*steps out of a Walking Dead marathon haze*
Oh. Hi. I’m still alive. I’m up to season 4 now…so…I’m just gonna…
*points over shoulder and retreats back into the haze*
- Me: *walks into bookstore with money*
- Me: *walks out of bookstore after 5 minutes realizing I'm really just craving a non-existent, fleshed out novel of my OTP*
I’m going to admit that I really struggle with action scenes. Or struggled, depending on what my publisher says about the myriad of actions scenes I have sprinkled throughout the sequel to When Stars Die.
My publisher really had to tear up the one action chapter I had in…
- Over-explanation. This includes prologues. “Prologues are never needed. You can usually throw them in the garbage. They’re usually put on as a patch.”
- Too much data. “You’re trying to seduce your reader, not burden them,” Friedman said.
- Over-writing, or “trying too hard.” “We think the more description we add, the more vivid it will be; but we don’t want to be distracted from the story” we open the book for.
- Beginning the novel with an interior monologue or reflection. Usually this is written as the thoughts of a character who is sitting alone, musing and thinking back on a story. Just start with the story.
- Beginning the novel with a flashback. Friedman isn’t entirely anti-flashback, but the novel’s opening page is the wrong place for one.
- Beginning a novel with the “waking up sequence” of a character waking, getting out of bed, putting on slippers, heading for the kitchen and coffee…a cliche
- Related cliche: beginning the novel with an alarm clock or a ringing phone
- Starting out with an “ordinary day’s routine” for the main character
- Beginning with “crisis moments” that aren’t unique: “When the doctor said ‘malignant,’ my life changed forever…” or “The day my father left us I was seven years old…”
- Don’t start with a dialogue that doesn’t have any context. Building characterization through dialogue is okay anywhere else but there.
- Starting with backstory, or “going back, then going forward.”
- Info dump. More formally called “exposition.”
- Character dump, which is four or more characters on the first page.