Here are some scientific facts about blood loss for all you
psychopathswriters out there.
Here are some scientific facts about blood loss for all you
psychopathswriters out there.
Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 23, 2010
12 Tips For Writing Action Scenes
The goal of most writers is to make their readers want to turn the page and keep reading. One way to do this is to include some action scenes. Clive Cussler says, his goal is to keep all his readers up all night, because they couldn’t put down his book.
Here are some tips that will help you keep your readers reading all night or at least that agent you intend to submit your novel to when you are done with your revisions.
Before you add an action scene, spend the time you need to make your protagonist a sympathetic and emotionally involved character. Laying that groundwork will have your readers rooting for your main character, when they reach those action scenes.
1. Make sure the stakes justify the action. It is easy to go over the top when writing an action scene in an attempt to be more thrilling. Your main character should not go around killing hundreds of people just because he is hungry and doesn’t have money for a peanut butter sandwich.
2. Plan for the action scenes well in advance. Find a question that brings into play an issue your hero has that is important for him to learn. If he learns it, then he can win the scene, otherwise, he should lose. In this way, the reader can see how the action sequence causes the character to grow and change. If your main character is going to need some skill to win the action scene, plant the seed for that earlier in the book.
3. Speed up the pace - Good action sequences are never slow. They grab the reader by the throat and force them to hang on white-knuckled until you decide to let up. Using short sentences will help pick up the pace. Too fast-paced, and the reader gets lost; too slowly-paced, and the reader gets bored; too over the top, and it starts to lose credibility. The intensity of the action should be heightened by having peaks and valleys-like a roller coaster.
4. Keep dialogue to a minimum - when the adrenaline is flowing, people don’t stop to have lengthy conversations. In a fight scene, you wouldn’t have time to think, so any dialogue should be short, sharp and punchy, usually only a few words that could be yelled out across the room.
5. In action scenes verbs are the most important words, so when you revise find your thesaurus. Make sure they are full of energy and focus. Words like “zipped”, “snapped”, “whizzed” and “punched” are all great choices.
6. No long scene descriptions when the action starts. Unnecessary details disrupt the flow of the action. Description is best left for other places in your novel, where the reader can enjoy them. In an action scene, they are just distractions.
7. Set up the action in an environment where the place can add to the excitement of the scene, where one false move could make things a lot harder for your heroes. I guess that is why so many movies have fights on the edge of a rooftop.
8. Make sure your action scene furthers the story and is not just stuck in for a little excitement. It shouldn’t stop your plot from developing.
9. If you are not prepared to show blood, then don’t cut off an arm or a leg. Make sure what you are putting in your scene rings true. Act out the scene to see if something doesn’t work.
10. Use the “ticking time bomb” technique to create a deadline that will devastate the hero. Push your hero into situations where there’s real consequences if he or she fails.
11. Write suspense sequences that require an action scene to be resolve. This suspense will keep your reader turning the pages to find out what happens next.
12. Read books with action scenes. Other authors can teach you a lot. Ask yourself questions like: How do they get the action across? What gives these scenes a feeling of momentum? What kinds of verbs do they use? What kinds of sentences do they use in the faster scenes?
Take a look at Jerry Spinelli’s Milkweed. You can read the first chapter at Amazon. He does a terrific job of putting you in the action. His action is not a fight, it is a memory years earlier as a child running away from the jackbooted thugs in Warsaw, Germany 1941.
Hope I gave you some food for thought.
When Describing a Character
- provide enough detail to give the reader a sense of the character’s physical appearance
- highlight details that serve as clues to who the character is and perhaps what their life is like
- describe clothing to establish…
Below the cut is a list of Popular Names in Ireland. Not all of the names are particularly of Irish origin, just names that if you walk down an Irish street you are likely to pass by some people with these names;
Nine Literary Magazines for New and Unpublished Writers
"Seeing your work in print for the first time is a unique thrill. But it can feel like a daunting task to submit your writing to a magazine or journal when you nobody other than friends and family has ever read it. To make the process somewhat less scary, here are 9 literary magazines that welcome submissions from new and never before published writers."
Say What?! - The Many Faces and Meanings of Said (Requested)
First, let me clear up a rumor. Said is not dead. Said is very much alive. It’s a clever little word with an awesome ability - it can become invisible. Of all of the books I’ve read - and I’ve read many - I’ve never been jolted out of the fictional world because someone said something. That being said, it’s sometimes nice to switch things up and use different words, especially to convey a certain mood. That’s where this guide comes in. I’ve grouped many said synonyms into moods, and within those moods I’ve ranked them by how much emotion they convey. Onwards!
