Sunday, September 16, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday by Christine Locke

Here's another element of the gothic novel that's odd but fun: the presence of the older, foolish woman.  If the young ingenue gives the reader an example of how one might face life's coming challenges, this character provides the clear example of how not to do it.  Also, given her age, the story tends to show the consequences of making weak, self-interested choices.  Consider your favorite horror story; more of them than you might think contain a character meeting this description.

This week's six-sentence selection showcases the character from Open Door best meeting this description.  I'd like to think of Helen as more powerful and complex than most....

Much to the contrary, Helen did not care to hear anything Carin said.  In the moment that Carin knew this, as her aunt’s eyes darted from Carin to the door, to the group of ladies lingering in the drive and back, up and around the door and into the living room, at Carin again, the young girl knew her aunt resented her being there, at that moment, in that place.
            Helen’s anger had petulance in it, in the way she pursed her pink lips and moved to yank the key from the door, trying to shove it into the pocket of her tight capris, where it bulged, ridiculous.  Helen felt guilty.  Helen felt caught.  Helen was about to do something she knew was wrong, and she did not want Carin watching.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tips Tuesday:Sequel Structure and Branding Klout by Christine Locke

  1. Does this happen to you other writers out there?  You've got the outline and list of scenes for your new novel all ready to go, but upon completing a "manuscript," you find on the first read-through it lacks cohesive structure.  I don't know how it happened with as much planning as I did--or thought I did, but, there you have it.  What to do?  Since readers enjoyed the pacing of Open Door, I went back to it.  I noticed my sequel contains a similar number of chapters, so I made a study of the two.  I went back to my planning notebook and completed a new section, comparing the structure of the two works chapter by chapter.  I found that my novel was not quite as hopeless a mess as I'd once thought.  Smooth out the inconsistencies and perfect the transitions, and it might even be workable.  Not only that, but by doing this I created a new road-map for the revising process: my chapter-by-chapter list of what to fix for better pacing.
  2. I worked for a long time as a retail manager and manager trainer, so the concept of branding is not new to me.  When my little sister described her marketing classes' instruction to think of every Facebook post and tweet as personal "branding," I admit I was thinking, well, duh.  This is the same concept I taught new managers pre-social media age: our personal lives reflect upon our professional ability.  Some found it unjust or unfair that dancing on a bar half-naked might speak poorly to one's capacity for responsible business management.  It may not be fair, is what it is, I'd try to explain.  I wish I'd had Klout back then.  Here's a great little article I found on the subject this week.  Klout is a fantastic tool to help the novice understand the concept of personal branding, which is especially helpful to indie writers who have to "do it all" themselves when it comes to marketing and sales.  If you don't know your Klout score, check it out.  Experiment with what online activities make the score go up or down.  Are your areas of expertise the ones you would expect?  Does Klout think you have "klout" on writing and young adult fiction, or does Klout think you're an expert on half-naked bar dancing?  I'm just saying...these things are good to know.
Photo Credit: Ambient Ideas/Shutterstock

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday by Christine Locke

My favorite element of the gothic novel: the setting is so unique and its description so compelling, it is itself a character in the gothic story.  Even my earliest ideas for Open Door gathered around the notion that Mallace Mansion would be as real and relevant to the tale as Carin herself.  Last time, I shared Matthew standing at the open front door of the mansion, nervous about going in.  Here's another snippet revealing a little more about my favorite character from Open Door:
'You, daughter of my sister's son, are the heir I named: Welcome home.'
Carin could show no surprise.  She could only smile at her friend in tenderness, for Anne smiled back, all burden lifted from her form and from her eyes.  Tears in them glistened as she spoke two final words before diminishing, 'Thank you.'
A mournful agony escaped through the room as the mansion grieved the loss of its former keeper; it reached for her with wooden arms of shelving and raised the floorboards where she vanished, as if seeking her under them.  Carin cried, too, understanding the loss, and instead the arms reached for her, touching her with gentle caresses before moving backward, returning to their fixed forms.
Photo credit: Elena Elisseeva/shutterstock