Don’t Be Afraid to Leave Dialogue on The Cutting Room Floor; You Can Use It Later

Okay, so you know how you end up writing several pages whether it’s your character’s inner dialogue or between two or more characters, only to find that you need to cut, cut, and cut some more? But what if some of that dialogue is important either to the storyline or the development of the character? I’ve come across this issue in the past, and I am dealing with it as I write chapter 8 of Game of Power.  What I found out is that sometimes certain scenes, detail, or dialogue is unnecessary for what the storyline calls for at the moment. Having too much text that doesn’t further along anything at the time can weigh the momentum of the story down. However, the same informational dialogue could be essential for your character’s development. I’ve often had to cut it and add it later either by presenting it differently through the same person, giving the lines to someone else or inserting it in a different chapter. Be careful when adding back in specific details or text so that it doesn’t seem unnatural. Make sure it still flows and doesn’t look out of the ordinary or just placed there for filler purposes.

For example, in my first story Reagan Leeds: Run The World (I won’t give any spoilers away for those who haven’t read it) it was very dialogue heavy and a lot of the chapters were lengthy. Towards the end, there were important conversations that needed to be held between Reagan and other characters that were essential to her story, not just that but required for their development. I had to cut some of Reagan’s inner thoughts and turn them into a conversation she had with someone. Because how would this person know what was on her mind as she was struggling with a family crisis? If I let Reagan drone on and on for an entire page, it would’ve slowed down the pace, but have her openly express her thoughts with others allowed for meaningful banter and things she was able to absorb and reflect on.

I admit many of my chapters could’ve been more heavily edited, but as I grew as a writer, I learned to do these tricks and tips, so the story didn’t come to a complete halt when we got inside Reagan’s head or even some of the other characters who had their POVs.

More recently, in GOP chapter 1.2 The Games Begin when Rico is telling his assistant Cressida about the sexual harassment scandal with Grazier Technology, initially, that was all apart of his inner dialogue and he was only talking to the audience. I needed a way to pull that out and show his relationship as a boss with an employee who’s more than just an employee. Cressida is his go-to person; she knows Rico so well. It also established what Cressida’s role was at Thomas Global Strategies and we can see how things work a bit in their work environment.

I know this was a long post, but I was inclined to write it as I think about the editing process once I’m done with my chapter 8 draft. I’m not in a rush to push the speed of Bella’s story, and her relationships with her family don’t need to be detailed entirely right away. I can give the reader an idea of the Vega family dynamic without dragging out the scene unnecessarily. I hope you enjoy chapter 8.

Thanks and Happy Writing!

-Camille

Kao Sanders and The Art of War: Conceal Your Intentions & Crush All Enemies

  

Kao has the Creativity Aspiration

Kao’s traits are: Ambitious, Self-Assured, and Music Lover

“a prince should have no other object, no any other thought, nor take anything as his art but that of war and its orders and discipline; for that is the only art which is of concern to one who commands.” – The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

Kao Sanders is the son of DM Sanders, the slain cartel leader of San Myshuno who was executed by unnamed assailants two years ago. Kao and his father had a major falling out some years before his father was murdered, though the circumstances aren’t clear. Kao was last seen by his father’s old crew at his funeral, since then his whereabouts have been unknown.

At one point, Kao was being groomed to take over his father’s business. He would’ve been a capable boss due to his intelligence and natural leadership skills. Some suspect that one of the many reasons Kao and DM fell out was because the former wanted to legitimize all the Sanders family businesses in the future. After DM died, his second in command, Lamar McQueen became the successor, many Sanders loyalists didn’t agree with this and left to form their own factions.  Although several members of the former Sanders cartel broke off, the majority would come back and welcome Kao as the new boss and depose Lamar.

If Kao were to return no one can be sure what his move would be or if he’s even about this life any longer. No one fears his potential return more than Lamar, for he knows the day Kao claims what is rightfully his, is the day he would lose his reign as the cartel leader.

