Paint Me A Picture
Working my way through my current works in progress I realized something.
It needs more character descriptions.
Now, I know I don’t need to write lengthy sonnets or vivid poems in order to bring characters to life on the page. But I admit, I am a bit unsure about this as I have written maybe one character description in which I was pleased with.
What happens though, when the character you want to describe is the one who is the narrative voice? In other words, how do you go about the task when writing in the first person point of view?
How Is It Done?
First Person Narrators Descriptions can be done in a number of ways. Here are A Few Ways to Use First Person POV Descriptions in your writing:
- A Good Old Mirror – One of the most popular means to describe the main character is a personal glimpse at his or herself. There is nothing quite so classic in approach as a mirror. Wanting something with a bit more modern edge, try a compact or the rearview mirror of a car.
- A Reflective Surface – A reflective surface is another way a first person pov character might snag a glimpse of his or herself. Metal surfaces and bodies of water make for good reflective surfaces.
- Self Conscious – Give your character a flaw in which they try to hide by behaving or dressing a certain way.
- Use Dialogue – A little conversation can go a long way towards painting a canvas of your character. The concerned words of a friend over one’s complexion, or pointing out something that others perhaps might not be brave and kind enough to such as the mustard stain on his/her new pants gives the reader glimpses and allows them to better connect with the character.
Which Would You Use?
Cooperation Makes It Happen
Working with an editor the first time can be frightening. You may not know what to expect. It is possible you might even riddle yourself with questions.
- How do I know if he/she is legit?
- Did I hire the right person?
- Can I trust him/her with my work?
Then there are the “What If’s.”
- What if he/she hates my work?
- What if he/she tears it apart?
- What if he/she doesn’t meet the deadline?
- What if him/her and I are not on the same page?
Without taking the right steps, a writer-editor relationship can go from good to bad, to outright ugly.
Building A Healthy Writer-Editor Relationship
Here are 5 tips to help you build a healthy writer-editor relationship.
- Communicate: Talk to your editor, because without it there is only going to be misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Do not close up, be open and express your vision for your work. Be sure to allow time for constructive thoughts, responses, and cordial conversation.
- Be Prepared for Rewrites and Revisions: A common misconception writers have for editors is that they are to be your auto-correct and the ones to fill the gaps in your story. Wrong-o. When you submit your work, the idea is to have it print ready. Never submit the first draft!
- Ask Questions: When you are up against a deadline, the last thing you are probably going to want to do is to waste someone’s time. Yet, sometimes asking questions can save time and keeps everyone on the same page.
- Be Prompt: If you make a deadline, stick to it. Do as you promise, and deliver results.
- Show Some Gratitude: Editing is hard work. Several hours are necessary to make a story stand out, a poem fluid, and an article printable. So make sure your editor knows his or her work is appreciated.
Learn more on How To Build A Great Writer-Editor Relationship HERE!
One of the best tools I have found to help me in expressing myself through words lays in music. Classical music of epic proportions has been a key motivator for me in the past few weeks.
Today I share with you, 5 of my favorite go to songs.
1. The Empty Doll, Music Box Version by Lucas King –
This eerie piece is one I encourage anyone with a flair for the gothic, dark, or supernatural to try to use to harness some of that spooktacular energy!
2. River Of Tears by Brunuhville –
This emotion evoking piece is one I recommend for anyone hoping to work their way through a tear jerking moment of heartbreak.
3. A Sacrifice To Save You by Efisio Cross –
Another potential piece to use for those tragic moments in which you may feel compelled to stock up the tissue. However, this one is also one I would encourage for moments of discovery, clarification, or as the song suggests…sacrifice.
4. Far Across The Land by Eurielle and Ryan Louder –
The words in this breathtaking piece, speak for themselves.
5. Forever and Never – The Vampire (Dark Cello Music) by Peter Gundry
Goodbye Passive, Hello Active!
This practice has become an undesired habit in my writing. It is also something I intend to kick like a bad habit.
What is Passive Voice? How do I recognize it?
In a sentence written in Passive Voice the subject is acted upon, instead of performing the action.
Passive Voice can be recognized by the verb choice. The verb will Always include a form of:
Changing Passive For Active Voice
Here are some ways to change Passive Voice to Active Voice:
Choose Another Verb
“The store was crowded with eager buyers” transforms to “The store overflowed with eager buyers.”
Get Rid of “ing”
“He was bullying the quiet kid” transforms to “He bullied the quiet kid.”
Put The Adjective Before The Noun
“Egar Allan Poe is one of the most popular writers of all time and was responsible for some of the most haunting literature” transforms to “The popular Edgar Allan Poe wrote some of the most haunting literature.”
Learn more about Removing Passive Voice!
A challenge I find myself struggling with and openly embracing is the building of a character. Why is that? Well, in short, it is the process of opening up and letting these beautiful creations into my heart.
One particular character, to whom, I am growing quite fond is that of a blacksmith named Bartholomew Strahll. When I first put him to the page over a year ago, he is a character that lived more as an idea.
My descriptions were brief, lacking depth and emotion. It is taking some work as well as some time. But, he is becoming increasingly visible, relatable, and most importantly loveable.
A Glimpse At Bartholomew Strahll
Long, peppered hair crowned his head and was drawn back tight, the bound strands descended to fall just below his shoulders. A short beard covered his chin. His eyes were icy, bearing a steeled color, but absent of the rancor to be felt from both ends of the blade. He towered over me. Tall, broad shouldered, and muscular, the craftsman looked fit for battle. He had the build of a warrior. His hands bore the labors of his trade, scars, and calluses marked his palms and fingers. Otherwise, the skilled metal worker’s fingers were bare. No rings adorned, he wears no gold or silver chains, though I noticed an indentation on a finger of his left hand. The only jewelry on the blacksmith was a single gold loop in his right ear. His torso uncovered sweat blanketed his back and shoulder blades. Pantaloons and sturdy leather boots covered him from the waist down.
Art Of Love
Desire only sweet bliss, such ecstasy without escape
Two in unison are one complete whole
Bodies intertwined, taken by passion
Longing fulfilled; aching, throbbing soon ceases
As two cascade with movement as the ocean waves
Rising and falling; tides of love
Eyes of two lovers meet
Visible all that lies within the heart
Such is the art of making love
The binding of a single soul
A Grueling Task: Editing
A part of writing that I confess, I do not look much forward to usually is editing. Publishers look for not only fresh or unique ideas and evoking story lines. I have come to realize the importance of grammar as well as punctuation. The application of a few well-placed words and descriptions can capture many things. One thing they cannot do though unless they are in the proper form, tense, as well as spelling is conveying its intended meaning.
Readers see it all the time with word slips such as their instead of they are or they’re. At other times, it is something seeming equally mundane.
A Writer’s Tools
Editors can be expensive. There is no underappreciating what they do. At the same time, there is no replacing thoroughly replacing them either. This is not to say that a writer cannot apply some useful tools as well as resources to improve the quality of their work. In fact, I have found some useful tools right here on the world wide web.
- AutoCrit Online Editing
- Paper Rater
Outside of expert guidance, one thing an aspiring writer can use to help the maturation of a work in progress is constructive criticism from his or her peers. Some places I have gotten excellent advice from are listed below.