkling star of a bedtime story.

User Rating: Be the first one !

The Little Angel Theatre has been a triumph during lockdown. Their adaptations of Ross Collins’ What Does an Anteater Eat? and Jon Klassen’s Hat trilogy have collectively had over 200,000 views to date and been watched in over 70 countries worldwide. More than that, children and their carers stuck inside everywhere have been inspired to imitate the simple but effective techniques to devise their own productions at home and possibly put them online.

Moon River, created in a similar vein, is a tiny but twinkling star of a production. It’s also another socially distanced creation which demonstrates that, although separated in lockdown, we can still meet together successfully in our imaginations. At just four minutes long, it might be brief, nonetheless it still offers a world of possibility for its audience. 

Tim Hopgood’s delightful book illustrates a little girls’ bedtime journey to dreamland using the lyrics of the famous song Moon River, which featured in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s and was later recorded by Andy Williams.  For this adaptation, talented designer Alison Alexander cleverly animates Hopgood’s beautiful pictures in the style of a pop-up book, whilst the captivating music, performed by the honey-voiced Barb Jungr and accompanist Jenny Carr, carries us gently along a meandering stream of imagination. The retro styling of the artwork blends beautifully with the classic song, creating a timeless, intergenerational space for everyone from grandparents to small children to enjoy.

This is perfect bedtime material. In the dreamy, relaxing environment it takes only tiny details of animation to bring characters from the book to life, as the girl and her toys lift from the page to travel the universe together and catch stars. Drawing us in to the songbook, the show encourages us to let go and explore beyond the immediate, creating a fascinating world in a tiny space. The simplicity of the production makes you feel that this is a project style you could possibly imitate yourself with the kids: it would certainly inspire me to at least pick up the book and read or sing with them. The words from the page are present only in the performed lyrics of the song, but if you feel you want to read along during the show, or sing karaoke, YouTube does offer subtitles!

This is a production which embraces imagination, escape and togetherness, all vital elements to help us through lockdown. It left me feeling relaxed and at peace. I’m off to put on my PJs and get my Ovaltine now – job well done Little Angel!

Designed by: Alison Alexander
Performed and filmed by: Alison Alexander and Chris Mason
Music performed by: Barb Jungr and Jenny Carr
Recordings mixed by: Jonathan Lee

Was I on the ball?
No need to thank me.

Authors! Thought this just might warrant a good read. Am I right?

https://scriptcat.wordpress.com/2020/07/06/does-a-screenwriter-really-ever-make-it/

Welcome Writers, this might really be valuable.

spotlights

Sure, everyone wants to be on the A-list at the top levels of Hollywood. It that realistic? Who knows? I recently read the average working career life of a screenwriter is ten years. So, you have to shoot your dreams to the moon to even reach half way there, but know that Hollywood is a tough business to achieve any level of success. Your idea of success can’t always be about making a big sale or climbing to the A-list overnight. You won’t survive over the long haul journey if you have an “all or nothing at all” attitude. I’ve found it’s the little successes along the way that overtime add up to a break that starts your career as a working screenwriter.

I’ve known people who would only consider themselves a success if they became an A-list talent. It wasn’t worth the tremendous effort to them to end up only making a living at their craft and not being on top. They only wanted to be superstars and nothing less. The longer you pursue this profession you will learn there is hardly any fame, fortune, or glory in the screenwriting game. It’s just years of writing. When I was pre-teen kid and making films with my friends, I only ever wanted to make a living getting paid to do what I loved to do—make movies. I’m happy waking up in the morning and getting paid to be creative. That’s my dream come true.

And the longer you’re in the film business with its ups and downs and busy and slow periods, you may change your opinion as to what “making it” is in your mind. Very few achieve the very top of any field. Shoot for the moon, but it’s not such a bad thing to get paid to do what you love for a living too.

poor screenwriter

Don’t take any successful step forward for granted because what might appear to be a tiny step forward can actually be a huge successful step in disguise. If you can get your material to assistants for consideration, it’s a new opportunity for you to plant your flag and hold new ground if they like your writing. If they pass on your script but like your writing it might feel like a failure now, but it’s something that will pay off down the road. It’s a little success and positive step forward to celebrate. Even a tiny step like meeting an assistant and keeping in touch as a new contact is a successful step.

