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Glenn is a published author, and he runs a high-tech company.
(He's also fastest and most accurate chat-room-line typist we've ever hosted!)
2/25/08 5:56:21 PM Opening "Chat Log 2-25-08"
W2PSushi: hi Carol
Rose1533: Hi, Paul.
PHeeren: hi rose
watsonrhodes: Hey all. Am I coming through?
Rose1533: Hi, Tom.
watsonrhodes: I hear poltergeist music...
Rose1533: Yes, Watson, you're coming through.
Rose1533: Hi, Dale.
Deluge7: Greetings to all found herein.
Rose1533: I'm hearing the vents in the hall rattle. Grrr.
Rose1533: Hi, Brag.
Braguine: Gut iffninckz Room-roomies?
Deluge7: Maybe you have ghosts in your vent work, Carol.
W2PSushi: Several others are on the way.
Rose1533: No. The vents are for an attic fan that doesn't even work! The wind is strong enough, it's rattling the vents. Wish we could just get rid of that thing! It leaks when it rains!!!!
Braguine: Thanks for the invite, Sushi.
Braguine: Hi Linda
Rose1533: Hi, Tinny.
W2PSushi: welcome to our guest, Glenn Sixbury
Rose1533: Hi, LaTina.
watsonrhodes: We're having heavy winds and snow here.
Rose1533: Heavy winds, here, too, but no snow. In the 70's earlier today. North Texas.
watsonrhodes: Ack! 70's good. 30's bad.
W2PSushi: we can begin any time
watsonrhodes: I enjoyed that yesterday. Not so much today, because today I'm back home.
watsonrhodes: Ah ... beginning.
Mallie1025: Elementary, my dear Watson!
Rose1533: Hi, Monstie.
watsonrhodes: I thought tonight we could talk serious at first until we de-generate, or digress, or de-something...
watsonrhodes: In particular, I thought we could talk about moments in fiction.
W2PSushi: sounds good
watsonrhodes: For me, a novel is comprised of moments.
watsonrhodes: These dramatic moments are like beads on a string.
watsonrhodes: They tie the story together.
watsonrhodes: But more importantly, they are the reward, the reason the reader reads.
watsonrhodes: And learning to recognize these moments and take advantage of them is one of the secrets to writing a great novel.
watsonrhodes: For example, the biggest moment it easy enough to recognize.
watsonrhodes: That's the one that comes right before the end of the book, the big pay-off...
watsonrhodes: But there are also smaller moments in the book.
watsonrhodes: Some people would call these turning points ... but they don't always involve a change in the character.
watsonrhodes: What they do involve is an emotional response in the reader.
watsonrhodes: These are the moments that a reader waits for ...
watsonrhodes: These are the moments where--if you interrupt someone while they're reading--they get grumpy and tell you to leave them alone. (I understand that moment particularly well. Interrupted the wife a few too many times just when she was "getting to the good part.")
watsonrhodes: So the big question is: How do we create these moments?
watsonrhodes: That's the real question, because these moments aren't so much created ... instead, they're recognized.
watsonrhodes: When writing, we either consciously or subconsciously create a plot inside our heads.
watsonrhodes: We usually have an idea what the big moments will be.
watsonrhodes: But when we breathe life into the novel, these moments usually change.
watsonrhodes: Recognizing that change, and taking advantage of the tension we've created ... that produces a moment.
watsonrhodes: As far as examples of moments, some obvious ones come to mind ...
watsonrhodes: Good sex scenes, for example. Confrontational scenes between the villain and the hero. 'Struggling to survive' scenes.
watsonrhodes: But really, it's any scene where the reader can't stop turning pages.
watsonrhodes: Moments also come into play when rewriting.
watsonrhodes: After the first draft is done, the first thing I do is identify my emotional moments.
watsonrhodes: I then examine those moments to make sure they're placed correctly.
watsonrhodes: Each emotional moment should be larger (bigger payoff) than the one that preceded it.
watsonrhodes: In addition, each emotional moment should have less explanatory material.
watsonrhodes: For example, the big final scene at the end almost always takes place in a place that the reader has already "seen."
watsonrhodes: Another possibility is that it takes place somewhere that's cliché, meaning somewhere that's easily recognizable and generic.
watsonrhodes: The final scene in Terminator is a great example of this. Sarah Conner flees through a generic factory with lots of machines.
watsonrhodes: We don't really care what those machines do exactly or who works there. The only thing that's important is that we know there are big machines there and that the building is big with lots of places to hide.
watsonrhodes: On the other hand, emotional moments in the beginning of the novel are often broken with background info and scene setting. These are subtle moments ... small butterfly moments.
watsonrhodes: Does this make sense? Am I blabbing about stuff that's obvious? Or just too serious??
Monstie114: it makes sense.
Rose1533: No, please continue.
Monstie114: I knew that when you write, its better to show the reader then to tell them, but I never realized that toward the end you want to do it even more so....
