Author’s Corner: Flawed Characters

Flawed Characters Create Meaning A plot with underdeveloped characters is little more than light and sound. No matter how well explosions and spectacle may be reported, story is ultimately about character. And, it is flawed characters that are most believable. After all, no one’s perfect. It’s easy to think that the surface events of a story are its point, but “drama” doesn’t mean anything without a specific person for it to happen to. Even the most dramatic prose relies on … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: How to End your Novel

The Ending of a Story There are three parts of a story that are difficult to write: the beginning, the middle, and the end. I don’t say that to be funny. Each part has its own special set of challenges, but today I want to talk specifically about the function of a story’s ending. Whether or not a story works depends on how well its beginning, middle, and ending hang together. When viewed in this manner, it is quite clear that all three parts are equally important. Indeed, the ending, … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: Don’t Sink Your Novel

Is your opening just a floating voice? While you may not want to (and probably shouldn’t) bog down the narrative with nitty-gritty details of where your main character is standing at any given moment, you do want to give your reader some idea where he is. The opening pages of a novel are probably the most important pages you'll write. They need to strike a balance between information and intrigue. Author R.L. Herron By that I mean, you certainly don’t describe every flower … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: Quit Worrying About Making It Big

Everyone makes mistakes … even seasoned writers … but that's okay, because each mistake is a great learning opportunity. I must be getting smart by now, because I’ve made plenty of my own errors over the years. I’ve had a bundle of mishaps, including the error of using too much exposition, or too little. Neglecting research, or researching too much. The one I’ve been thinking about this week is the mistake writers make by worrying about what happens when they make it big. Have you … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: The Importance of a Character Profile

One of the most important elements in a story is characterization: making the characters seem vivid, real, alive. One technique many writers (myself included) use with success is to create a character profile for the main characters in the novel. The purpose of a character profile is twofold: to assist the writer in creating a character that is as lifelike as possible and to help with continuity issues in the story. Many bestselling authors have stated that they came up with the basics of … [Read more...]

Rochester Hills Public Library & Rochester Writers announce Second Annual Author Fair

Rochester Hills Public Library (RHPL) and Rochester Writers have once again partnered for the second annual Author Fair featuring local and regional writers in a variety of genres. This year the event will be online and include nearly thirty local authors in recorded on-camera interviews. The interviews will debut in a live stream on RHPL's YouTube channel on Small Business Saturday, November 28, and Sunday, November 29, beginning at 11 a.m. each day.  Then, on Monday November 30, the library … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: Are You Wandering Aimlessly?

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has been unbelievable, on so many levels. From the speed at which it spread, to the closing of borders, stores, schools and universities … and the cancellation of conferences, seminars, and businesses in general. It’s been a long, dark road. The discussions about opening up again are all interesting, but they are split between encouraging massive bursts of productivity and gentle, realistic spurts of things that are more manageable. So many authors I … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: Why Does Your Book Pitch Matter?

Why Does Your Book Pitch Matter? When it comes to trying to sell your book, there’s a lot of noise out there. As a writer, I find I’m always listening to other people’s conversations. Don’t get me wrong … I don’t do it to eavesdrop … it’s just a habit I developed to help me understand how people really talk to each other. It’s enormously helpful when crafting realistic dialogue. I was at a writers’ conference, when something I overheard really struck me. While standing in the registration … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: Believable Characters

How Do You Make Your Characters Believable? A story is a composite of myriad pieces: point-of-view, setting, theme, plot, action, conflict, character, pacing, dialogue and more. You need all of these parts to make good fiction work but, in my mind, none is as vital as character. No matter how we dress them up, stories will always be about people. The trick, of course, is making the people featured worth reading about. Readers want interesting plots, true. They want to be impressed by … [Read more...]

Author’s Corner: When Did You Start?

When Did You Start to Write Stories? I’ve been thinking about all the wannabe authors out there. I suppose it’s because I’m in the same boat with them. I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. I write because I feel the urge to put my stories down for others to read. It’s something I have to do. Have to … even though I occasionally wonder if I’m relevant. For instance, I often hear young people talking about what cool new music they’ve been listening to and, if they bother to ask me … [Read more...]