Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Thing About Kevin by Beem Weeks

Check out the When Angels Fly blog! They were kind enough to invite me over for a chat about writing and books.

When Angels Fly

Please welcome Beem Weeks to my blog. Hello Beem, nice to have you on my blog today. Shall we sit and have a chat?

Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.

Greetings. My name is Beem Weeks. I am a lifelong resident of Michigan, except for two years spent in Florida back in the 1980s. I am an author, podcaster, video/audio producer, and editor.

Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?

I wrote my first short story at the age of eight. My teacher encouraged me along this path. I’ve been a writer ever since. I wrote record and concert reviews for my high school newspaper. I began writing my first novel about fifteen years after I graduated. I knew it was time to write it when the story and characters became…

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Suspension of Disbelief

Another fantastic post by C. S. Boyack!

Story Empire

Hi, gang. Craig with you once again to talk about something directly related to the kind of fiction I write. It’s called the suspension of disbelief.

Most of you’ve heard of this, but likely glanced off it and didn’t give it much thought. Specifically, it means that to enjoy the story a reader is going to have to give control to the author and give up the idea that certain things cannot happen in the real world. (Hint: this isn’t the real world.)

You know by now I always talk about film because more people understand what I’m referring to. Think of all the superhero films that have taken over Hollywood in the last few years. To enjoy them, people have to suspend disbelief. Superman flies, get over it. People can’t fall twenty stories, then catch a flagpole with one hand either.

You can see how this applies to science…

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How to Use Prologues, Part 4, Does Your Story Need a Prologue?

Another fantastic teaching post by author Harmony Kent!

Story Empire

open book with sketch of 3D pirate and treasure on the left and a sailing ship on the right.
Image courtesy of Tumisu via Pixabay

Hi SErs! It’s a day of Harmony here at Story Empire 🙂 Today, I’d like to talk about whether or not your story needs a prologue. Here’s a link to the previous post on Prologue Dos and Don’ts

So far in this post series we’ve looked at what a prologue is and isn’t and also what to do and not to do when using a prologue. How, you might ask, do you decide whether or not you need a prologue in the first place?

Why Do You Need a Prologue?

  1. A well-written prologue can add power to your main narrative
  2. If you want to foreshadow events to come, a prologue will help you to do that to good effect
  3. If you want to let your reader be privy to information the characters are unaware of, then a prologue will be a useful tool

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Writing Real Dialogue in Fiction

Check out my tips on dialogue over on Story Empire!

Story Empire

Greetings, SE’ers! Beem Weeks here with you again. Today, I am going to share my thoughts on character dialogue in fiction. 

Confused young couple discussing about domestic bills at home

Dialogue. It can make or break a story. Dialogue is the lines your characters speak aloud in a written story. They differ from the narrative voice in that even the peripheral characters are given a voice through dialogue. The narrative voice is telling your story, but your characters, if they are to become real to readers, must speak. And they must be authentic when speaking.

For the most part, the narrator will usually be a consistent voice. But your characters are each different. Some may be sweet and kind and full of empathy, while others might be indifferent, aloof, apathetic to the struggles of those around him or her. Still others might be hardboiled and angry—or just plain mean. A bully and his or her victim are going to…

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Characters and Diversity. Part 1 – RACE

Tips of wisdom and experience from author Gwen Plano.

Story Empire

Hello SE friends, Gwen with you today. I’m launching a new series, one that is focused on diversity. It seems a timely topic, and it’s also relevant to the development of our characters. My approach will be personal, and I hope your response will be as well. Let’s get started with the first segment — race.

From as far back as I can remember, I imagined myself the ugly duckling in a pond of beautiful swans. I grew up in the desert bordering Mexico and the area was 85% Latino and 10% other shades of brown. 5% of the population was and is white.

Most of my friends were brown-skinned and had gorgeous dark hair that glistened blue in the sunlight. I vividly recall sitting next to Maria on the school bus and being in awe of her shiny hair. The early morning light that poured through the bus windows…

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Story Development and Execution Part 7: Pacing, Tension, and Suspense

Another wonderful teaching post from Staci Troilo.