The Scale - little emotion, medium emotion, big emotion
joked, lilted, giggled, exclaimed, laughed, rejoiced, sang out, jabbered
groaned, snivelled, cried, mourned, blubbered, wept, bawled, agonized, lamented, sobbed
asserted, retorted, ranted, snapped, growled, hissed, retorted, fumed, seethed, raged, thundered, roared, bellowed, snarled
insisted, argued, bossed, dictated, professed, barked, yelled, demanded, ordered, shrieked
yelped, groaned, whimpered, cried out, howled, screamed, shrieked, wailed, bellowed, roared
squeaked, gasped, whimpered, stammered, screeched, shrieked
consoled, comforted, sympathised, agreed
beseeched, begged, implored, pleaded
grumbled, huffed, countered, argued, disagreed, retorted, agreed
Other Ways To Say It
quipped, raved, sputtered, squawked, asked, answered, explained, inquired, posed, pressed, called, pried, whispered, proposed, yammered, queried, interrogated, replied, breathed, croaked, requested, murmured, responded, retorted, suggested, prayed, purred, hollered, blurted, mumbled, sighed, complained, jeered
Marvel should call any minute now.
That sounds like a super power Valerie in To be a Hero would love to have.
Birds symbolize freedom, power, messengers or carriers, transcendence, death, war, wisdom, life and death, and deities.
Blackbird - good omens, magic, shyness, insecurity, and enchantment.
Crow - guardian, carrier of souls, magic, trickery, thievery, cunning, boldness, eloquence, destiny, intelligence, swiftness, sacred law, and mysticism.
Dove - peace, purity, love, prophecy, gentleness, the Holy Spirit, and tranquility.
Eagle - swiftness, strength, courage, power, intelligence, wisdom, vision, healing, triumph, prosperity, and creation.
Goose - parenthood, luck, innocence, travels, fertility, productiveness, loyalty, teamwork, fellowship, communication, call of the quest, and cooperation.
Hawk - observance, guardianship, wisdom, illumination, truth, experience, creativity, nobility, messenger
Heron - good omens, self-reliance, and determination.
Hummingbird - messenger, joy, beauty, time, and swiftness.
Owl - silence, swiftness, keen sight, freedom, magical, watchfulness, patience, night, and intuition.
Peacock - birth, pride, spring, prestige, and resurrection. Peacock feathers were once thought to be evil because they resembled an eye.
Raven - healing, magic, divination, wisdom, eloquence, teaching, guidance, death, bad luck, shape shifting, and prophecy.
Robin - growth, joy, hope, happiness, good luck, and song.
Sparrow - intelligence, gentleness, companionship, hope, common nobility, and fertility. The sparrow is the bird of the full harvest moon.
Swan - emotions, sensitivity, dreams, true beauty, transformation, empathy, grace, innocence, balance, purity, union, and love.
Woodpecker - prophecy, magic, guardian of trees, and rhythm.
This bird is from Philippine mythology. It is said to be the first creature in the universe, making it part of a creation mythology.
Adar Llwch Gwin
This is a large Welsh bird that know all languages and are loyal servants to their masters.
This bird belongs to Chilean mythology. Its wings shine and it brings luck to miners who see it. They emerge in the desert at night and act as light. However, this bird can also lead greedy miners to their deaths. It eats silver and gold, thus being a subject for miners to search for as the birds have these precious metals in their nests. It looks like a vulture, but it much larger.
From Russian folklore, this bird has the head of a woman and makes beautiful sounds. When its eggs hatch, a storm comes over the ocean. It sometimes has human arms. Hearing this bird’s song will make a person forget about everything else.
Ara and Irik
In East Indian mythology, Ara and Irik were two birds involved in a creation myth. They took two eggs from the water and made the sky and the earth with them.
Also known as alerion or the king of the birds
The avalerion is a mythological bird from Indian mythology. At any given time, only two of these birds exist. They lay a pair of eggs every sixty years, which take sixty days to hatch. After they hatch, the parents drown themselves. Other birds care for the newly hatched birds until they can fly.
In European heraldry, the avalerion is a heraldic eagle known as the king of the bird. Avalerions are depicted as having no beak and no legs, or sometimes feathery stumps.
It is said to resemble an eagle, but is larger, has sharp razor-like wings, and is the color of fire.
Also known as Bennu
Benu is from Egyptian mythology and modeled after the heron. The bird has two white feathers on either side of its head and wears either the crown of Osiris or of Ra.This bird often represents Ra (a sun god) because it is associated with the sun. Benu is a central part of creation mythologies. Benu is a symbol of rebirth.
This is a white bird that can sense death, as it refused to look at anyone who was dying. However, it can also take away the sickness from others and heal them. This bird is from Roman mythology.
From Chinese mythology, this phoenix is highly respected and represents yin and yang. It has a swallow’s face, but a rooster’s beak and a snake’s neck. Some say the Feng Huang resembles a peacock. This bird is often paired with the dragon.
