So with the website humming along, all tickety-boo and how’s your father, I continue to plough through the sequel to Gravesend, the tentatively titled “After the World: Corpus Christi”. Won’t be long and I’ll be signing off on this, my latest love-letter to George Romero and zombiedom as a whole. My favourite part? Revisiting some characters that I genuinely cared for, and telling the world What Happens Next. Did I say I care for these characters? You wouldn’t think so, going by the levels of woe I’m pouring upon them.
I’ve been enjoying David Farland’s “Daily Kick In The Pants” series of emails, invaluable writing advice from a writer who was actually Stephanie Meyer’s mentor, a WOTF judge, and an author with an impressive back catalogue in his own right. His invaluable writing advice can be accessed via this page: http://www.runelords.com/about/
Some of the things Mr Farland has spoken about are try/fail cycles, and actually giving your readers low levels of stress! Yes, you heard me right. When you are actually anxious about the fate of a character, that story just became a page-turner, and the author has successfully engaged you as a reader. And then, with the correct resolution, everything is brought back to normal, and you’ll go away feeling relaxed and good about that story – and will be keen to buy anything else that author writes.
A simple formula for conflict that I’ve always remembered goes along these lines:
1) get your characters stuck up in a tree
2) throw rocks at them.
3) get them back down.
I tell you what, I’ve got my eye in today…pow! Oh, sorry Tamsyn, didn’t mean to pop you in the face. Hey, there’s no need to point that bow at me, I was just….TWANG! Okay, thanks for the warning shot. Promise I’ll cut you a break real soon
PS I’ve finally got my LiveJournal cross-post thing working! Many thanks to fellow Clarionite Aidan Doyle for his IT intervention.