Mallie1025: Watson, it is beautifully written and well said.
Monstie114: yes it is.
watsonrhodes: Well, if we want to dig a bit deeper into the idea of moments, we can make an interesting discovery... Almost all emotional moments come from reflected emotions generated by the viewpoint (VP) character.
watsonrhodes: If we've done our job right, the reader feels these emotions right along with the VP character.
watsonrhodes: Which then leads to several ideas writers often talk about... Such as sympathetic main characters.
watsonrhodes: Main characters who readers can identify with. Main characters that sometimes seem more real than the outside world.
Deluge7: What is a VP character?
watsonrhodes: (VP = Viewpoint character.) The reason this is important is that if the VP character isn't real to the reader, the reader doesn't live inside the VP character's head.
Rose1533: What we usually call the POV character. POV=Point of View.
Monstie114: is the VP character the same thing as the protagonist?
watsonrhodes: Usually, but not always. Villains can be POV (VP) characters.
PHeeren: Do VP characters apply to essays? or am I in the wrong?
Mallie1025: I always think protagonist is the bad guy--just by the word itself--mixes me up.
watsonrhodes: Villain = antagonist, hero = protagonist.
Monstie114: the antagonist is the bad guy.
watsonrhodes: VP characters in essays I think more of as the voice of the writer. Although essays can have POV characters
Miztinny: POV character is the one speaking or has the floor.
watsonrhodes: It depends on how fictionalized the essay becomes.
watsonrhodes: Going back to the idea of moments and how it can be helpful when writing...
watsonrhodes: One of the checks that can be done when getting ready to rewrite is making sure the emotional moments are easily identifiable.
watsonrhodes: The reader should never think about these... but the writer should easily be able to identify when a moment begins and when it ends.
watsonrhodes: It's all about producing an emotional response in our readers. Whether that response is joy, fear, terror, romance, dread, tension, etc.
watsonrhodes: It's the anticipation of the moment that keeps a reader going between moments.
watsonrhodes: It's the trust a reader has with the author, that the author will deliver.
watsonrhodes: It's why we hear readers who say they were unsatisfied at the end of the book.
watsonrhodes: The author didn't deliver. The moment didn't happen.
watsonrhodes: When the author asks, "Was it good for you?", the reader answer "Uh, sure."
Monstie114: haha. I know just what you mean. its a big disappointment when you get to the end of a book and the ending is just....lame.
watsonrhodes: Yes. In truth, reading a novel is an intimate experience. It's like a whispered conversation.
Monstie114: I suspect maybe the author didn't have a particular ending in mind when they started it...and they didn't know where to go with it.
watsonrhodes: It's one of the dangers of not knowing the ending of your novel when you begin. For myself, it's usually the ending of the novel that I see first.
watsonrhodes: I see the big moment. Then I figure out what moments I need to prepare the reader for the big bang at the end. A bit like foreplay.
Monstie114: sounds like a good plan.
Miztinny: I dislike an ending where there is a big scene but it doesn't really settle things and leaves them hanging.
Monstie114: I've never written a book, but I've written a lot of short stories. I always know how they are going to end, more or less. occasionally I change my mind though, because I think of something better.
Monstie114: sometimes the characters come to life and take over.....and they tie me up and throw me in the closet and end the story themselves! haha but usually I'm in control.
W2PSushi: Happens all the time.
Rose1533: I've been so engrossed in my story, I've been known to have a hard time returning to the real world.
Miztinny: Yes Rose sort of an out of body experience.
W2PSushi: whoops -- lost our guest again. does professional computer work.
Rose1533: I generally see the scenes I'm writing through the eyes of my POV character.
W2PSushi: so has his systems surrounded by ferocious cyber-dragons. AIM runs away in terror.
Rose1533: LOL! I think it's the weather he's having.
Rose1533: What part of the country is having a blizzard right now?
Monstie114: not sure
Miztinny: I don't know but am glad I'm not there.
Rose1533: Me, too! Just wish the 70's we had today would stay. Supposed to be only in the 50's tomorrow. Still nice, but....
W2PSushi: there he is!
Rose1533: Hi, Barry! LTNS!
watsonrhodes: The censors in Kansas found out I made a sexual reference and pulled the plug...
BornToVector: what a trip to get here. AOL is so crazy.
BornToVector: hi all
watsonrhodes: I've expounded about moments...
Rose1533: And quite well, I might add.
watsonrhodes: And as the villain in Raiders of the Lost Ark said, "What should we talk about now?"
W2PSushi: Put down that coat hanger first!
watsonrhodes: (I was rubbing my hands together with an evil smile when I said that)
Rose1533: What do you write?
watsonrhodes: I write for money.
Monstie114: I don't. (yet)
watsonrhodes: Actually I write sf/fantasy/horror/childrens/non-fiction/mystery. Not necessarily in that order.
Rose1533: What fantasy? I write that, too.
