Welcome to Walsh Wednesdays! Happy Wednesday. If today is Wednesday then that means tomorrow is THURSDAY, aka the gateway to Friday. Hope everyone is having a good week and if you're not it is almost OVER.
Speaking of over, this is the last installment of Walsh Wednesdays. I set out to do it until October 28 per this first post introducing Walsh Wednesdays. I can't believe it has been exactly one month. Wow. Time is certainly speeding by. I will miss our chats, but I will try to keep in touch as much as I can. In the meantime, enjoy this final WW post and the book and as always, please feel free to reach out with any thoughts on the Walshes. You can reach me at any time: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alright, now…for tonight's post: Behind closed doors…and masks.
That's right, Halloween is this Saturday so this post is all about 'behind closed doors,' what goes on behind the disguise, or the mask. I see Halloween and fiction writing as related. You have characters presenting themselves as one way on the page and then you see them behind the scenes. Authors get the unique privilege of writing what happens once the characters are out of the public eye and what happened to the characters before the public eye. Specifically, if you have a character going to a party. You get to read about the character getting ready for the party, the character's thoughts on who will be there, then the scene at the party, and then what happens when the character and let's say fiancé come home from the party. You get to hear the elusive "behind closed doors" conversation that we are not privy to in real life.
I love that I can see the inside of a character's mind, their raw emotions, conflicts, thoughts, wants, and desires. It's all there but what they present in public is so different than what is going on in their heads.
Halloween is the act of literally disguising yourself, pretending to be someone you're not for a day. But, how often are we disguising our true selves to be someone we aspire to be or think we are or hope others think that we are. We don't have someone writing the very internal dialogues that go on in our heads down on paper for anyone to read. It's interesting to think about how many times you've answered someone calmly but thought something wildly different in your head, or pretended to be engaged or interested in someone or something that was boring, or tried to be friendly with someone only to feel rejected. The list can go on…the point is who are you in public and who are you in private?
This concept of a public and private self is so unique to fiction writing because you get to see the main character in both spheres. And as the author, I get to control it. :) A powerful position, but also a stressful one. You want your main character to be likable and relatable but you're reading the very thoughts that go in this person's mind and those thoughts aren't always appreciated or well liked. Then the character has a responsibility to right a wronged situation or try harder or change course under the microscope of the reader. Think of a main character you are reading about now. Do you like the person if they existed in real life? Or do you not like them but understand them and why they did what they did.
When you're out on Halloween whether you're donning a full on costume or just being 'yourself' are you being the 'you' you want to be or the one that you know you are?
Have a good night and Happy Halloween!
Walsh Wednesday, Post #4
SO sorry for the major DELAY in posting Walsh Wednesday. This is still WW, Walsh Weekend? Does that work? Happy Walsh Weekend!
Today's topic: Enjoying the ordinary while experiencing the extraordinary.
Storytelling is one of the oldest and simplest art forms. I believe that all great authors are great storytellers. At the heart of every good book is an even better story. What makes a story compelling?
I think there are two things to think about. 1) What is the story actually about?
Are we drawn to the story because it is something relatable to our own lives? If you're a new mom, bride, single, etc. Is the main character going through something you recently went or are going through? Or is it a story that involves a fantasy type of element? Something so far remote and exciting that it distracts you from the everyday. Or do you want to read about characters in a familiar situation?
For Becoming Mrs. Walsh, I love that it is extraordinary people with ordinary problems. I want both. I want relatable issues but a backdrop that is outrageously unfamiliar and where the people are as glamorous and interesting as the Walshes.
And now for point 2) How you tell the story.
This brings me back to storytelling. To be a successful author you have to tell a great story and tell it well. The 'well' is the most important part. You could have a super interesting story but if you tell it in a boring way it will not translate. That's why I truly believe the best authors are the best storytellers because they can craft something in a way that really resonates. They build the excitement accordingly and drop in the plot points at the perfect moment. They allow you to 'be on the edge of your seat' and know how to set the pace of the story while highlighting the important parts but easing you through the background layers.
Think about your friends or family, is there one person who is particularly funny or exciting or both? They are the people who start off a coffee date by saying, "Do I have a story for you?" Or "You will not believe this." And then they continue to hold your attention. Natural storytellers, you know them when you hear them.
The best part about storytelling is that you could be anywhere at any time and be entertained by the simple elegance of a fantastic story told well. Think about that this weekend. Anyone you are seeing that is particularly entertaining? Do you have an exciting story to share? Sometimes the ordinary cadence of life takes over and nothing particularly extraordinary happens but that's why we rely on good books, with stories told well.
Happy weekend, all!
Walsh Wednesday, post #3
Hello out there,
It's WALSH WEDNESDAY. Happy Wednesday and I am definitely smiling knowing tomorrow is Thursday. We can officially say the "latter" part of the week.
I originally pictured these posts as day time uploads. Something to check out on a lunch break, or a fun thing to click on if you saw a tweet about it. Now they are turning into more of an 'evening' post. With nightfall as my backdrop, and a quiet and peaceful night here, it makes the posting at night more fun...sexier even? Maybe. Maybe not. :) Anyhow, here I am posting your Walsh Wednesday for you. And will be posting again next Wednesday evening.
