Writing the Perfect Novel (Part 2)

How many times have you heard the term “Show, Don’t Tell?” When writing in first person pov, the best way to create a page-turner is to keep the reader engaged. When you use point of view filters, you set the reader outside of the story by telling them what is happening instead of letting them experience the moment for themselves. Statements such as “I felt,” “I heard,” or “I saw” pushes the reader out of the now and allows them a chance to be separated from the hero or heroine.

Wrong: I saw the door knob slowly turn. I heard the door creak as something slowly shoved it open. I felt like my heart was coming out of my chest when I saw there was no one there.

There are actually a few things wrong with this paragraph. Not only are pov filters dominant, the usage of the pov filters stops the author from using visceral responses, things that happen when a person is experiencing heightened emotion.

Right: The door knob jiggled left and right. As the door slowly swept open, the hinges creaked. My heart pounded out of my chest. No one was on the other side.

The last paragraph draws the reader straight into the narrator’s world. The reader will forget everything around him or her and experience the scenes in the novel with the narrator as if he or she was one in the same.

Below is a list, and though certainly not complete, it will give you an idea of words to look for when writing and especially editing your work.

  • I see or saw
  • I hear or heard
  • I think or thought
  • I touched
  • I wondered
  • I realized
  • I watched
  • I looked
  • I seem

You may have instances where a pov filter is needed, but for the most part there are few place for it in first person pov. You can look up a wide variety of visceral responses to replace these pov filters, but for good measure here is a list to start with.

  • Heart slamming against my chest
  • Stomach churning
  • Pulse racing like a staccato drum beat
  • Knees going spongy
  • Light headed, dizzy
  • Vision narrowing
  • Adrenaline surging

Writing the Perfect Novel

There are many things you could write about, but one thing I’ve learned is that there are areas in which I am not good at writing. I like to write about what I know and what would be fairly easy to research. Not to say that I recommend taking the easy road out, but when you write about what you know and have to do minor research, you take less chance of writing something an expert will pick through and find flaws. And there are experts everywhere.

Cover Art

When I take on writing a novel, I try to keep within my comfort zones, most times. Sometimes I venture out, but I make sure I research a few different accredited sites so that I don’t sound like a moron. Science fiction is where one could easily take a nose dive.

Modern technology advances like light speed, so make sure the site you research when taking on this genre of writing is up-to-date. If it was published in 1997, then, for the most part, the information you’ll find there is obsolete.

Historical romance has been the most interesting and easy to research that I’ve found yet. There are so many articles that will tell you what one would find in a barn, or inside a house, or outhouse that you can easily find what you need and base a really neat story around it.

I once read a romance novel set inside the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC, Maid to Match by Deanne Gist. Deeanne Gist’s knowledge of the house was such that I thought she either had lived there for years or had to have visited the Biltmore at least 30 times. Her execution and description was flawless. I read the book in a day and never felt so close to a character as I did her heroine. This was the result of awesome researching.

So if you decide to write outside of your knowledge base, be sure you’ve done the homework. There’s nothing like a poorly-researched novel to make a reader put the book down and never touch it again.

Ever After Webinar and Release Party

The first installment in the Cursed Series
The first installment in the Cursed Series

Ever After Webinar and Release Party is today at 4:30 PM. I’m so excited to talk to everyone. I had the amazing experience of talking to a lot of fans, friends and family this morning and am excited to carry the party on into midnight tonight. We’re going to be discussing the elements of acquiring a publishing company, the process of publishing a novel, and all the amusing things that happened in between. I can’t wait to see every one there. 🙂

Ever After’s Release

The first installment in the Cursed Series
The first installment in the Cursed Series

As my family and I sit around the dinner table with a myriad of different electronics impatiently awaitng our download of Ever After (Cursed Series) http://www.amazon.com/After-Cursed-Odessa-Gillespie-Black-ebook/dp/B00QP3CZUO/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427223322&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Beautiful+Soul+Odessa+Gillespie+Black, the previous year comes to mind. This has been a rewarding road.

When #KensingtonBooks sent me the contract, I cried.

When I saw all the work involved, I almost cried. 🙂 But I knew it would be the means to an amazing end. Or beginning.

And it has.

When Cora Graphics Cover Art released the cover, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was as if Cora had crawled in my head and tapped into the very soul of the novel. It was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen.

When the editing rounds started, I was a little overwhelmed, but one of Lyrical’s best freelance editors Penny-Jo Barber-Schwartz baby-stepped me through the process. We ended up with a professional grade novel.

I was suddenly so glad I hadn’t tried to self-publish it. I could have never done a better job than Kensington Books, Lyrical Press and Cora Graphics. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: