Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Beginning a Manuscript

It's that time of the year when most of us are busy with organising for holidays, easing up on writing, and hoping 2014 will bring good news.

As we ease into the holiday period, take a moment to reflect back on what you have achieved through out the year. It doesn't have to be a biggie, but something where your writing took a step forward. Congratulations. It's a great achievement to move forward in one's writing career. J
For me it was self-publishing two novels and they have been selling well. One of my novels Heat in the Outback has been selling extremely well since 2010. It's available in print and digital format.

What goes through your mind when you begin to craft a manuscript?
Firstly I have to say that reading is a valuable tool in the craft of writing. You have to read the genre you're targeting. Familiarise yourself with what is selling in that particular genre.

So as we plan our next novel slow down and think for a few weeks about the plot, and the characters. Plot, Characters, and writers voice is what sells a novel. 

Fill in character sheets and make sure you answer every question. We have to know our characters inside and out. In this way, they become real people on the page and real to our readers.

At the beginning of a manuscript the last thing on the heroes and heroine’s mind is a romantic relationship. The events of the story throw both characters into contact with each other. Then there has to be a tug of attraction between these characters causing an escalation in the conflict.
Also there should be a developing trust between both characters. Usually one or both characters admitting something to the other character show this. This is something they wouldn’t usually share with anyone else. This is the development of the characters attitude.

Declaring their love for each other When this happens too early in a manuscript, the manuscript loses sexual tension and the pace slows. To up this you need an event, which can make them step back a little. At some stage in the story there also has to be an acceptance of the other characters better qualities.

Internal conflict is where the heroine and hero's personal goals clash - Conflict must be believable and strong- Believable as relating to real life. Ask yourself would this happen in real life?

Each scene should have a major crisis. This crisis should be related to the characters struggle within that scene. When you choose an internal conflict, make the character really care about this conflict, by doing so your reader will also be concerned and won’t want to put the book down.  It will draw them in and take them on the emotional journey they are seeking.

External conflict is visible It is an influence from the outside, which threatens the characters situation or life. Conflict can be created by placing an obstacle before the hero and heroine. Find something to up the stakes. Ask yourself the question: What if?  Repeat this question a number of times and you will almost find that obstacle you have been looking for. Usually this takes up until ten goes, and wella, you have your answer.

Remember, whatever the external conflict, the characters can only solve it by working together. Once the internal conflict is established, put out all the stop signs and throw something else in that will pull them back making the conflict much higher.

If you don't have character interview sheets, or character biography sheets, I can email them to you.  I prefer to use the Character Biography, but it's personal preference. My contact details are on my webpage.

Hopefully once a month I will bring to you something to help you with your journey. I'm still travelling my road and would love for you to join me on our journey. :)


Tarnya said...

Great post. I'll be looking forward to future ones. It's really cool for authors to share their knowledge to some of us less experienced.

Thanks Suzanne


Mel Teshco said...

Hi Suz,

great post - I'm afraid I'm more of a slap the words down and work it out as I go LOL!!! I'm refining my way a little as I go though... =)

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Glad something may help Tarnya.

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Hi Mel
I guess you know the how to's and apply as you write. Slapping it down is good as long as you don't lose direction. :)