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The Secret Pillars Of Writing
The Secret Pillars Of Writing
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BOOK DETAILS

  • Paperback
  • Aug.01.2010
  • 9780615396590

Jeffrey gives an overview of the book:

Have you wished you could write like your favorite authors? What if you could---almost like magic? Bypass know-nothing classes, clueless meetings, depressing critiques, and long sessions of reading countless books on writing. Why maybe let yourself be led by "authors" who really do not know the modern secrets of blockbuster book and screenplay writing? A crash course in legitimate secrets of writing by a published author with Five-Star acclamations for flair, originality, "roller-coaster" action scenes, and more.
Read full overview »

Have you wished you could write like your favorite authors? What if you could---almost like magic?

Bypass know-nothing classes, clueless meetings, depressing critiques, and long sessions of reading countless books on writing.

Why maybe let yourself be led by "authors" who really do not know the modern secrets of blockbuster book and screenplay writing?

A crash course in legitimate secrets of writing by a published author with Five-Star acclamations for flair, originality, "roller-coaster" action scenes, and more.

Read an excerpt »

CHAPTER 1

 

* We’re going to start out here slow and easy, with basics presented simply. We will gradually build our basics into the Secret Pillars of Writing.

          If you’re writing a book, it’s one thing to be a poet, or have poetry in your writing, but another to write a book that isn’t a poem.

Poetry does not equal book.

There are pitfalls—Rules for your novel, traps to avoid, publishing prejudices. Plot, Structure, Character Arcs, Plotlines,  and all kinds of fancy stuff. I’ll boil it down; I’m condensing and simplifying it for you.

 At the outset of your book‘s plot and structure setup, you should introduce your Hero or Heroine Character. Introduce them in their every day Real World and set the tone. Make the Hero/Heroine of your book real, fully rounded, compelling, flawed, likeable, relatable to—and do it right off the bat.

Get into his/her head and show their desires, fears, and their admirable or hateful or other compelling traits.

They don’t have to be “good,” as long as they’re really good at something, even Evil, thievery, conning people, or whatever traits you choose.

But—and this is all-important, so pay attention—you Must Hook the reader into the plot immediately, via the characters or action, to keep the reader reading.

Start by showing that the Hero/Heroine is trying to have a life (or not), trying to get along, just being himself, or whatever they generally do, when some Great Outside Disturbance occurs, something that changes their life forever.

As a result, s/he must become Desperate to get, find, or do Something that s/he needs to survive the Disturbance.

Pack the scenes with emotion, conflict, and passion—write with abandon, write like you’re announcing the cure for cancer or the Second Coming, but write it (you can clean up the wild and crazy parts later.)

No book ever got published by not writing it.

Your book ‘s Hero/Heroine character must have an Objective, a Goal. For that they need a Desire, a Great Want. It must be something that will interest the reader and move the story, plot, and structure forward.

 S/he must be Desperate to get to the Great Goal. There must be Tension, Conflict, Doubt, and Suspense about The Great Goal. It must drive the book forward, or there’s just no story worth turning the page for.

There has to be a Great Question: Will s/he get that Great Thing s/he desperately needs to survive?

Will s/he make it through, survive, and deliver the Elixir, or the Great Answer, to all humankind?

A driving force in your book’s plot has to be Obstacles to that process of seeking the Great Goal, conflict and Confrontation with Inside (psychological emotional) and Outside Forces (antagonists, opponents, sexy vampires, aliens, rain, dragons, etc.) 

Imbued in the structure of your book’s plot, there has to be a More Powerful Antagonist-Opponent, who either wants the same Great Thing that the Hero/Heroine wants—or wants to prevent the Hero/Heroine from getting it. The situation has to be Desperate, a battle to the  End. The Opponent must be more powerful than the Hero/Heroine, otherwise there’s no story. It’s just reduced to: Hero/Heroine smacks Opponent, takes away the Great Thing, goes home, watches TV, and slurps a beer.

There’s another important furrow to hoe here. The Hero/Heroine and the Antagonist necessarily have to be cemented to each other, forever, by something. There has to be a Great Reason for why they don’t just walk away from each other.

I mean, why would they want to go through all that aggravation, right?

