Friday, October 31, 2014

Joy in Writing

My new book Lieutenant Henry Gallant was a joy to write, here's why . . .

Lieutenant Henry Gallant is handsome, brave, and daring—just what you want in a hero who sets out on a great adventure. A rival challenges him for the love of a beautiful, young, and bold woman—just what you’d expect in a warrior princess. Together they face an alien invasion, a jungle full of dangers predators, and a malevolent artificial intelligence bent on exterminating humanity.

Can you guess who wins in the end? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the corrupt politicians who maneuver to upset all Gallant’s efforts to protect the people and stop the malicious AI.

How much fun do you think I had writing this tale?

Actually, I had more.

Writing is fun and the more you work at it, the better it gets. Wait, did I say ‘work,’ I should have said, play. The pleasure of composing just the right phase, or finding just the right descriptor, is most satisfying.

When you read a story by one of your favorite authors, you can yourself immersed in another world—undergoing an exciting and thrilling vicarious experience. The characters bring to life the emotions and choices of the interesting situation.

Some of my favorite authors, I. Asimov, J. Campbell, and R. Heinlein have accomplished this for me. When they ‘set the stage’ at the beginning of a chapter, they offer elaborate descriptive prose, rich in adjectives and superlatives. For action scenes, however, their sentences become short, crisp, and emphatic. When involved in conversation, the individual characters each achieve their own ‘voice’—they demonstrate a distinctive characteristic of speech, or language, so that they can be picked out of the dialog. Of course, the arc of the main story must be seamlessly inter-wound with the subplots so that the reader doesn’t trip over the narrative. But the result is a reader so engrossed in the story that he is unaware of his actual reality, he has been transported elsewhere.  

I find that there is joy in expressing your thoughts, so find your words—tell your story.


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