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Posts Tagged ‘Charles Suddeth’

22 Rules adapted from Pixar

 

Rule 1: How hard a character tries counts more than his/her success.

I.e. it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all (Bill Shakespeare maybe?).

 

Rule 2: Make it fun for the reader, not fun for the writer. I.e. keep the reader in mind. I am sometimes guilty of that.

 

Rule 3: Themes are important, but they often aren’t apparent until the end of the story. Worry about theme on your rewrite.

 

Rule 4: Once upon a time…Daily…One day…Because of that and that…Finally. A story progression more for cartoons or picture books.

 

Rule 5: Keep it simple. Maybe even combine characters. If you stumble on something in your story, go around it, come back later(maybe). I heard it as KISS-Keep It Simple, Stupid.

 

Rule 6: What are your main character’s strengths? Throw the worst at them. Can they handle it? (I always heard it as ruin your POV character’s day)

 

Rule 7: Figure out the ending then worry about the middle. I’ve been told that at workshops.

 

Rule 8: Even if it’s not perfect, finish your story. Learn from it. What’s the prefect story look like?

 

Rule 9: When you get stuck, make a list of what won’t happen next. Hopefully the next step will appear.

 

Rule 10: Dissect the stories you like. Your story will be a part of you, but you have to understand it before you can write it.

 

Rule 11: Don’t leave a story in your head, get it on paper even if it’s flawed.

 

Rule 12: Plot twists—don’t use your first idea or the second and so on. Surprise yourself.

 

Rule 13: Make your character strong, even opinioned, but never wishy-washy. (Charlie Brown had opinionated secondary characters)

 

Rule 14: Why do you have to tell this particular tale? If you don’t have a reason, maybe you shouldn’t.

 

Rule 15: You have to experience your POV character’s emotions, feelings etc. as if it’s really you.

 

Rule 16: Raise the stakes. If the character fails in the middle of the story, raise the stakes anyway.

 

Rule 17: Don’t throw away manuscripts that don’t work. Someday you find a need for them.

 

Rule 18: Do your best and don’t worry about failure.

 

Rule 19: You can use a coincidence to get a character in trouble, but not to solve their problems.

 

Rule 20: Exercise: Take a story you don’t like. What would you do to make it a good story?

 

Rule 21: You have to identify with your POV character. You have to understand why they act and say the way they do.

 

Rule 22: Do you understand the heart of your story? Is your story buried in your manuscript? I.e. have you overwritten?

YA thriller, publication TBA

YA thriller, publication TBA

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The September Louisville SCBWI Chit Chatters Social (Schmooze) will be a week late because of Labor Day.

Anyone from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana is welcome.

Monday, September 14, 6 to 8 pm. No RSVP required.
The first hour will be for socializing, the second hour for optional critiques. Writers can read for three minutes. Illustrators are always welcome.

Barnes & Noble’s Café, 801 South Hurstbourne Parkway, one mile north of I-64, on the right. This is NOT the Summit Shopping Center B&N.
You do not need to be an SCBWI member to attend. For more information, contact Charles Suddeth csuddeth@iglou.com 502-339-9349, c 502-649-9944.

B&N

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Cumulative sentence: Base clause + modifying phrase + modifying phrase etc. E.g. “The boy walked in, longing to see her, wanted to be with her, dying to kiss her.”

 

4 types of phrases:

Participial phrases: participle is verb turned into an adjective. E.g. “hating his life” & “delighted with the pie.”

Gerund phrases: verb turned into a noun. E.g. “by eating” or “for cheating”

Infinitive phrases: “to find a job” or “to eat his dinner”

Prepositional phrases: “after eating pie” or “before finding a job”

 

4 types of suspended sentence: [main clause at the end]

Inverted cumulative—cumulative sentences ending with main clause

Insert qualifying material between subject & verb

Initial conditional clauses lead to main clause

Extended subject, verb at the end

This is by no means complete, but I hope it might inspire other writers to examine and/or play with their sentence structures.

Eights Mask2

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August Louisville SCBWI Chit Chatters Schmooze is a week from today!

Anyone from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana is welcome.

Monday, August 3, 6 to 8 pm. No RSVP required.
The first hour will be for socializing, the second hour for optional critiques. Writers can read for three minutes. Illustrators are always welcome.

Barnes & Noble’s Café, 801 South Hurstbourne Parkway, one mile north of I-64, on the right. This is NOT the Summit Shopping Center B&N.
You do not need to be an SCBWI member to attend. For more information, contact Charles Suddeth csuddeth@iglou.com 502-339-9349, c 502-649-9944.

B&N

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BOOK: Louisville author plots ‘Murder on the Cherokee Reservation’

Jun 10 2015

By T.E. Lyons

Eighth Mask by Charles Suddeth
(Library Tales Publishing (Library Tales Publishing; 317 pgs., $17.99)

This Louisville author has already delivered a variety of tales: historical suspense novella “Halloween Kentucky Style,” YA tech thriller “Experiment 38” and now a novel subtitled “Murder on the Cherokee Reservation.”