Tonight I am talking about two things: the middle or "meat" of a story and why I like writing chick lit. I'm writing about these things together because I see them as related. First off, I have heard many different responses when it comes to the question of finishing a novel. I know some people completely stop reading when they get bored of a story, they can't get back into it, and they decide to abandon it altogether. I have friends who push through no matter what to finish a book because they have to see how it ends even if is is hard to get through. And then I know people who skim. They skim and even skip parts just to finish. I also once knew someone who read the ending of every book first. (That's just an odd side note but I did find it interesting).
So, what do you do? Are you a skipper, skimmer, or a soldier-on-er? I tend to skip. I hate to say that especially when someone has worked so hard but if the story loses steam, I can't push through. I will never return a book because I love to support other authors. But I honestly can't find it in me to continue on because once the magic is broken for me it's very hard to try and finish the book. It's picky and an impossible standard, but I want to read every single page and be engaged and excited to see what happens next. Not to say maybe a slow part here or there could exist, but overall the speed has to be spot on. This bring me to point #2: Chick Lit.
I love reading chick lit and even more so writing it. These are fun, fast paced stories that are meant to take you out of your world for a little while. They are light and affectionately known as 'beach reads,' 'summer reads,' 'plane reads,' 'lazily hanging out by pool' reads, etc. They need to be fast and not be bogged down in heavy detail or general boringness. By the way boringness is a word. I like it and may need to use it more. Now an important distinction is that although a story can be categorized as 'light and fluffy' it doesn't mean that the writing of it is simple or a light and fluffy process for that matter. Ironically, the easy, fast paced novel is often the hardest to write because you have to keep it moving and keep things interesting yet flesh out characters that are complex and deep enough for the reader to care about. To keep a reader engaged means you need a meaningful plot and likable characters. These characters need to be introduced and then immersed in an engaging plot surrounded by interactions with other characters and snappy dialogue and well detailed scenes all while being fun and interesting for a day in the sun. Not an easy task, but a FUN task or should I say challenge.
I love writing chick lit for this reason. I want to be able to have a story that stays with people long after they've read the book and kept them so engaged during the book that they can't wait to get home and finish up to see what happens. Or they're giddily reading it while in between meetings, waiting for an appointment, on a lunch break, etc.
Bottom line: If I can have a hand in making a part of your day or life lighter while you're reading a book of mine, then I feel I've done my job.
Thanks for reading this post and for joining me on this Walsh Wednesday. Have a good night wherever you are and wishing you a great book that is making you happy right now.
Walsh Wednesday, Post #2
Happy Wednesday, everyone! Sorry for the late post. I suppose it's Happy Almost Thursday.
Today's post: Previews
If last week we discussed endings, I figured this week could be a discussion of beginnings. Not "beginning" beginnings, but previews. The "Look Inside" feature on Amazon, for example. Or really any place that allows you to preview a book on your e-reader. Even the blurb of a book I suppose is applicable. I always marvel at what draws me into a book. Is it the subject matter? The dialogue? The characters? What grabbed me and didn't let me go and made me tempted to "click and buy." What exactly was IT?
There are so many reasons to read a book. Some may even just read one because a good friend or family member mentioned to do so. Perhaps a recommendation from another trusted reader or a mention on media of some form led you to a book...but what caused you to purchase it? I notice when I am poking around on Amazon specifically (though this can happen on any book selling site), I do a lot of "Looking Inside." Those first few chapters or chapter or whatever is posted is fascinating. Some of the previews draw me in completely and I am hanging on every word. Others start to seem interesting and then lose steam for me. Not because it is a bad book (I don't believe in 'bad' books...authors work way too hard), but because the book didn't go where I wanted it to or where I thought it was going.
Reading is so subjective and I think different things make people more or less interested. There are so many cases of one person loving a book and another hating it. So in answer to the question of :"What causes you to buy a book?" My answer is DIALOGUE. Yes, I'm using caps. It's obnoxious. I CAN'T help it. :)
I love reading dialogue and for me it has to be fast-paced. I don't like long paragraphs between speakers. I want to read (and hear in my head), short, snappy dialogue. When the novel begins with dialogue and it's good dialogue I am instantly attracted. It's like you're jumping into the action, you're a fly on the wall in an instant scene and in someone else's life.
People talking. That's it, I love eavesdropping. This is cheesy to admit, let alone publish for people to read, but these Walsh Wednesday posts are for you, so here it is. I love eavesdropping. If I'm out and something sounds juicy, I may be trying to listen a little closer or coming up with a story as to what is going with those people, their backstory, where they are from, where they are headed...and then I get back to work, (on the Walsh family, promise!).
Conversations are so fun to create between characters, a character's personality really shines through in the way he speaks. When you have a charismatic charmer (insert loud cough...MARK), it is really fun to write and then read back. Sometimes aloud. Yes, I talk to myself when I'm writing. And I guess blogging. I am reading this aloud as I type. :)
Alright, I better go before this conversation leads astray. But pay attention to Previews and see why you picked up your next book to read, it's a fun exercise.
If you're curious about the Becoming Mrs. Walsh preview, check it out here.
Have a great night and see you next week!
Walsh Wednesday, Post #1
Becoming Mrs. Walsh I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Xo.