Conversations: 4/21/2017

BENEFITS OF WRITING SIGHT AND SOUND SCENES – Part III

One of the methods I use to kick-start my writing involves taking a walk through our local library and looking for Picture/Photo books. Not only do the beautiful scenic photos inspire me, but the details fill me with “What if?” questions—which, in turn, push me right back into writing. Sometimes I am captured by exquisite coffee-table-books that are strategically placed throughout the library; those oversized, thicker photo-pages with captions that identify the country, state, mountain range or desert location of the images. Other times I settle at a table in the History section or cozy into the big rocking chair in the Children’s section. Following are a few examples of these types of books and how to discover your own treasures in their midst.

home of the bluesHome of the Blues by Debby Wallace and Daniel Coston is written from the perspective
of “IF the walls could talk.” These two authors (Debby a retired RN now freelance writer and Daniel an established photographer for magazines and CD covers) have done their research and reconnected the world with sounds of the past created in a place that continues to inspire us today.

If you are writing a “period piece” set in 1900s America, you’ll benefit from reading these pages and walking into the images of “The Days of the Blues.”

For sheer scenic imagery check out the books of photographer William A. Carlson: FROM DELICATE LILY PADS TO SCULPTURED from delicate lily pads to sculptured peaks by william a carlsonPEAKS: Landscape Photography with Verse Impressions from North America, Scandinavia, and New Zealand…or his second book of photography, IMPRESSIONS OF NATURE IN BLACK AND WHITE. Carlson’s work has captured the positive attention of American Landscape Photographer, John Fielder, which led me to begin turning the pages. Earlier I mentioned the value of details and these images gave me just that—the ability to imagine myself standing in these environments and experiencing my own “sensory responses” that are mentioned in his verses.

For those of us who utilize setting almost to the point of creating the places as additional characters in our stories, this genre of Nature/Scenic photography can be most useful. When we cannot be there ourselves, we can still have the opportunity to meld with such photos and imagine the prick of pine needles dropped from majestic, towering pine forests.

FROM these two basic genre/types of published works we can be inspired to:

  • Create a historic and/or seasonal location that meets the needs of our storyline.
  • Develop a fluid time—morning, afternoon, evening, “dark of night.”
  • Set the weather patterns that effect our characters.
  • Utilize each of the five senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.

But don’t forget the sixth sense and the additional four (at least) senses that every one of your Readers will engage as they turn the pages of your book(s). They are mostly physical senses and include:

  • Pain: from physical, emotional, psychological injury.
  • Balance: the equilibrium that keeps us standing on our feet or seated comfortably in our chairs.
  • Motion: the active use of joints in our bodies that move our “parts.”
  • Temperature: the body’s sensitivity to internal and external temperatures.
  • The Intuitive or perceptive is what most call “the sixth sense.” However, many scientists today believe it is just as much a part of the human sensory system as the others.

Steeping ourselves in Sight and Sound environments, whether joining Outward Bound trail blazers or sitting comfortably at home, in a library or neighborhood park will enhance our writing skills. My writing always benefits when I take the time to build my memory bank (and files) with such images. I hope you will, too. ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

Conversations: 4/14/2017

BENEFITS OF WRITING SIGHT AND SOUND SCENES – Part II

As mentioned last week, today’s Readers are addicted to the visual and sound effects offered to them in every part of their lives. However we know that there is nothing to match the human imagination as we read the words of a novel that create our own sight and sound experience.

With that in mind, I will mention one other book which my students selected for class discussion from the World Literature list: The Call of the Wild by Jack London. I’m sure they expected this to be a “quick and easy” grade because it is short and most had read it before. I won’t add their classroom experience here, but only say that they got more out of it than expected. However, now that working with writers of various levels of experience, I’ll share several concepts about Mr. London and his writing expertise that can benefit us, today.

  • London’s stories take the reader out of their comfort zone and force them to imagine, “What if.” Yes, the main character is Buck, the dog. Yet this character symbolizes a common mythic character who wins the day against all odds and returns to the peaceful bliss of nature. Did London develop this thread from reading such novels as Dickens’ Hard Times? Possibly. And it is alive and well today in the multi-media (magazine, book, film) super-hero productions.
  • This novel falls into the genre of “animal fiction.” However its blend of parable, fable and allegory is another reason it has never been out of print since first published in 1903. These three genre categories are excellent venues within which to practice and develop writing skills.
  • Finally, the bold content that almost forces Readers to feel the “flight or fight” adrenalin effect was part of London’s strategy to make a statement against what he saw as the destructive result of industrialization. His personal life experiences “in the wild” touched him deeply and he hoped others could appreciate its inspiration, beauty and value.

Most of us write and develop our novels to accomplish these same goals: offer examples of survival against all odds, inspire Readers toward happier, healthier lifestyles and (this is the BIG goal) never be out of print.

