Before TWD Comes On…

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I just have to say I’m excited to be participating in Blogging U this year. I feel like I’m going back to school LOL. This will give me the chance to produce at least one post a day while sharpening my writing skills simultaneously. I am also looking forward to meeting new bloggers via The Commons.

So here’s how the postings will go: I will be taking the Writing 101 course for the next four weeks. That said, I will produce at least one post a day that will have something to do with our theme for the day in addition to my regular postings throughout the week (so my Writers Quote Wednesdays and other regular posts will still go out). I’m not sure if the prompts go out on weekends but I will continue to have Saturdays off so you can expect no postings on the prompt then. Otherwise, I will continue to annoy* your emails with my many random postings in addition to whatever blogging prompt we are given from Writing 101! OK, that exclamation mark was really unnecessary, I’m not that excited. It’s just that, well, The Walking Dead is about to come on.

*Note: Seriously, I hope I’m not that annoying, but if I am, always remember that you control how many emails, if any, you receive from blogs you follow. Just adjust your settings to where they accompany your toleration levels.

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Editing For Emotion

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As I enter another revision stage for Book #3 in The Stella Trilogy, and I prepare for that final edit, I found this article extremely helpful. While we hear a lot about action and keeping the story moving, it is true that you don’t hear much about editing for emotion. I know many people do not click third party links, but I discovered this article written by Laura Drake that hit the nail on the head. To the authors credit, I will only post an excerpt of the article. Please visit Laura’s website for its entirety.

The Most Important Edit No One Talks About By Laura Drake

“Everyone knows about ground level edits – copy/line/stylistic edits that look at sentence structure and grammar – they’re small, but important.

We all know those two edits are critical.

But there’s another edit that is very seldom talked about, that could take your manuscript from good to sold.

I call it the 5,000 foot edit. It’s the edit for EMOTION. I don’t care if you’re writing a romance or a legal or espionage thriller; if you don’t have a solid bedrock of emotion in your book, you’re not going to have readers. It’s what they come for! Think of your favorite author. Why is he your favorite? I’ll bet right up there with plot, is the emotion. If we don’t have emotion, the reader won’t care about your character. And that’s a story-killer.

Have I convinced you? Okay, let’s move on to how to do this thing.

In a book, regardless of genre, the character has to grow, right? So you need to follow the character’s arc, and be sure it happens in a timely, logical fashion. It’s okay if the character grows in fits and starts, or even if they progress, then back up a few steps. As long as their character arc doesn’t look like this:

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A problem I’ve seen (and had) is that the character seems bipolar, going from laughing to angry to loving in three paragraphs. For emotion to be satisfying, it has to be deep. Take those three paragraphs, and dig deeper. It doesn’t mean you have to turn three paragraphs into three pages – sometimes a visceral hit and a one sentence reminder of the emotion will do:

This is from my RITA winner, The Sweet Spot:

The red flowers had some brown edges, and looked a bit bug-eaten. She’d planned to stop at Wal-Mart and pick up a bouquet on the way to the cemetery, but . . . Her stomach settled a bit. “These are Benje’s flowers. He’s not going to care about a few bugs.” She headed for the tool shed, to find her clippers.

I added a sentence of dialog that added emotion – a reminder to the reader of an emotional memory: working in the garden with her child (the child she’s going to visit in the cemetery). See?

No matter what genre you’re writing, not all scenes are action. If they are, you’re going to wear out your reader in no time. It’ll be a fast read, but also, unsatisfying, because in action, you can only show flashes of emotion – like paint splattered on a canvas, rather that brush-stroked on. You need what Dwight Swain, in his book, Techniques of the Selling Writer (a ‘must have’ on your craft shelf, IMHO) calls a ‘sequel scene’.

A quiet scene, where the POV character can reflect on what just happened, and compare the results to his world-view. These are the scenes that move him along his growth arc. You can only do that by getting deep into the emotion – because that character’s flaws in his world-view usually come from damage in his childhood: abuse, neglect, or even over-indulgence (poor little rich kid). And that’s emotional. Be sure you’re plumbing all that good stuff.” – Laura Drake

Finish Reading

Stella Book #3: Book Cover Reveal, Blurb, Release Date

Title: The Road to Freedom – Joseph’s Story
Author: Yecheilyah Ysrayl
Release Date: Friday, February 12, 2016
Event Details: TBA

Cover Reveal:

Cover Design by Melchelle, Copyright © Melchelle Designs
Cover Design by Melchelle, Copyright © Melchelle Designs

Blurb

Wealthy and clueless are just some of the words Joseph uses to describe his family. Deeply concerned about the state of Black America, a fight with his brother compels a young Joseph to leave his mother’s house and join his friends for a trip to Atlanta for SNCC’s (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) second conference. Excited to live life on their own, Jo and his friends have left school and the lives they were living for a chance to become part of the movement. With no money and essentially no plan the seven friends, three black and four white, set out for the road when they are stopped by a racist cop who makes them exit the car. The teens are unaware that a mob of Klansmen also awaits them at the New Orleans bus terminal.

Find out in the 3rd installment of the Stella Trilogy how Joseph and his friends discover the truth about themselves in the Jim Crow south on The Road to Freedom.

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That’s right people. Promotion for Book #3 of The Stella Trilogy has officially begun! I want to give a special thanks to M.S. Fowle, digital artist for Melchelle Designs for the excellent cover. I’d been searching for a long time for a cover that would capture my vision for this book and I’m so happy to have come across Mel.

Fundraising for this release will start soon and your support would be most appreciated. Until then, be sure to grab your copy of Beyond The Colored Line. All proceeds will go toward the release of The Road to Freedom.

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The Stella Trilogy is Almost Complete!

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