Notes from Management [ardentleprechaun]
For example, you can:
- be in a shampoo commercial
- start a boy band:
- spot some choice booty:
- break into song:
- see some people in frankly offensive outfits:
- attend a metal show:
- listen to some sick jams:
- discover zombieism:
- sample some tasty snacks:
- watch someone get burned bad:
- find something you really like:
- find something you really, really like:
- find something you REALLY REALLY LIKE:
- and wonder if you left the stove on:
How to end your novel
The Dos and Don’ts By James V. Smith Jr.
- Don’t introduce any new characters or subplots. Any appearances within the last 50 pages should have been foreshadowed earlier, even if mysteriously.
- Don’t describe, muse, explain or philosophize. Keep description to a minimum, but maximize action and conflict. You have placed all your charges. Now, light the fuse and run.
- Don’t change voice, tone or attitude. An ending will feel tacked on if the voice of the narrator suddenly sounds alien to the voice that’s been consistent for the previous 80,000 words.
- Don’t resort to gimmicks. No quirky twists or trick endings. The final impression you want to create is a positive one. Don’t leave your reader feeling tricked or cheated.
- Do create that sense of Oh, wow! Your best novelties and biggest surprises should go here. Readers love it when some early, trivial detail plays a part in the finale.
- Do enmesh your reader deeply in the outcome. Get her so involved that she cannot put down your novel to go to bed, to work or even to the bathroom until she sees how it turns out.
- Do resolve the central conflict. You don’t have to provide a happily-ever-after ending, but do try to uplift. Readers want to be uplifted, and editors try to give readers what they want.
- Do afford redemption to your heroic character. No matter how many mistakes she has made along the way, allow the reader—and the character—to realize that, in the end, she has done the right thing.
- Do tie up loose ends of significance. Every question you planted in a reader’s mind should be addressed, even if the answer is to say that a character will address that issue later, after the book ends.
- Do mirror your final words to events in your opener. When you reach the ending, go back to ensure some element in each of your complications will point to the beginning. It’s the tie-back tactic. Merely create a feeling that the final words hearken to an earlier moment in the story.
By James V. Smith Jr.
What are weak verbs?
Weak verbs are action words that are used so frequently that they have little weight or meaning. While these words are natural parts of dialogue, they work less effectively in narrative to describe action.
“She ran through the trees.”
“She careened through the trees.”
The word “run” is a weak verb and doesn’t paint as vivid of a picture as “careen”. The suggestions above are suggestions only and will change the action and emotional value of your sentence depending on which one you choose.
Consider the moment you’re trying to convey. Consider your character. Consider the mood and the level of danger. A character who’s terrified will careen through the trees. A character who’s furious will blast through the trees. A character who’s chasing something will zip through the trees.