Back in the day when I was shopping my spec around Hollywood and getting rejected at every turn, I met an assistant through a mutual contact and that assistant got his boss interested in my spec enough to option and later buy it and produce it into a movie. The assistant went on to become the president of the production company and hired me to write movies for them. He later became an independent producer and hired me again for more assignment work. You never know where the tiny successes will lead, but they do add up and help you establish your experience and eventually a career.

Before I was blessed to be a working screenwriter, I entered my fifth spec script in various screenwriting contests and it ended up being a semi-finalist in the Nicholl Fellowship that year. It placed in the top 1% of all entries worldwide and was in the top twenty scripts overall, but did not end up as one of the eight finalists. I could have looked upon this as a complete failure, but I used my script’s advanced placement as a successful step forward and convinced producers to read it because of my achievement. I eventually found a producer who saw my script’s potential and his new production company bought my project and produced it into a movie.

FADE INIf you’re working as a staff writer on a TV series, the show will end and you will have to find your next job. If you sell a screenplay and make it through the development process into production, you will need to sell another screenplay or land an assignment job. Selling one script isn’t a career. Screenwriting for a living and having it be your only job is a career. That being said, be aware of your negative thoughts about your self-worth as it relates to your screenwriting success or failure. The more negative thoughts you have, the more it becomes an emotion and then it’s hard to separate your thoughts from your emotions. You can actually start to believe a reality that isn’t true. Many times it’s not always about the sale or the immediate final result of a project. A rejection or “pass” now can actually be an open door later and another project because they like your writing and want to see more of your material. What seemed like a failure at first might really be a successful step because you started a new relationship with a producer or executive and now their door is open to you. This is why you must work on your next project because the key to a successful career is building these relationships with a solid body of material. Don’t be depressed when your script doesn’t sell the first time out because most aspiring screenwriters rarely sell their first screenplays.

Keep filling your blank pages and you’ll be “making it.”

Scriptcat out!

Copyright ©2020 by Mark Sanderson on My Blank Page. All rights reserved.

Did you just complete your latest screenplay and need in-depth consultation? Check out my services and click the link to my website.

script-consultation2

 

book-illustrationNeed help navigating Hollywood’s trenches? Check out my book
A SCREENWRITER’S JOURNEY TO SUCCESS” available on Amazon with 32 five star ratings. It’s a long haul journey to reach any level of screenwriting success. If your passion drives you to embark on this crazy adventure of a  screenwriting career, you’ll need to prepare for survival in Hollywood’s  trenches. Talent is important, but so is your professionalism and  ability to endure criticism, rejection, and failure over the long haul.  The odds may be stacked against you, but the way to standout in this  very competitive business is to create a solid body of work and build a  reputation as a team player and collaborator. The rest is just luck — a  prepared screenwriter who meets with an opportunity and delivers the  goods. “A Screenwriter’s Journey to Success” will help you prepare for  your own journey with the necessary, tips, tricks and tactics that I’ve  developed over the past twenty years of working in the film industry.  It’s time to start living your dream as a screenwriter in Hollywood.

Check out my book at the AMAZON link.

 

Was I on the nose?
No need to thank me.

Freelancers! Figured this could probably be worth a scan. Thoughts?

https://scriptcat.wordpress.com/2020/07/06/does-a-screenwriter-really-ever-make-it/

Greetings Great Minds, this might be worth a read.

spotlights

Sure, everyone wants to be on the A-list at the top levels of Hollywood. It that realistic? Who knows? I recently read the average working career life of a screenwriter is ten years. So, you have to shoot your dreams to the moon to even reach half way there, but know that Hollywood is a tough business to achieve any level of success. Your idea of success can’t always be about making a big sale or climbing to the A-list overnight. You won’t survive over the long haul journey if you have an “all or nothing at all” attitude. I’ve found it’s the little successes along the way that overtime add up to a break that starts your career as a working screenwriter.

I’ve known people who would only consider themselves a success if they became an A-list talent. It wasn’t worth the tremendous effort to them to end up only making a living at their craft and not being on top. They only wanted to be superstars and nothing less. The longer you pursue this profession you will learn there is hardly any fame, fortune, or glory in the screenwriting game. It’s just years of writing. When I was pre-teen kid and making films with my friends, I only ever wanted to make a living getting paid to do what I loved to do—make movies. I’m happy waking up in the morning and getting paid to be creative. That’s my dream come true.

