If you’re like me, you’re settling back from keeping up the yard, relaxing a bit, etc. and moving more into fall. My mums are set to bloom yellow and orange. Farmers Markets are stocked with apples/pumpkins/squash. (I love spaghetti squash.) I made this Fall-theme graphic long ago, but still love it–mainly because I think of how my grandsons loved crawling all over those major pumpkins years ago. I’d take them on day trips, swimming, pumpkin patches and this day was so much fun. And here it is, Pumpkin time again. Check out those sassafras leaves. I have a stand of those near my woodpile. The tree leaves are from a tree right in front of my picture window. That tree tells me so much through the seasons. Do you have a favorite tree?
I’ve just finished the first book of an unnamed trilogy and looking at titles and cover ideas for all three. Like any writer, I stored stacks of them, with story ideas. I call those my toy boxes. I can pretty well generate a storyline from a live scene or a word. While writing for 2 publishers for most of my career, I had to always have a story idea at the ready.
Several readers noted that they liked how I used my personal things in the stories and on the covers. It’s nice to know what readers like, so if you have time, I’d love to hear from you. The story I just finished uses my mother’s antique single bed–which I have, called “the high bed” by my daughters. I’ll get that shot for you.
Writers discuss writing techniques. I plan to write a How-To, a compilation of tips gathered over years of writing and working with top editors. Someday. However, the most recent chat concerned a book/story’s overall Tone and Mood. I’m not hearing a lot of that particular thing, so FWIW to anyone writing fiction:
A journalist friend just relayed to me her difficulty in changing to fiction. I write fiction. Fiction has character depth. So here is a light version of the importance of Mood/Tone of the whole story, which is little discussed:
Character mix. To me, the character mix defines the story, the bad guys making the good guys look better, so contrast. Much the same as when painting, darks offset the lights and vice versa. If you have all dark/moody characters, you’ll have to work hard to light up. Peripheral characters highlight the dimensions of the major characters–
- Mood/Tone. In suspense and mystery there are all sorts of devices, i.e. ticking clock, endangering the sweet and/or innocent/child, revenge, needs, etc. The overall tone can be light/dark/mixed/humorous/romantic/emotional. BIG NOTE: Characters are people, so they all have emotions of some kind. To stick with the overall tone of the story is ultra-important and balance a mix to get what you want.
- Which brings us back to Character Mix.
Every one of my stories and characters after years of writing is different and that keeps writing interesting for me.
Yep, thrilled to be starting another series. Pretty much excited about everything this Fall. I’m a cool weather person who loves dark days. Love them. Do you?