FtQ Monday Bookshelf. A place where authors can promote their books. I’ll post a cover graphic, link, and 100-word summary for new authors. Caveat: I have not read the books and advocate none. Here's a new one plus a new review of one of mine.
Gravedigger’s Moon, John Schmierer
Sometimes when a rich man dies, everything goes to hell. That’s what happens in Gravedigger’s Moon, when the death of a multi-millionaire in a plane crash sets off a search for a missing heir that spins into web of fraud, murder, and misdirection. Everyone gets tangled up, including a lawyer just trying to do his job, a dope-smoking golf pro hoping to cash in, and a con man bent on burying his problems. Ranging from the swank law offices of Newport Beach to the New Age vistas of Sedona, Arizona, this narrative offers more twists than a scorpion’s tail.
The Summer Boy: Amazon review "Coming of age in Texas"
Sixteen-year-old Jesse takes a summer job on a Texas ranch, and encounters a series of tests and challenges that a kid without his guts and gumption would never survive. From water mocassins to flame throwers, from the rancher's knock-out daughter Lola to her malevolent witch of a mother, from one dead body to another, Jesse must navigate the perils like a modern, younger Odysseus. There is mythic quality to this initiation journey. At the same time the book is so rich in realistic detail that you realize by the end that you've learned a great deal about ranch life in the hinterlands. I was fascinated throughout.
Workshop Marathon at South Coast Writers Conference in February
I’m doing 3 workshops on February 17th and 18th at the South Coast Writers Conference. Quick summaries:
Friday from 9 to 4 Sharpen Your Storytelling Skills
The focus is fiction craft issues with 5 writing exercises (2 exercises also in Ray’s 2nd Saturday workshop). Free e-copy of my book, Flogging the Quill, Crafting a Novel that Sells, is provided before the conference. Topics covered:
- Writing for effect
- Story as a river
- Start with kitty-cats in action
- Six vital story ingredients
- It takes story questions to turn pages
- Making it experiential to characterize
- Describing a point-of-view character
- How to deliver the sound of dialogue
- When to tell, how to show
- Adverbs: Good? Bad? Yes.
Storytelling: after lecture and exercises, members write the opening page of a story (scenario provided) to read aloud for class critique.
Saturday from 10:45 to 12:15 Crafting a Killer First Page
In the workshop, I first give a brief presentation of six vital story elements for fiction. Then, one at a time, a writing sample (first page from a novel submitted by an attendee) is passed out to attendees. Attendees read the sample, decide if they’d turn the page on this novel, make notes, and then I lead the group in a critique of the page as to its effectiveness, shortcomings, and strengths. I also give my evaluation. My critique may also suggest a better starting narrative from later in the submitted chapter. Attendees who submit samples that are critiqued can take the group’s notes with them, including mine.
Saturday from 3:15 to 4:45 Crafting Killer Description and Dialogue Scenes
The fiction writer’s task is to create the experience of the story in the reader's mind, not to just write a report of what happens. By combining a technique called experiential description with action beats in dialogue, a narrative can deliver that experience. This workshop leads writers to think about how to write for effect—the use of writing techniques to affect the experience the reader imagines.
I hope to see you there.
© 2012 Ray Rhamey