Make sense?

Whatever it is that Bonds them together forever has to be something that makes sense, something that neither can avoid. It might be Revenge, Love, Hate, Blood—something like that....

________________________________________________________________________________

EXCERPT:

 

All writers think they stink. All writers despair. What the hell am I doing putting all this time and effort into—what—and for what? This really stinks.

Find that special cheerleader, not to correct you necessarily, just to cheer you on. Later you will need an editor, but in the beginning—alone against a world of obstacles, frustration, and doubt—you just need cheerful, passive backup.

In writing avoid the use of passive words. You want your words to be doing things, the entire work in motion, carrying the story forward. For instance, don't say, "He could see them." It's, "He saw them."

Simple example, simple explanation.

 Beware the Killer modifier. Adverbs, adjectives—all those evil little bugs will creep in and multiply, drown your point out:

"The sun roared up over the peaceful but eye-blasting scene like a masterless Samurai with a chariot full of red, red rubies, blazing diamonds, and burnished, hammered, flaming, burning gold!"

Or, maybe:

"The sun rose in a line of fire under the black horizon."   

Or, maybe:

"The sun rose in a low bloom."

Or, maybe:

"The sun seemed to hesitate, and then it rose."

 OK, you get the picture (no prize there.)

Keep it simple. Do Not over modify—it carries you away with how brilliant you are, and you lose control of the story.

Always give some signpost to show who's talking, but don't write like this, "‘Close the door,’ he rasped."

 

Or "…he choked, spat, breathed, hissed, gurgled, opined," etc.

It's this, simple and plain:

 

“He said, ‘Close the door.’"

 See? Just say it. Always get to the point. Don't spin off and bore the reader. Know what you are writing and why. It must serve the forward movement of the story or don't write it. Cut it out. Stick with the story.

Free the story from the stone—throw away the useless rubble.

You want to keep the reader turning the pages. That's the point of the exercise. The reader has to Want something from you. S/he must Want to turn that page and See What Happens Next.

You do this through how the characters deal with the situations they are in. You build interest and suspense, and draw the reader in.

Remember—these are just quick and dirty tips. I can't go too much further without I, like, hafta write a book or something. What I leave out is up to you Writer, to fill in by practicing and seeing.

This whole thing about plot? Plot outline? Character arc? —Just write the damn story and don't worry about the terminology. You can do all that later if you have to.

Got Plot?

Got no plot but a burning desire to write? Just do it. Write already! Start with a situation and characters. Ask “What if?” And just See What Happens Next.

Do not try and figure the entire book out ahead of time and play around with outlines, charts, cards, and all that crap. Just set your characters into a situation and watch what they do. You can fix it later.

 Plot line?

We ain't got no plot line.

We don' need no plot line.

We don' ch'ave to show you any steenking plot line.  

  ______________________________________________________________________________

On "Vanity," pride, enthusiasm for yourself---eternally ignoring the bastards from high school---And Tooting Your Own Horn:

 

"Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves; but I give it fair quarter wherever I meet with it. I’m persuaded that it is often productive of good to the possessor, and to others that are within his sphere of action..."

 “…tho’ it seems to be talking in my own praise [I only do it so that you] may know the use of that virtue when [you] see its [past, positive] effects in my favor…”

 [Do everything] “…in the sincere spirit of inquiry after Truth, without fondness for Dispute or desire of Victory.”

 

 ~Benjamin Franklin, 1771

 

jeffrey-friedberg's picture

These techniques freed me from writers' block, Act II Syndrome, the "Duh?" factor, and allowed me to finally free my imagination from wasting time wondering what the hell comes next.

Remember: BELIEVE. Never give up, never quit, do NOT accept purely negative criticism, and NEVER suffer Fools. "Illegitimi non carborundum": don't let the bastards wear you down.

About Jeffrey

BEST SELLING KINDLE E-BOOK AUTHOR, and Ex Private Eye, Jeffrey A. Friedberg is a master of secrets; he's a 32nd Degree member of the mysterious Masonic Brotherhood--the 2nd highest degree possible. As such he is a "Sublime Keeper of the Royal Secret.

Friedberg was...

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