The story is launched with an apparent (though not certain) murder that becomes a mystery due to its time and location — at the climax of a bawdy-but-spiritual Cherokee tradition called a Booger Dance. The eponymous dancers are masked — so the discovery of a body afterwards leads to questions such as who might have been posing as a dancer merely to have an excuse for a disguise. These questions are asked by the local sheriff’s office, but walls of silence (and what may be worse — surly half-truths and omissions) are what greet the interviewers when the dancers and potential witnesses claim they have the right to keep this matter private within the tribe. Gradually the interactions of the expanding cast of characters resolve into a form that’s familiar to fans of Hitchcock films: the innocent man sent on the run by a false accusation.

Best considered as a quick read with some slow buildup, this is a mystery-adventure that both offers and requires a certain, steady focus. Suddeth establishes his style early on: short chapters that gradually accumulate character and backstory, but are filled with point-of-view detail. The dynamic that’s most typical of today’s thrillers — with splashy sections of exposition that show off the author’s research on the background topic — is here muted, as the past and present of Cherokee customs and beliefs is given out a thimbleful at a time.

Suddeth understands the stars that guide this type of rural and natural mystery-thriller that’s infused with Native American lore and culture clashes: Tony Hillerman was a Mt. Rushmore-quality figure who wrote just this kind of novel. In recent years, Nevada Barr has been a go-to figure of very strong consistency (but with an emphasis on landscape/environment description that verges on travel-writing). Suddeth seems to be a more cautious writer than either of these, as he conveys his plot largely through the methodology of a procedural — albeit with some twists based on personal and cultural conflicts.

It’s surprising that with Suddeth’s experience he feels the need to confirm that the reader is sure of where suspicions are still open. His plot is tight enough that he doesn’t give away too much prematurely — yet he seems very cautious about confirming attributions and roles in accusations and personal clashes. The tight paragraphs are perpetually working to make sure the reader is in a very certain place with the heroes and villains. This is the deal Suddeth seems to make with the reader: I’ll get you involved with the characters at a steady pace — any smoke and mirrors will be in the plot, not the writing style. So the voices of Deputy Sheriff Charlie Yuchalla and murder suspect Lyle Gibbons aren’t as far apart as you might suspect, even as one claims to be merely the catalyst for the actions of a supernatural soul-stealer of Cherokee legend. When action scenes crop up, they move well and convincingly. If you can handle an especially-careful pace as the story proceeds, there’s entertainment here.

Eights Mask2

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This weekend at the Green River Writers Retreat at the Kavanaugh Center, Crestwood, KY about 20 writers from 4 states met. I worked on a picture book, “Jig,” and a New Adult thriller, “Dream Flyer.” Met lots of great writers. Green River Writers, Louisville, Kentucky. http://www.greenriverwriters.org/contest2.html

McCoy15

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July Louisville SCBWI Chit Chatters Schmooze

Please note: we are back to our regular location!

Anyone from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana is welcome.

Monday, July 6, 6 to 8 pm. No RSVP required.
The first hour will be for socializing, the second hour for optional critiques. Writers can read for three minutes. Illustrators are always welcome.

Barnes & Noble’s Café, 801 South Hurstbourne Parkway, one mile north of I-64, on the right. This is NOT the Summit Shopping Center B&N.
You do not need to be an SCBWI member to attend. For more information, contact Charles Suddeth csuddeth@iglou.com 502-339-9349, c 502-649-9944

B&N

 

 

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Today, I am guest blogging on Donna Driver’s blog, Write & Rewrite , with a Father’s day excerpt from my YA thriller, Experiment 38. Join us.

http://www.dgdriver.com/write-and-rewrite-blog

YA thriller, publication TBA

YA thriller, publication TBA

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Review for Experiment 38

Experiment 38 is a thrilling read from start to finish, with a sweet romance and friendship throughout. I loved Nate’s devotion to Emily, especially given the dangers that lurked around every corner. I also loved Nate’s friends who helped no matter what catastrophes could befall them. They seemed to like the risks! But, I didn’t expect to be so enthralled as it is a young adult book. I figured it would be an enjoyable romance novel, with a simple mystery thrown in. I also didn’t expect to be guessing until the end what the heck was going on with Emily! Was she a robot, a real girl, something in between? To find out, read Experiment 38 by Charles Suddeth. You won’t be disappointed!

By Shawn Simon, author of Stepping into a New Role, Stories from Stepmoms.

Website: StepmomShawn.com

Facebook: Stepmom Shawn Simon Says

Twitter: @shawnsimon44

 

Experiment 38: Young adult thriller, 4RV Publishing, paperback: ISBN: 978-1-940310-02-2

YA thriller, publication TBA

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Review for Experiment 38

Experiment 38 is a thrilling read from start to finish, with a sweet romance and friendship throughout. I loved Nate’s devotion to Emily, especially given the dangers that lurked around every corner. I also loved Nate’s friends who helped no matter what catastrophes could befall them. They seemed to like the risks! But, I didn’t expect to be so enthralled as it is a young adult book. I figured it would be an enjoyable romance novel, with a simple mystery thrown in. I also didn’t expect to be guessing until the end what the heck was going on with Emily! Was she a robot, a real girl, something in between? To find out, read Experiment 38 by Charles Suddeth. You won’t be disappointed!

By Shawn Simon, author of Stepping into a New Role, Stories from Stepmoms.

Website: StepmomShawn.com

Facebook: Stepmom Shawn Simon Says

Twitter: @shawnsimon44

 

Experiment 38: Young adult thriller, 4RV Publishing, paperback: ISBN: 978-1-940310-02-2

YA thriller, publication TBA

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