Category: Guest Voices

Susan Canavarro ~ Guest Writer

Susan Canavarro is an artist living in Florence, Oregon. Her memoir, “Fragments: Growing Up Bohemian Poor in Dementia’s House”, is available in e-book and paperback. This is her first Guest Writer appearance on our blog. I write memoir fragments. Following a few of Robert and Jack’s writing techniques, I am working on getting rid of the passive voice, replacing weak verbs with strong, using concrete nouns, shucking armored prose, and looking for metaphor. Eliminating the passive voice requires taking ownership of my thoughts and feelings and imagery. My ah-ha moment: taking ownership is scary. Taking ownership means I must stop being the victim. Taking ownership leads me to truths about myself like: I’m afraid to express myself with certainty because I am afraid of being wrong or stupid. So I hedge all writing, all painting, all thoughts using my passive voice. The passive voice is a great tool if you want to create a character like me in your novel. But I want to be strong, so out it goes! Shucking armored prose is also about taking ownership. Don’t fill up the page with abstract nouns and weak verbs like, my favorite, I’ve been thinking, or I would have thought…and for god’s sake, stop with all those adverbs! I can’t always avoid armored prose, but I’m learning not to love it. In writing The Auto/Body Connection I explored the...

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Screenwriting techniques and the Novel–Roxana Arama

(To answer the question: “why are there two postings of the same Guest Writer work?” Answer: we post each Guest Writer’s work in two categories–Posts and Guest Writers.  Posts get archived and disappear. Guest Writer material is permanent. Thanks.) What do software code writers and novelists have in common? In this, Roxana’s second guest blog, she makes that connection. The Wedding Bell © 2012 Roxana Arama January 26, 2012 In my previous post on Bob and Jack’s blog (see Guest Writers), I wrote about the early stages of my novel The Wedding Bell. This post is about my journey as an apprentice toward the later stages of writing a novel. Before turning to fiction writing, I was a full-time software developer with a bachelor of science in computers. Once I began writing, I renounced all my project-development training in order to be a real writer, one that lets the book reveal itself to her as she listens to those voices in her head. I knew what I wanted that book to be about, I had a laptop, so I began writing. I goaded every character and prop in my story to do the work I wanted it to do. I thought that I was letting the creative part of me blossom, when, in fact, I was writing myself into every scene, and plastering myself over every prop. I was...

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Roxana Arama–Screenwriting techniques and the Novel

August 2, 2012 Roxana Arama wrote this essay after an intense discussion about Timed Writing or Writing Practice grew up on our Louisa’s Writers Facebook page. Check out Roxana’s other Guest Writer pieces . She is working on a complex and ambitious fusion novel built on history and fantasy. As promised, I typed up the reasons why writing practice works so well for me. 1. Writing with other people produces insights  At Louisa’s, we read what we write, and that makes a big difference in the way I write. The people I write with are my friends, and I’ve grown to like and respect them over the years. No one writing session will change people’s mind about my craft, so I’m not trying to impress anybody. But I’m trying to make the five minutes that the other people sit around the table and listen to me interesting for them. Whatever they’re listening to is a sliver of my work, a scene out of context, a piece of meta-writing. So I’m trying to make myself as clear as I can. Which means that, as I write, I keep an eye on my subplots, backstories, character motivations – any detail that I can add to make listening out of context easier. As I straddle all these worlds, my brain makes connections that it wouldn’t otherwise. That’s where the insights lie and...

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Max Detrano-Guest Writer

© Max Detrano. All Rights Reserved. Why Write Multiple Points of View in“Close Third Person”? Modern writers, myself included, are often infatuated with first person point of view. It appears clean, reliable, direct and controllable. What the narrator sees is what the reader gets. This can be very effective especially if the narrator is telling the story from an informed point of view, looking back in time. But it lacks flexibility. Third person omniscient point of view is seldom omniscient. Someone is telling the story, even if the reader is clueless as to his or her identity. Omniscient third person confines the writer and the reader to one perspective at a time. It, too, can be confining. The old fashioned “god’s point of view” has gone out of favor with readers and writers alike. That leaves us with “indirect third person,” often called “close third person,” or “free indirect style.” This technique requires a subtle shift in language and observation that is unique to each character’s perspective and personality. The author (in close third person) goes into character, so-to-speak, by mimicking the language and sensibilities of that character. Like different dimensions coexisting in the same story, the reader (and the writer) experience something different from each perspective. If done well the reader never wonders who is telling the story, but moves with ease from one dimension to another, from...

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©2010-2017 Jack Remick, Robert J. Ray. All rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including text and images, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Short excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jack Remick and Robert J. Ray and "Bob and Jacks Writing Blog" with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.