Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday's Tinted Ink SHOW OFF!

I hope you enjoyed yesterday's workshop. I'm going to get right into today's class! But just to remind you, you can still post today (or in yesterday's post) for a chance to enter the first page critique from

Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency.

The point of the workshop is for you to take a piece of your writing - up to 250 words - and after the workshop, take what you have learned and and apply to it your writing. On Friday, post your revised version and the the biggest SHOW OFF wins!!

For today, here's what we've got:

We are talking about emotions:)

When writing, it's so easy to describe your character's emotions with words that YOU as the author may be feeling. Or you may want to express feelings and write in a way that YOU want the reader to grasp or feel. But showing feelings is just like showing details. Let me explain. Your character may have been traumatized, and you write, using words that express the feelings you want to portray. You may use words, like hurt, angry, withdrawn, paranoid, terrified, ashamed, and so on. Now, all those emotions may apply to your character, but one of the easiest ways to draw your readwr into your MC's world is to let THEM decide what to feel. Let's do some exercises like yesterday to show you what I mean.

I'll never forget how I felt when my mom died. I was devastated.

In those sentences, all I did was tell you what my MC felt after she experienced a death in her family. By writing it this way, I didn't give my reader any opportunity to feel anything. So, I'll add some details and try again.

Even if I live a thousand lives, I'll never forget how completely alone I felt after my mother died. Days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months and still, it seemed every time I turned around, something reminded me of her. I don't think I'll ever be able to move on.

With these details, all I've done was add to the telling. I haven't given the reader a reason to love the MC or her mother, nor I have given the reader a way to suffer with the MC.

Whenever work distracted me during my visits with mom, her soft hand patted my arm and she smiled at me. She always forgave me. As her sight faded, the smell of fresh flowers on the table helped mom relax, even though she couldn't go outside anymore. At the sound of my voice, she clapped her hands and weakly patted the edge of her edge of her, inviting me to sit a spell. This morning, I filled her coffee cup to the brim, the way she liked it- before I remembered.

In this version, because I didn't come right out and tell you my MC loved her mother and still can't believe she's gone, I gave my reader the chance to make that connection on their own. This means, the reader must engage with my details and as a result, the reader has an opportunity to be emotionally connected and engaged with my MC.

So, what about you? Do you have something you need to work on and SHOW OFF?


  1. Alright, here's mine! This is from NEVER THE HERO.

    “Krystin, please!”

    I shook my head. I didn’t want to hear any of it. When I reached my car, I fumbled the keys as soon as they were out of my pocket. They fell to the pavement in my frantic, hurried movements. Nervousness set in.

    I wasn’t ready for this. I’m not ready for this.

    I finally gripped the right key and almost got it into the lock when his hand came over mine, stopping me.

    “Please,” he said.

    I jerked my elbow upward, forcefully, connecting the end of it with his jaw. Forced to take a step back, I used the room now between us to swing the car door open, making a barrier. I went to step inside and sit down, getting halfway through the motion. He gripped the top of the door and held it there.

    “Let. Go,” I said, pulling the door an inch in my direction. When did he get so strong? Or was it my lack of magik that made me weak? I haven’t used my magik in over a year.

    “No,” he said.

    “What do you want?” I asked, making eye contact only long enough to give him a cold glare.

    “For you to come back with me,” he almost pleaded.

    I laughed, quiet loudly. “Over my head body!”

    Ryan closed his eyes long enough to take a steadying breath before saying, “I’ve been looking for you since Shawn came back.”

    Came back? Where did he go? Or does he mean the hospital?

  2. My turn! These are the first 250 words from SIGHTLESS, my YA urban fantasy.

    A warm flush crept up Carly’s neck as the raucous crowd in the Flying Owl pressed in on her from all sides, their sweat and perfume becoming her own. She edged her way through the throng, pressing against damp backs and oversized purses until she came to a clearing near the bar. She wiped her forehead, and her fingers came away shiny with sweat and make-up.

    The sound of laughter and talking morphed into a single, guttural yell as the band walked on stage. Carly tried to catch Tyler’s eye, but he bent over his amp, a crease between his eyes. She knew that nervous look, and it twisted her insides to see it now.

    A cool tingle crept up her spine, making Carly shiver. The people around her were looking everywhere but at her, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that she was being watched. She wrapped her arms around herself and searched the crowd. Moments later, the sea of people parted, and Carly locked eyes with a woman leaning against the bar.

    The woman stood, her tight leather pants, low-cut red shirt, and black, high-heeled boots drawing the attention of every guy in her vicinity, but she stared, unblinking, at Carly, the corners of her mouth curling into a knowing smile.

    The crowd closed in around Carly once more. She stood on tiptoe and tried to find the strange woman, but she had disappeared, her spot at the bar now taken by a man in a motorcycle jacket.

  3. Just checking in to see how you are doing. Have a great St. Patrick's day!

    1. Hi Melanie! I'm doing fantastic! How are you? Hows your book coming along?


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