Story Empire

Ciao, SEers. Today is part seven: pacing, tension, and suspense. Craig has written a couple of great posts on tension (one and two), and I have a post on structure that flirts with the concept of pacing. This post will deal with how to use these elements to advance the story.

One technique that gets readers invested immediately and brings tension to the forefront is to start with a loss. It doesn’t have to be a death, though that is an extreme loss. It can be anything that puts the character in a deficit from his status quo. He got fired. His wife left him. His dog ran away. His apartment building is turning into condos and he can’t afford to buy one. He broke his leg the day before the rodeo. Any loss is a loss. The kind of loss helps establish genre. What he does…

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A Cheat Sheet on Body Language for Writers

Here’s a great writing resource by author John Howell.

Story Empire

Pixabay image

Hi SEers. John with you today.

As a wrap-up to the subject of gestures (or beats) to convey non-verbal communication, I found a great cheat sheet for writers on body language. The cheat sheet is below the text and was developed by ArchetypeWriting.com.

The cheat sheet can be used in developing characterizations beyond having to explain just how your character is feeling. I hope you find this cheat sheet useful and perhaps dig deeper into the subject of body language.

Image

I became more confident in using beats to convey my character’s emotions in looking into this subject. However, I got a comment from a beta reader on my next book that maybe I went a little too overboard on the beats. There is always a warning on using any of the writing tools. The writer should use moderation with all of them.

How about you? Let us hear…

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Bringing Authors and Readers Together #shepherdforauthors #readinglists @storyempire @maeclair @bwb

An exciting resource for readers and authors!

Story Empire

Hi, SEers! Welcome to a Mae Day in May! Today, I’d like to share a resource I recently discovered that is beneficial for both authors and readers.

I have a contact form on my website (no, that’s not the resource, LOL). I get hit with bots now and then, but I’ve connected with some cool people through that form. The latest is Ben Fox, an entrepreneur and founder of Shepherd.com, a new platform for book sharing. Ben contacted me to see if I would be interested in contributing a list of book recommendations to his site. As an avid reader, Ben has built Shepherd to connect readers with authors, and authors with readers.

So, how does it work?

Two young women sitting side by side and enjoying content on their e readers

As an author, I write mostly supernatural suspense, and I’m fond of using dual timelines. I chose a single book I wanted to showcase on Shepherd (have I mentioned this…

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Fictional Characters and Their Political Interests

A deep and thought-provoking post from Story Empire’s Gwen Plano.

Story Empire

Hello Story Empire readers, Gwen with you today and together we’re going to consider the political interests of our characters. This is Part 2 of last month’s post on Religion and Politics. Let’s dive into it.

Canva photo

About a month ago, I watched the movie, A Private War. It is a biopic based on the life of war correspondent Marie Colvin. It haunts me still. She lost an eye and later her life in the embattled areas of the Middle East. It is her beliefs that are relevant to our topic today.

Marie’s friends and colleagues tried to dissuade her from returning to the war-torn areas. She would not listen to them. She believed it essential to be the voice of the people.

“War is not so terrible for governments,” she said in the movie, “for they are not wounded or killed like ordinary people. I feel…

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Story Development and Execution Part 6: Constructing Chapters

Great writing advice from author Staci Troilo!

Story Empire

Ciao, SEers. Today is part six: chapter construction. I was surprised to find none of us has spent a great deal of time discussing the chapter as a discrete unit of a story. We gloss of things in a few posts, but never delve into chapter construction. (There is a post on scenes that might interest you if you’re looking for more information.) Probably because it’s kind of evident what to do—write a scene or series of scenes that link together. The chapter should reveal character and/or advance the plot. That said, I’m going to talk about what the proper development of a chapter can do for your story.

We talked before about your first chapter being your standard. How you should revisit it often to make sure it draws in a reader from the first word and keeps them turning the pages. It’s hard to argue with that…

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