And the longer you’re in the film business with its ups and downs and busy and slow periods, you may change your opinion as to what “making it” is in your mind. Very few achieve the very top of any field. Shoot for the moon, but it’s not such a bad thing to get paid to do what you love for a living too.

poor screenwriter

Don’t take any successful step forward for granted because what might appear to be a tiny step forward can actually be a huge successful step in disguise. If you can get your material to assistants for consideration, it’s a new opportunity for you to plant your flag and hold new ground if they like your writing. If they pass on your script but like your writing it might feel like a failure now, but it’s something that will pay off down the road. It’s a little success and positive step forward to celebrate. Even a tiny step like meeting an assistant and keeping in touch as a new contact is a successful step.

Back in the day when I was shopping my spec around Hollywood and getting rejected at every turn, I met an assistant through a mutual contact and that assistant got his boss interested in my spec enough to option and later buy it and produce it into a movie. The assistant went on to become the president of the production company and hired me to write movies for them. He later became an independent producer and hired me again for more assignment work. You never know where the tiny successes will lead, but they do add up and help you establish your experience and eventually a career.

Before I was blessed to be a working screenwriter, I entered my fifth spec script in various screenwriting contests and it ended up being a semi-finalist in the Nicholl Fellowship that year. It placed in the top 1% of all entries worldwide and was in the top twenty scripts overall, but did not end up as one of the eight finalists. I could have looked upon this as a complete failure, but I used my script’s advanced placement as a successful step forward and convinced producers to read it because of my achievement. I eventually found a producer who saw my script’s potential and his new production company bought my project and produced it into a movie.

FADE INIf you’re working as a staff writer on a TV series, the show will end and you will have to find your next job. If you sell a screenplay and make it through the development process into production, you will need to sell another screenplay or land an assignment job. Selling one script isn’t a career. Screenwriting for a living and having it be your only job is a career. That being said, be aware of your negative thoughts about your self-worth as it relates to your screenwriting success or failure. The more negative thoughts you have, the more it becomes an emotion and then it’s hard to separate your thoughts from your emotions. You can actually start to believe a reality that isn’t true. Many times it’s not always about the sale or the immediate final result of a project. A rejection or “pass” now can actually be an open door later and another project because they like your writing and want to see more of your material. What seemed like a failure at first might really be a successful step because you started a new relationship with a producer or executive and now their door is open to you. This is why you must work on your next project because the key to a successful career is building these relationships with a solid body of material. Don’t be depressed when your script doesn’t sell the first time out because most aspiring screenwriters rarely sell their first screenplays.

Keep filling your blank pages and you’ll be “making it.”

Scriptcat out!

Copyright ©2020 by Mark Sanderson on My Blank Page. All rights reserved.

Did you just complete your latest screenplay and need in-depth consultation? Check out my services and click the link to my website.

script-consultation2

 

book-illustrationNeed help navigating Hollywood’s trenches? Check out my book
A SCREENWRITER’S JOURNEY TO SUCCESS” available on Amazon with 32 five star ratings. It’s a long haul journey to reach any level of screenwriting success. If your passion drives you to embark on this crazy adventure of a  screenwriting career, you’ll need to prepare for survival in Hollywood’s  trenches. Talent is important, but so is your professionalism and  ability to endure criticism, rejection, and failure over the long haul.  The odds may be stacked against you, but the way to standout in this  very competitive business is to create a solid body of work and build a  reputation as a team player and collaborator. The rest is just luck — a  prepared screenwriter who meets with an opportunity and delivers the  goods. “A Screenwriter’s Journey to Success” will help you prepare for  your own journey with the necessary, tips, tricks and tactics that I’ve  developed over the past twenty years of working in the film industry.  It’s time to start living your dream as a screenwriter in Hollywood.

Check out my book at the AMAZON link.

 

Was I on the button?
No need to thank me.

Readers! Figured that this just could be worth a value post. Any ideas?

https://thescriptlab.com/features/screenwriting-101/13633-the-einstein-technique-of-creative-thinking-for-writers/

Good Day Wordsmiths, this should be great.

How can screenwriters use Albert Einstein’s creative thinking technique — combinatory play — to better the development and writing of…

The post “The Einstein Technique” of Creative Thinking for Writers appeared first on The Script Lab.

Was I on the button?
No need to thank me.

Wordsmiths! Hoping this might justify a good read. Thoughts?

http://flashfictiononline.com/main/article/the-lie-2/

How are you Wordsmiths, this is going to be good.

