Today I thought the first thing I want to do is differentiate between "writer" and "author." Maybe you all know this all ready, but just to be sure, an "author" is a published "writer." Now, in my mind, I struggle with what constitutes "published?" There are those who are self-published and those who are published by a traditional publishing company, I'll leave that question up to you.
OK, now back to this week's lesson.
Before I do that, I need to ask, is there any aspect to writing fiction you would like me to cover? Let me know in the comments below.
Now, back to my subjects from Dean Koontz.
I've touched on some of the eight things he thinks the average reader demands of a novel: "1) a strong plot; 2) a great deal of action; 3) a hero or a heroine or both; 4) colorful, imaginative and convincing characterizations; 5) clear, believable character motivations; 6) well-drawn backgrounds; 7) at least some familiarity with the rules of English grammar and syntax -- the more familiarity the better, of course; 8)a style which embodies at least a trace of lyrical language and as many striking images as possible, for good writing is always vivid and visual."
I think I've covered #1 #2 and #3 pretty well. So, I'll try to cover #4. In my novel "Bridgetown High." I think my most colorful character is the antagonist, Jeff Marino. He's a scumbag, for sure. He loves to drink and he is addicted to his smokes. He absolutely hates the protagonist, Mark Wilkerson, because Mark won their love interest, Genie Lombardi, away from him. Jeff goes to great lengths to win Genie back, all to no avail. When his best friend dies, Jeff becomes real to the reader as he mourns over him, and as I wrote that scene, I even felt bad for him. I think Jeff is the most well-drawn character in my book. If you haven't yet, you need to get a copy of Bridgetown High and see what I mean.
When creating characters, don't hesitate to develop him/her as fully as you can.
So, good luck with your writing. And if you have something you'd like me to cover, please ask. I can't promise I can answer everything, but I'll try.