Many aspects form a novel – plot, pace, voice, character arc, setting, backstory, etc. But a novel wouldn’t be anything without characters. And readers want to get to know the main players. Among other things, they want to discover what they look like. And that, in turn, means they want to see their faces.
I’m not good at faces. Legend has it that I didn’t recognise my mother, although we had arranged to meet outside a certain shop. Often it’s only when an acquaintance I haven’t seen for a while does something – raises their eyebrows, speaks or walks in a characteristic way – that I realise who they are; their personality shines through.
Q: How can I, who don’t notice faces, learn to describe my storybook characters’ appearance?
I’ve come to a point in my story where Silvanus engages in heart-searching exchanges with his wise old mentor, Cerbonius. They don’t do much. They talk. This, I realize, can quickly become boring for the reader, who is hoping for more excitement.
What’s the solution? Continue reading
I’ve already mentioned how I like to use Google Drive for writing the chapters of my book. I can think of three good reasons why (or four): Continue reading
As an aspiring author, I’ve read several books on the art and craft of writing. They confused me. I didn’t even understand the terminology, let alone the principles they advocated.
There’s nothing better than jumping in the deep end and getting feedback from more experienced authors. My hesitant attempts at posting individual chapters of my book for others to critique, have taught me a lot. Continue reading
Every author stresses how important revision is. The trouble is, one easily overlooks one’s own weak points, omissions and errors. The solution sounds easy: Get a good Critique Partner for reciprocal manuscript correction.
But how? There aren’t that many budding English-speaking authors in Oberlunkhofen! Continue reading
I’ve come to a juicy episode, part of chapter 6. And the strange thing is that I feel deep emotion for the character I’m creating. The chapter introduces a runaway slave, whom Silvanus finds in the woods. Listen to the story and let me know what you think…
“Aren’t you afraid of Jupiter and Mars and all the others? Do you pray to that god of yours?”
“Well, yes, but I don’t really know much about him.” I notice tears forming in his eyes and his voice begins to tremble. “My Mother used to talk a lot about him. Before they… killed her.”
In the context of a UNESCO Week of Education for Sustainable Development, a team of historians developed a remarkable 3D-animation of life in the area of Marciana Marina during the Etruscan era (6th-5th century B.C.) Continue reading
I doubt that Silvanus saw many motor boats from his hillside home on Elba. But he certainly watched the birds and shipping. And dreamed of adventure in the big, wide world.
“Look around where you are right now. Describe this setting – but do so in the words your viewpoint character would use.” This was the exercise I was set in the book I’m currently reading. So I tried, in the words and from the point of view of a 6th century peasant boy from Elba! Continue reading