Now…keeping London’s Call of the Wild in mind—and the beauty of sights and sounds he experienced—consider the following book as a potential tool to inspire and develop your own creativity.

art experience and faith by william tolliver squireArt, Experience and Faith by William Tolliver Squires, a retired Art professor at the
University of Georgia and a current sculptor and painter, has been called a “guidebook of one artist’s evolving theory of his creative process.”  “Dr. Squires describes his early artistic career as…misdirected, without grounding in a mature sense of what is important in life and art. He now sees the best work of his life as…how the process is informed by a combination of his intuitive, spiritual self and his practical, rational self.”

I find it totally joyful when discovering additional ways to enhance my writing. It is even more exciting to share these tools with other writers! No matter what season we are in, or what genre we’ve chosen, ALL the tools to develop writing skills will help us produce the best book possible. Once that manuscript is completed then it’s time to publish! GO FOR IT! You’ll never regret it. ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

Conversations: 4/7/2017

BENEFITS OF WRITING SIGHT AND SOUND SCENES

Have you found your perfect writing environment? Is it a room with bookshelves on three walls, a comfy reading chair in one corner and your computer desk in the other? Does the remaining wall hold a wide bay window, or French doors that open to your expansive tree-shaded yard? OR is your writing space the laundry folding table in the basement next to the washer and dryer?

Wherever your creative writing location might be, and whatever sights and sounds you may be dealing with as you develop your books, this month I will encourage you to allow your imagination the freedom to send exquisite sights and sounds to your Readers. Each new generation of scientific research proves validity of what authors known for centuries: Readers need to see and hear in order to feel what our characters are experiencing. When they do, they will buy—and keep buying—our books.

When I was teaching high school students World Literature and Advanced Writing, they taught me a lot about the value of communication because their “world” is now ninety percent (or more) visually enhanced soundtracks. So when I requested they read Hard Times by Charles Dickens they’d already heard the opinions of other students and the groans cascaded around the room. The “reading” assignment I gave them surprised even me: draw me a picture or create a cut-out collage of what you’re seeing and hearing about these characters lives.

Dickens wrote extensive descriptive paragraphs depicting a grim and grey town suffocated by industrial industries yet filled with the tapestry of Victorian daily life. The students met the challenge and became more aware of the life some of their ancestors survived. Will they be fans of Charles Dickens? Probably not. However, they will appreciate the view he gave them.

african SavannahTo balance their reading assignments a later assignment was Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. Here we are exposed to the sights and sounds of South Africa and the visual and palpable story of a Zula father’s search for his children. Often the beauty—or harshness—of the environment gives the author the contrast needed to carry the story.

Here are my first three tips to enhance or begin building your descriptive writing skills:

  • THINK MOVIE. Go to the library or your video collection or “on demand” selections on your TV and watch several movies that relate to the genre you’re writing. TAKE NOTES of the sights and sounds that effect and affect you.
  • OBSERVE the details as if you’re looking through a camera lens. Ask yourself “Why” the director focused on that/those images—then write out your answer.
  • LISTEN to the soundtrack. Replay the movie and close your eyes (or turn away from the screen) as you block out as much of the dialogue as possible and discover the sounds of this story. Be as descriptive as you can in explain (make notes about) what you’re hearing. If a separate soundtrack has been produced you can usually find that through libraries.

There are times I envy authors who lived and wrote their books in the 1800s or 1900s. Then I sit down at my computer, in my 10×10 “office” that I share with my husband, and open a narrow window to listen to birds and dogs and wind and the occasional neighborly conversation three floors below. This is my season to write—my heartbeat on the world’s timeline—and I want to offer my best writing skills to Readers of today and future generations. I hope that is your goal, too. Let’s enjoy this journey together. ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

Conversations: 3/31/2017

MARCH INTO SPRING

WITH A SPRING IN YOUR WRITING STEP Part V

This week closes out my march into spring series looking at various book genres that meet my criteria of educational reading—while enhancing our writing skills. I’ve chosen the genre of Children’s Books because—as a parent, grandparent, great-grandparent—I’ve learned so much from our children and the books they love reading. However, I must warn you. Should you, too, delve into the shelves of Children’s book section of library or bookstore, you may get stuck there, too. With so many excellent books to tell you about, I’ve had difficulty selecting just a few.

A Day at the Dog Park by Justene Presley is fun to read, educational for children (and adults) royalene6and gives writers a peek into “ordinary days” that just might be useful in “scene development” for your novels.

