1,502 reputation
417
bio website
location Sussex, WI
age 30
visits member for 3 years, 10 months
seen Aug 12 '11 at 15:13

I am a husband and a father of one (with another on the way). I'm a writer, and I also love Go (the game). Currently, my full-time job is in a factory in Wisconsin, but that's definitely not the longterm plan.


Dec
9
comment How do you vary dialogue within stories?
I realize we're talking about dialogue, but the 'said-bookism' link made me think of "in-direct dialogue." For example, rather than doing the following: "Blah, blah, blah," Alice concurred. Just say, "Alice concurred." If the dialogue isn't absolutely necessary and you can sum it up quickly, that will keep things varied while also avoiding "said-bookism" type writing. Otherwise, I'm a big fan of just sticking with 'said'.
Dec
8
comment What is a normal length for a chapter?
The author who really taught me that was actually Michael Crichton. His chapter lengths can very a huge amount - from thousands of words to half a page. They also tend to "tighten up" toward the end of his stories a lot of times, when the action is ramping up for a big finale. You can almost feel the rhythm in your fingers as you flip from page to page, chapter to chapter. I know not everyone is a Crichton fan, but I think he handles those chapter beats very well.
Dec
8
comment I have written my first novel and I think it's ready. What next?
Regarding your comment on publishing: I would point out that if you opt for a self-publishing e-book route, most publishing companies will almost never give you a deal for that book. If it's already published and out in the wild, then it just isn't going to happen. If an e-book generates a lot of interest and builds a reader base, then that might help sell other novels - but I think that's probably the best you can expect.
Dec
8
answered How much planning should go on before beginning writing?
Dec
8
answered I have written my first novel and I think it's ready. What next?
Dec
6
comment What is the difference between writing in the first and the third person?
This is a very interesting comment on first person. I've only read a few first-person novels, and they were more of a "diary" type that actually did leave me emotionally invested in the narrator. But my experience is otherwise limited, except to my own failed attempts at writing from first (which ended much like yours). Thank you!
Dec
6
awarded  Scholar
Dec
6
accepted How does one implement effective foreshadowing?
Dec
5
comment How does one implement effective foreshadowing?
You made me think of another question: What's the difference between foreshadowing and what characters think will happen? How can both of those be used effectively together? If a character thinks X will happen, but Y actually happens in the end, then how do we foreshadow Y in the midst of the character preparing for X, and so on?
Dec
5
comment How do you map out your storyline?
Definitely this. If you number your index cards, you can then shuffle them and read through, too, just to see if there are any connections between scenes you might have missed. They're also a good starting point if you want to later flesh out a larger outline or input them into a program like Scrivener.
Dec
5
answered What is the difference between writing in the first and the third person?
Dec
5
comment Avoiding Deus Ex Machina resolutions?
Agreed. I don't think there's anything wrong with a Deus Ex Machina in the first draft if you get stuck and its a really inventive way to get the characters out of a bind. So long as the writer goes back and fixes it later on, so that it's not longer a DXM by the final revision. The reader should always be left with the feeling that this was being led up to from the very start.
Dec
5
comment How can I write an attention-grabbing first line?
+1: Writing the story first is exactly what the authors at Writing Excuses recommend. I think most first chapters were written to be thrown out. We only know how to effectively begin once we know where the story ends. And I imagine that's true for the first line, too.
Dec
5
answered How to switch pov characters mid-scene without jarring the reader?
Dec
5
awarded  Supporter
Dec
5
comment Character Development - How much is too much?
I would like to emphasize your point that character development is central to the story. I think that part of what Randomman159 has probably experienced is not only "bad character development" but also authors who have chosen to include weak scenes into their stories. Every scene should be important to character development, even if in small ways. This is hard to gauge as a writer, because we can become attached to certain scenes that we like, even if they're not very important. This is probably part of a lesson in that old saying: Kill your darlings!
Dec
5
comment How does one implement effective foreshadowing?
Your comments are definitely helpful for an omniscient third-person viewpoint, or even a first-person "memoir" of sorts, but considering that the most popular viewpoint today (and the one I write in the most) is limited third-person, I wonder especially how one effectively foreshadows from that viewpoint. Saying something like "He'd never taste the whiskey again" definitely jumps out of the limited view.
Dec
4
awarded  Student
Dec
4
asked How does one implement effective foreshadowing?
Dec
4
awarded  Editor