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Writing Lessons From The Front, Angela Hunt

Last week I finally had some time to myself while my boys were at swim lessons. I brought the Kindle with me and low and behold…I READ! Yes, don’t fall over, but I read…three books, actually.

Let me backtrack a moment, if you will. I do enjoy my Kindle. I do REALLY enjoy getting freebie and bargain books. It’s like a drug. Gotta grab that book, it’s ONLY $0.99!!! Even better, it’s FREEEEEE. It’s a great tool to use for marketing.

The drawback is that I have approximately 20 bazillion books that I need to read! FIVE of those are by Angela Hunt on the subject of writing. The pool we’ve been frequenting doesn’t have wifi; thankfully I had the first three books of the ongoing series downloaded already and not up in the Kindle Cloud. I decided that I need these in real live book form because I need to underline, write notes in the margins, etc.

Book one is The Plot Skeleton. It’s a wonderful illustration on outlining a novel. Something I have yet to accomplish. As I was reading through the brief chapter, cleverly titled “The One and Only Chapter,” I could see my latest WIP through the Skeleton. Seeing “the bones” of my story in this way was a good exercise. Starting with the head and working down, you fill in your main plot, seeing where it needs another rib or maybe a better segue. Angela explains all the connections, and how your plot works together to bring that story to life. I think I will pop open One Note and draw me up a skelly-bones.

Book two is Creating Extraordinary Characters. I confess to thinking that all my characters are extraordinary. At least, that’s what they tell me. In this volume Angela sets forth the steps to making your characters real. Instilling Admirable Qualities, Personality Type as a Tool, using notecards, Revealing Characters in different scenarios, the difference between a villain and an anti-hero and more. I enjoyed this one as it made creating a character sketch (another writing practice I’ve avoided) less daunting. I found it especially interesting to use the Meyers-Briggs personality tests to get to know your characters better.

The third is Point of View. With just one simple sentence (When Mary woke up, it was raining.) Angela takes us through the different storytelling points of view and shows how each one has it’s own merits and drawbacks. The section on head hopping )switching from one character’s POV to another in rapid succession) made me chuckle. I tend to “head hop” at times, largely, I think, due to my preferred reading tastes. It’s something I have worked on, and this book helped me see how and where to continue to hone that particular discipline.

angela huntMany of Angela’s books are on Kindle, and she does run specials and freebies. The best way to keep up is by her newsletter and blog. She has practically a whole shelf in our library. I loved her novel Doesn’t She Look Natural? (The Fairlwan Series) and her book about the Roanoake colony was interesting. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with any of her offerings. If you write, or would like to write, her series is a must. *DISCLAIMER: The links to Angela’s site are not up right now (6/3/2014) I will update ASAP. Thanks, Donna!*

 

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“Under Construction” in Lakeville…Keep Your Eyes Open!

Growing up in the Garden State, I’ve seen my share of road construction signs. It’s an ongoing season in N.J. that never ends, just moves from place to place, bottling up traffic where you least NEED it.

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That’s what’s happening in Lakeville, and I must say it’s rather exciting! As I’m waiting on Restoration to return edited, I’ve been working on covers. Yes, multiple covers! Both Seasons and Sunnie are getting cover and interior makeovers! They’ll look crisper, cleaner and more professional. I must reiterate: I’m rather excited!

Keep your eyes open for the announcement for 1) pre-orders for Restoration’s print version and 2) special offers on the new and improved print versions of Seasons and Sunnie.* I’m sure they’ll be new book trailers and memes floating around, too. You know how it is once the creative phase starts. As in the classic children’s tale, when you give an author a new program to play with….

The website will also be getting some sprucing up in the months ahead. Again, moving toward a crisper, more fresh look. With added features, including newsletter sign up, previews and more. Exciting things happening in Lakeville!

*I must add, this does not negate the work and hours put into the previous covers and interior design by Laura and Chautona. The fact that they still speak to me on a regular basis proves my mania was lovingly (hopefully) tolerated. I am so very grateful to both for their continued support, help, and encouragement.

As Always, be Blessed Till Next Time!

Barbara