Everyone loves to imagine a child enjoying the day with a favorite pet dog. Meet Carter and his dog, Snickers. Carter’s mom takes them to the dog park, and their enjoyable day provides fun as well as practical lessons about the best way to make new dog friends. Carter explains that there are lots of different types of dogs, and goes through a six-step method for meeting a new dog. Carter also shares advice about what not to do.

royalene7Author Barbara Bryan has published several books including this one titled: FROM SCRATCH, Three Short Stories. The theme is “Everyone Needs a Helping Hand.” I love this concept because I’ve always found it hard to ask for help. AND YET, being a writer/author I, too, have sought help to develop writing skills from character development to book marketing and more. But it’s not always easy to admit that we need help…and it’s valuable to learn when to offer help, too.

In these three wise and charming stories, Bryan explores the idea of helping from different viewpoints. You’ll meet three characters who fit this common theme in different ways. Catherine needs help, but doesn’t know how to ask for it…and she finds it in an unexpected way. Rooster gets some complaints about his cock-a-doodle behavior, but he realizes what’s really important when he’s called upon to save his family. And Wiley finds out that being rude and unhelpful to others can leave you out in the cold…literally. DID you notice that word viewpoints? Understanding the perspective of the characters we’re creating is a key component to making our novels great!

I just had to add this book: WE ALL MATTER by Angel McGowan. Not only is this an royalene8excellent story about a boy who is being overlooked and ignored by his classmates, which makes him feel all alone, it is authored by a young woman I would love to meet someday. McGowan broke into the publishing world at the age of fifteen and has been winning awards ever since. Her ability to expose the bare bones of issues that are harmful to our children (of all ages) will make a big difference in the lives of future generations!

As you turn to the next page of Mikey’s story he is so overwhelmed that he breaks his silence and blurts out exactly how lonely he’s been feeling. What happens next… (Oops! Better not give that away.)

Each of these books are written from passionate hearts—from writers who see the world with a unique perspective—like you. Don’t hold back! Write! Publish! Offer the world another chance to learn.  ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

Conversations: 3/24/2017

MARCH INTO SPRING

WITH A SPRING IN YOUR WRITING STEP Part IV

There is another layer of the Inspiration genre that is a blend of True Story/Memoir/Life Lessons. Many of these books (and their authors) have offered totally new perspectives that have enhanced my writing abilities. I am fairly certain you have a few favorites on your bookshelves, too. They definitely fit my criteria of educational reading as they enhance the skills of all writers of every genre.

royalene4The first example I’ve selected today is by author Eane Huff. I must admit that I was drawn to the book by the author’s last name because of my friendship with a husband and wife writing team who share that name. I have no idea if they are related. However, Eane Huff’s book Wednesdays with Jerry, definitely fits my friends’ concept of encouraging others.

When a student (who has experienced a challenging head trauma) dreams of obtaining a master’s degree it would be understandable if he gave up. But he didn’t—because—an amazing teacher walked into his life and gave him the tools needed to succeed.  This short book is highly recommended reading for all special educators—a True Story/illustration of ways to introduce compassion, belief and mastery of life’s bumps to help others reach for their highest hopes. AND, for fiction writers, you’ll be inspired to develop your protagonist characters with many of these qualities.

My second example today is from author Elizabeth Stone: The Midnight Call.

Some might say it is the exact opposite of book and story above because of the tragic royalene5moments it reveals. However, by honestly sharing the events in her son’s life it is the author’s hope that—as people read the pages of their family’s true story—they will find the support and encouragement needed to go beyond surviving the moments of their own difficulties to find the brighter days of tomorrow.

Stone shares the joy of their first son’s birth—when that brand new person, that new individual whose personality and passions—entered and gladdened the hearts of their whole family. She also tells about his later days of addiction to alcohol and drugs which trapped them all in days, months and years that often spiraled out of control. Many hearts were broken—yet today they are healing and making choices to live life and smile again. Writing and publishing this book (which offers helpful support resources) will help anyone who is experiencing these life events. AND, again, the fiction writer will find many key components to help develop multi-level, real characters.

As I was searching for examples in this True Story/Memoir/Life Lessons category, I remembered a very special newspaper columnist by the name of Gene Amole. He not only “did” a column for Denver’s Rocky Mountain News, but his creative writing legacy touched radio and television. His first book was AMOLE: One More Time, a collection of his wisdom, wit, and humanity that earned him intense reader loyalty. His last book, The Last Chapter, starts with the column that announced he was dying. “Still, I am not retiring,” he said, “Just taking on a new assignment.” And so he did—for six months. His craftsmanship with the written word, his humor, compassion and celebration of family and friends, has left behind a writers legacy to be admired and emulated.

Deep within every writer’s heart I believe we all have this dream of leaving a legacy of written work behind us. It is not a pipe-dream. We can do it, too!  ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

Conversations: 3/17/2017

MARCH INTO SPRING

WITH A SPRING IN YOUR WRITING STEP Part III

Today I continue with examples of books written by authors who publish in the genre of Inspiration/Faith and who meet my criteria of educational reading that enhances the education of all writers no matter what genre we write.