Also known as Zhar-Ptitsa
The appearance of the firebird is just as the name suggests: red, orange, yellow, and glowing. Most stories about the firebird include a hero on a quest to find the bird’s feathers. The firebird gives hope to those in need and it is said pearls drop from its beak. This bird has the ability to restore health. It is often seen sitting on a golden perch and eats golden apples.
This bird comes from Jewish mythology and is immortal. Like a phoenix, it is destroyed in fire and then reborn as a full-grown hoyl bird in an egg. Its immortality was granted when Adam and Eve offered fruit to the animals. The hoyl bird was the only one that refused.
Also known as homa or the bird of paradise
The huma is a bird belonging to Persian mythology. This bird’s shadow is said to bring good luck to anyone who touches it (this detail varies). The huma is both male and female, dedicating a leg and wing to each gender. The huma flies incessantly and some say it has no legs.
The huma dies in fire and rises again in the ashes, just as a phoenix does. Some say eggs are laid in mid-air and hatched during the fall.
This bird has reptilian skin and comes from African mythology. This bird often dove from the sky and attacked passengers on boats to drown them. Looking into its eyes would anger the bird and guarantee death. It is said to be the size of an eagle.
Also known as Ouzelum
This bird is from British and Australian folklore. This bird flies backwards because while it does not know where it is going, it likes to know where it has been. This bird has colorful plumage and can be compared to an ostrich, but is smaller. Also like the ostrich, this bird buries its head when threatened, though not in sand.
The owlman is an urban legend of Cornwall. He is an owl-like humanoid with red eyes who preys on young women. America’s mothman is its counterpart.
Also known as Rukh
This bird comes from Middle Eastern mythology. It was a massive bird similar to an eagle, though it had a forked tongue and sharp teeth. The size of the bird is said to be so large it can carry off an elephant.
SUPERSTITIONS & MYTHS
- An owl that circles a house three times is said to be a sign that someone within the house will die soon.
- It is said robins gained their red feathers because they attempted to remove the thorn crown from Jesus’s head, but his blood fell on the bird instead.
- It is unlucky to kill a robin.
- The eye on a peacock feather is said to be the “evil eye” and therefore bad luck to bring inside a home.
- There are countless superstitions about birds near homes and windows that signify oncoming death.
- Tip your hat at a magpie to avoid back luck.
- It’s unlucky to kill sparrows because they carry the souls of the dead.
- A crow at the window represents the soul of a dead person.
- A nearby robin carries the soul of a deceased family member.
When people have finished reading your story, they might want to learn more about you. Depending on whether you are using a penname and how much you want to share about yourself your author biography could contain the following:
Where to go for further information
You reader might want to learn more about your writing or keep up with future books your writer. So don’t forget to include:
If you don’t want to miss the next instalment in the Handbook to Self-publishing your own book series follow me on my writing advice Tumblr, Twitter, Goodreads or Facebook so you won’t miss new instalments every Monday.
Recently, I was asked a question many writers encounter on a regular basis: How did you get the idea for your novel? Oftentimes writers don’t know where we get the inspiration from ourselves but here’s what I do know.
The novel is called To be a Hero. It’s about a girl called Valerie who has grown up reading stories about heroes, so that when a self-proclaimed hero in mask and costume shows up in her small town, she decides to become a hero herself.
As it already clear from the topic one of the main themes is heroes. This is a topic, which seems to be omnipresent in our media more than ever. Recently, immensely successful comic book adaptations of heroes have been made. Even the 2014 Academy Award Ceremony had heroes as its theme.
My first decision was that I wanted a main character who is undoubtedly a nerd and identifies herself as one. Valerie grew up on legends of heroes like Odysseus and Beowulf. Of course she would also have read more recent literature about heroes but for copyright reasons I decided to focus on the older ones.
So now I had my main character. But most heroes aren’t alone. They have friends. What better foundation for a friendship, as many nerds will agree with me, than having an obsession in common. So I gave her friend, who actually dresses up like a superhero from comic books and strolls around the city, trying to perform good deeds. Naturally, both feel like outsiders in a rather judgemental little town and so they become friends. They also remain friends because it was important for me to make the point that just because the main characters are a male/female duo, they don’t have to end up getting their hearts broken in a tedious romantic subplot. Besides, as Valerie and Shadow agree, for most heroes in stories, their love life often ends in tragedy and death; unnecessary complications they can do without, considering they still have their normal lives, including stress of handing in their homework on time.
In the course of the story, Valerie and Shadow discover they have different views of what a hero is, views that also clash with the heroic images other characters in the novel have. They discover that the title of hero is very changeable and doesn’t always mean you have to save the whole world. Sometimes it’s enough to get over one of your own fears and do something nice for someone else.
All those different ideas of what a hero can be and how one can become one in a world where there are no evil empires to fight and where the hero is just an ordinary, teenaged girl leading a fairly average normal life. It especially appealed to me to not have Valerie be the chosen one but to struggle with being a hero because that’s the destiny she decided for herself.