BornToVector: are we still in speaker chat? or open chat?
watsonrhodes: I had several stories published in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover universe...
W2PSushi: I guess Q&A. seems to me, anyhow.
watsonrhodes: As far as I'm concerned, it's open...
Monstie114: cool. Watson.
Rose1533: My book is supposed to be out sometime this year. Still no set date. :::::sigh:::::
watsonrhodes: My novel, Legacy, was Fantasy dressed up to look like SF.
Monstie114: I had some of my work published in a college literary magazine. I won a prize of 250.00 for it.
Monstie114: I'm not sure if that is the same thing as being published though.
W2PSushi: <-- mind so open his brain fell out
watsonrhodes: Sure it is. I only received $114 for my first short story sale.
watsonrhodes: So what's your book Rose?
Rose1533: The Master and the Fighter. The first book of the Crystal Dyad.
watsonrhodes: What's it about?
watsonrhodes: Of course!
Rose1533: It stared when I found crystals in recognizable shapes.
watsonrhodes: Shapes as in shapes that looked like Elvis?
Rose1533: Heart, leaf, water drop, etc.
watsonrhodes: Or geometric shapes? Or both?
Monstie114: like the Virgin Mary. haha
W2PSushi: or like Elvis
Monstie114: like the sandwich? never mind.
watsonrhodes: It sounds interesting to me.
Rose1533: So the story is that these crystals have magic and the shape determines the magic the crystal has.
watsonrhodes: Both Rose's crystals and the Elvis sandwich. Hey, I sometimes watch the food network...
watsonrhodes: I like the form of magic. Interesting.
Rose1533: Bleah! Not at ALL a fan of Elvis.
Rose1533: Anyway, it's all with magic.
watsonrhodes: It's okay. He's dead.
Rose1533: But there's dark magic in the land, too.
Miztinny: A beautiful girl with a flying horse.
Mallie1025: I loved Elvis.
Rose1533: Those who have the power to use the crystals are known as Enhancers. The antagonist, Melgon, didn't have the power or the trait, but all his family did.
watsonrhodes: Rose, it certainly sounds like something I would expect to see on the shelf of a bookstore... (that's a good thing)
Rose1533: Now he's the most powerful sorcerer in the land. dark magic.
W2PSushi: We are helping critique her second book now.
Miztinny: Its getting more fascinating all the time.
watsonrhodes: Mallie... it's okay, I look like Elvis. Except without the hair or the sideburns.
watsonrhodes: And with a beard. I'm the bearded, somewhat bald, no sideburn Elvis
Monstie114: can you dance like Elvis?
watsonrhodes: Absolutely. And sometimes I do. At least in my own head.
Rose1533: Can you play guitar?
watsonrhodes: Very badly.
Monstie114: I can pick up a hairbrush/microphone and play rock star.
Rose1533: I have four, myself.
Monstie114: I put my music really loud and stand in front of the mirror....
watsonrhodes: Four sideburns?
Monstie114: neat, rose!
Rose1533: Don't play Elvis. Usually John Denver.
Miztinny: This has been a very informative talk. Thank you for coming.
Monstie114: I play guitar too, but piano is my first love.
watsonrhodes: Thanks for letting me come.
Rose1533: It was a pleasure, Glenn.
Monstie114: I enjoyed it too, thank you.
W2PSushi: I will post this session on line. not tomorrow, I think, but soon.
watsonrhodes: Well, if anyone can get any use out of it, I am satisfied...
watsonrhodes: I like John Denver.
BornToVector: Thanks for the invite Paul. I may try to stop in next week. now that the AIM thing is working. I will read the log when you send it out.
Miztinny: great evening. good night all.
W2PSushi: then I will have to *do* the log. early work, so not right now., eh?
Monstie114: I have to sign off....I have an early class tomorrow. it was very nice meeting you watsonrhodes.
W2PSushi: Thanks, Glenn.
Rose1533: Me, too. No class, but up early, nonetheless.
BornToVector: LOL good night all.
watsonrhodes: Thanks.... Watson => Glenn Sixbury
Monstie114: thank you for the invite, Paul.
Rose1533: Not sure if I'll be here next week, Paul. Have to get up VERY EARLY and work the election.
W2PSushi: ah. a BIG election, too. hotly contested.
Rose1533: No kidding! and Texas matters for once!
Rose1533: Night, all.
W2PSushi: good crowd tonight.
watsonrhodes: Paul, thanks for inviting me. Sorry about the initial mix-up, but it seemed to work out in the end.
W2PSushi: no need to Bolt-zap anyone. the result is what counts most.
Deluge7: Have you ever zapped anyone in this room?
W2PSushi: nope. did a couple times as a Host. been years, though.
watsonrhodes: I'm signing off. Goodnight all.
Mallie1025: night--great chat.
W2PSushi: what a busy evening . . . well I am outta here. g'nite Brag
2/25/08 8:12:38 PM Closing "Chat Log 2-25-08"
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