The hours had passed with the miraculous rapidity which tinctures time when one is on the river, and now overhead the moon was a gorgeous yellow lantern in a greyish purple sky. The punt was moored at the lower end of Glover’s Island on the Middlesex side, and rose and fell gently on the ebbing […]

The post The Lie appeared first on Flash Fiction Online.

Was I right on?
Was I on the money?

Wordsmiths! Hoping this just may warrant a value post. Any opinions?

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/LiveWriteThrive/~3/c3YQjqTJ_Xg/

How goes it Persons of Letters, this may be worth a read.

Today’s guest post is by Christina Kaye

Throughout my career, when I’ve spoken at conferences, conventions, and other book events, I’ve been asked for my single biggest piece of advice for new authors wanting to hone their craft. I can’t take credit for this advice. It’s as old as the written word, I think. And Stephen King famously cites this advice in The Bible for fiction writers: On Writing.

But there’s no avoiding the plain, simple truth that the absolute best way to learn the craft of writing and how to properly write fiction is to read, read, read.

Read as much as you can, especially in your chosen genre. See how the “experts” do it. See how those who have figured out the secret to becoming a successful author write their books.

I take this advice a step further when working with my coaching and editing clients. Often, their “homework” assignment is to choose a book by an author they look up to and want to emulate (not copy) and read it.

But not just read it for leisure. They’re told to sit down with their chosen book(s), a stack of sticky notes, pens, and highlighters. Mark every word, every sentence you read that resonates with them. Watch how the author chooses her words and structures her sentences. Bigger than that, watch how she develops her characters and plot.

Think about it this way: those authors are successful for a reason. It’s not just about luck, folks. Sure, luck may play some small part in an author’s success story, but I truly believe it is much more about talent, practice, and persistence. Look at how your author idol structures his story and how he weaves together an intriguing plot filled with well-developed characters.

True,  you have to put your own spin on it and be as original as possible. I’m not saying to commit plagiarism, by any means. Just learn from those who’ve already figured out how to find success.

Author all have different strengths and weaknesses—things they need to work on and get better at. So I developed this list to give you some examples of books that nailed some of the key elements a successful novel must contain. It wasn’t easy to pick just ten books because there are so many masterpieces out there, but after looking through my bookshelf and Audible account, I’ve compiled this list of modern fiction books that I truly believe can inspire every author and help them hone their craft in many different areas.

Nailing “Voice” in FictionWhere the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (2018)

Absolutely, hands-down one of my favorite books of all time, and not just because the story itself is original, intriguing, and unexpected. The voice Owens uses in her narrative and dialogue made me feel as if I had been transported to the marshes of North Carolina in the 1950s. Centering on Kya, a reclusive marsh girl who lives a hard life and falls in love with an educated local boy, this book will serve as the perfect “guide” for any author wondering exactly how to add voice to their novel.

Getting Pacing Just RightThe Chain by Adrian McKinty (2019)

This book revolves around one of the most original plotlines I have ever read, and I’ve read a lot of suspense/thrillers. Based on the concept of those old chain letters and combined with the terror of being forced to commit an unspeakable act to save your own child, this book will keep you hanging on the edge of your seat. But, most importantly, authors can learn a thing or two from McKinty about how to keep the pacing just right and not letting it lag.

A Perfect Ending11/22/63 by Stephen King (2012)

This is the book that made me fall in love with the King of Fiction. More dramatic than a lot of his other books, it centers on a man who stumbles upon a time machine and uses it to save President Kennedy from being assassinated. But, in the process, he falls in love with a woman in 1963. The way King chose to wrap up this story was not only satisfying to me as a reader, it’s the only book that ever brought a tear to my eye.

Multiple POVs Done RightThe Alice Network by Katie Quinn (2017)

I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but this book came highly recommended, so I gave it a go, and I was so happy I did. Set in World War II, it follows the story of three female spies for the British trying to obtain top-secret intel on certain Nazi party members. This book perfectly shows authors how to handle multiple points of view, and the author does an amazing job at giving each POV a distinctive voice.

Perfect Setting DescriptionSix of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (2016)

I was skeptical about this one when my sister, a children’s book author, recommended I read it. But once I began reading, I was immediately pulled into the fictional world of Grisvaherse. I could visualize everything Bardugo described vividly. The characters are all great, but it’s the scenery and setting that makes this book about a six-person crew planning a heist to save humanity in this completely made-up world. Authors of fantasy who are struggling with world building should absolutely read this book and learn a thing or two.