Many of these authors are sharing their own true stories, revealing the miracles that have taken place in their lives and the lives of people they know. I will admit that this was a genre I avoided for years. I’m not sure why—other than the fact that I was never encouraged to investigate theses book on our library shelves. However, once I connected with several real authors who have published in this category, I can’t seem to get enough of them.

Finding strength and courage to meet life’s challenges is a main topic of royalene1this genre. Author Rachel Dupree-Grant offers her true life story—Being Strong in the Faith—that demonstrates it is possible to rise from poverty and climb the ladder of success no matter the obstacles or abuses or storms that are thrown against you. Through every situation she believes God is a Healer and a mountain mover. Rachel includes Scriptures and prayers that help us all grow in Faith and “be strong.”

royalene2Author, Mary Johnson-Gordon, writes of her personal experiences in Revealing Divine Mysteries of the LORD of Mercy. With boldness she informs us that her book publishing is mandated by God so that all people will know of His extreme—and very real—love for us. Detailing her visions and transport into Heavenly realms where she is taught many things we close the book praying for such a close walk with God. The revelations are, indeed, inspiring and have led me to consider my own writer’s calling—the skills God has planted in me to be an active part of His plans.

My third example today offers practical and healthy living guidance. Author Ellie royalene3Marrandette offers us sensible Biblical principles in Life’s Too Short To Eat Bad Cheese, as she shows us how to restore and maintain our health and vitality. I love her quote on Amazon: “…people needlessly consume ‘sticks and twigs’ or drink tasteless protein shakes when God has already given us a perfect dietary plan in Genesis.” I don’t know about you, but all my life I’ve heard that “if you just quit eating chocolate and cheese you’ll lose weight.” Finding this author’s book give a whole new perspective for me.

As these examples “testify” the Faith and Inspiration genre is wide open to a variety of topics which expands even wider when writers realize this includes the categories of Business, Building, Education, Politics, Personal Relationships and oh, so many more.

And why should we think of great success in this Faith/Inspiration genre? Have you heard about the miraculous publishing story of a little book called The Shack? The author will quickly tell you that he’s just as amazed as anyone about its success. It was on The New York Times Best Seller’s list from June 2008 until early 2010—and the movie was just released this month!

So…let your own Faith be heard! Write! Publish! Be blessed!  ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.

Conversations: 3/10/2017

MARCH INTO SPRING

WITH A SPRING IN YOUR WRITING STEP Part II

Continuing with concepts about genre writing that meets my criteria of educational reading, this week I’ll focus on the Fiction/Mystery/Historical Fiction genres. For me, these novels pivot on the depth of development of the main character(s) and key supporting characters.

cover-1Just recently I discovered the author Valentine Cardinale—wondering if that is a pseudonym—then discovering it’s his real name and a memorable author’s name it is, indeed. His most recent book release is BREAKAWAY staring Father Richard Bianchi who can’t help but become a “private” investigator in the drama surrounding the abduction of Eddie Dvorak.

Cardinale has tapped into a growing concern among people around the world, especially Americans who travel abroad. I don’t know if this author did any background research in abductions, however, here are a few statistics that may peak your interest.

  • In 2014 there were 83,957 missing person cases in the U.S. alone.
  • 50,569 adults
  • 33,388 under 18 years of age
  • An average of 750,000 are reported each year

Should we (people) be educating themselves about the abductions happing in their cities? Fiction/Mystery novels can open our eyes to many things—and just may encourage you to consider researching and developing your own mystery novel with this key component.

cover-2The second novel I’ve recently found is TURNINGS: Love In A Time of War by Chloe Canterbury.  The story revolves around a young woman named Sarah (of the Shaker community) and John (a Colonel in the Confederate army). It is 1862 in Kentucky where the Civil War is causing havoc.

There is so much history research available for this time period the writing of such a novel might feel too heavy. However, once an author understands the main characters, they will “write” their own story and Readers will increase their knowledge base—which makes it vitally important that:

  • Places and events are fact-checked several times.
  • Settings, equipment, clothing, etc. are correctly described.
  • Military ranks/positions are accurate.

And, of course, writers must constantly make their own reality-check of how a woman—of the Shaker belief—will respond to her love of God and her growing affections for this Confederate soldier.

The world we live in is full of amazing and complicated personal relationships. It is through safe, fictionalized relationships that we can learn how to develop better relationships in our own lives. Both of the novels listed here have been developed to do just that.

I believe every writer has their own favorite novels that have inspired and encouraged them—especially as examples of excellent writing techniques. Mine include a sweeping time period novel titled: Mary Called Magdalene by Margaret George. It is my hope to someday become such a writer who carries Readers into the different worlds of historic times. The goal: Never quit! Keep writing! Publish! And you, too, will have amazing success!  ⚓︎


Royalene

ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.  

Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.