Character DevelopmentCirce by Madeline Miller (2018)

I kept seeing this book pop up in the “also boughts” on my Amazon account, so I downloaded it on Audible, and I listened to it on a long trip. It tells the fictional story of Circe, a Greek goddess who is exiled to a deserted island by her father as punishment for falling in love with a human man. I chose this one for character development because of the imagination Miller must have had to create these Greek gods and goddesses, their backstories, their personalities, and traits, all of which she had very little to go on from Greek lore. Each character is vividly described, so authors can learn quite a bit about developing characters by reading this book.

Best Dialogue EverBeloved by Toni Morrison (2004)

The absolute most haunting story I’ve ever read. This should be on everyone’s bookshelf! I remember years ago when it was an Oprah’s Book Club pick, but I read it years later. It’s about a slave, Sethe, who escapes slavery at age eighteen but is haunted by memories of her time at Sweet Home (the plantation) and her baby who died in infancy and was buried under a tombstone that merely read “Beloved.” The dialogue Morrison assigns to all her characters is so spot-on and poignant, any authors can learn a thing or two from reading this book and seeing how she pulls off dialogue.

Plot Twist Pulled OffWhere’d You Go, Bernadette by Marie Semple (2013)

I wasn’t sure about this one, but it showed up on my “also boughts” after I read Crawdads, so I gave it a go. And I was immediately pulled into the story of Bernadette, a matriarch who vanishes just before her family is set to visit Antarctica. The daughter, Bee, puts together a string of memos, emails, and correspondence to track down her mother, and the ending is one even I did not see coming—and I write twisty suspense every day. Authors wanting to learn how to carry out the perfect twist should absolutely read this novel.

Best Opening SceneThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (2012)

It’s all about figuring out that amazing first line. This one starts out: “The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.” This line tells you everything you need to know about this amazing book, which centers around a magical circus that appears, disappears, then reappears in a different location. Words can’t describe it well enough. An absolute must-read.

Building Romantic TensionBeautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire (2012)

I hadn’t originally chosen a romance novel for this post, but since there are so many romance lovers out there, I remembered this one, which I read when it first came out a few years ago. At first glance, it’s your typical “good girl falls for bad boy” trope, but this author creates tension between Abby and Travis like I’ve never read before. Even I was feeling the heat reading this one. Any romance authors out there could learn a thing or two about romantic tension by reading this book.

It was not easy narrowing my favorite books down to ten, and I could easily keep going, as there are so many examples authors can read and learn from in order to hone their craft. But I hope these ten novels at least inspire some of you to write your best book.

Remember, these books are all highly successful for a reason. The author figured out a unique way to follow the rules of writing and come up with an original story that speaks to readers everywhere, each with their own strengths. There is no shame in admitting you need help, or that you aren’t perfect in all areas of writing. So, again, I truly believe the best way to learn the craft of fiction writing is to read, read, and read some more.

Christina Kaye is the award-winning, bestselling author of Like Father, Like Daughter, and six other suspense novels. She is also an author coach, book editor, writing instructor, podcast host, and public speaker. She lives in Kentucky with her two rowdy pups and drinks sweet tea every day. Check out her website and connect with Christina on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Featured Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Was I dead on?
No need to thank me.

Writers! Thought this was probably be worth a look see. Any ideas?

https://womenandhollywood.com/weekly-update-for-july-3-women-centric-directed-and-written-films-you-can-watch-from-home/

How are you Geniuses, this might really be worth a scan.

Read our message on BLM and the protests against racism and anti-Black police brutality. FILMS ABOUT WOMEN COMING TO STREAMING/VOD Desperados – Directed by LP; Written by Ellen Rapoport A panicked young woman (Nasim Pedrad) and her two best friends (Anna Camp and Sarah Burns) fly to Mexico to delete a ranting email she sent…

Was I on the ball?
Thank me later.

Authors! Hoping this just might justify a scan. Am I right?

http://flashfictiononline.com/main/article/the-lie-2/

Hello Budding Writers, this might really be worth a scan.

The hours had passed with the miraculous rapidity which tinctures time when one is on the river, and now overhead the moon was a gorgeous yellow lantern in a greyish purple sky. The punt was moored at the lower end of Glover’s Island on the Middlesex side, and rose and fell gently on the ebbing […]

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Was I right on?
You can thank me later.