Marquez “Meech” Flex was a Sanders loyalist, but he works under McQueen. He has his own designs on taking over from Lamar due to the latter’s ineffectual rule. Marquez was cool with Kao, and they got along but were never close.

When rumors begin to circulate that Kao has intentions of returning, he’ll be in the middle of one of the deadliest cartel wars San Myshuno has seen in decades. He makes a lot of people nervous, and he’ll need to keep a lookout for those who mean to take him out in fear of the support undoubtedly the son of DM Sanders would gain on family recognition alone. Kao could gain control over San Myshuno and the coveted four boroughs of the city: Uptown, Fashion Row, The Spice District, and Art of the City.

McQueen, the Noriegas, the Ukranian Ivanovs cartel over Windenburg, The Costas of Willow Creek, and Bobby Wilds of Oasis Springs are keeping their ear to the ground, and many won’t hesitate to attempt to take out Kao if he were to set foot in San Myshuno again.

Kao has his reasons for a possible move back to San Myshuno, but he prefers to keep a low profile in the meanwhile. There are times when you play a game of power and challenged by an unexpected and most skilled player who comes out of nowhere and moves to checkmate your king. Play the game wisely; always expect the unexpected.

****Author’s Note to get caught up with Marquez and McQueen check out the character biography index and All Harm All Foul 

****The title I made up for Kao’s bio is inspired by Machiavellian philosophy and The Laws of Power, thus my loose interpretation of them in relation to Kao’s background. 

Thank you, 

Camille

Go Rogue Go Raw or Go Home

Okay, big words as I sit here typing this with a glass a cabernet at just ten after eleven on a Tuesday night protected in my self-made gilded cage. Part of me realizes that writing takes me out of that cage and open to exploring people and topics I am otherwise uncomfortable with when hiding out when I was too scared in the past to allow things that tested my conscience and my faith. As a writer, I know we want to be heard and connect with our audience, at least that’s what I’ve always been told. Yes, I think you should know your audience and appealing to them is certainly a part of the overall “guiding light” to be a great writer. I don’t think we should get so hung up on creating stories or characters we think the masses will flock to. As I began my new project Reign: A Game of Power I knew out the gate I was writing a story I felt an intense desire to tell. I created characters that I felt were realistic and complex like real humans. Not everyone in this world is likable, no one is perfect, and sometimes we do some really messed up things to ourselves and others, myself included. I felt like I had an obligation to be as real and raw as possible. Did I expect people to dislike some of my characters, yes I did, but I didn’t want to sugar coat anything. Do I expect to get backlash for some of my future storylines and subject matter? Yes, I do, and that’s okay because I’m doing a disservice not only to myself but my readers if the only material I put out contains characters and plots that are Disney-perfect. It underestimates the intelligence of the reader when you try to handle the serious subject matter with kid gloves.

I implore anyone who reads this not to get caught up in making characters that are always likable, above reproach and darn near perfect. Do the opposite of what’s expected. Maybe the star of your novel is a sex-crazed foul mouth bitch who sleeps with other women’s husbands, but she’s a really good detective  trying to solve her brother’s murder (shameless plug see my character Bella’s bio here), Or maybe your protagonist is a major power player who will sacrifice his scruples to get what he wants. Sure, some of my characters are more likable than others, and some are entirely vile, I know this, and I’m the one writing it, but what I like about each one is that they’re all human with many layers. We’re hypocritical, we’re liars, we step on the little people to get ahead, we can be ruthlessly pragmatic, and sometimes we have sex people for some material gain; maybe we’re not on the street corner doing it, but the exchange can go down in many ways. However, even if some of us are all those things and some of my characters are all those things, the possibility of goodness is not automatically or eternally erased. I write this all to say if you’re not going to be honest in your writing, what’s the point in doing it? Don’t be afraid of harsh criticism or potential backlash. Be raw, be bold, but don’t be scared to put yourself out there because it makes you uncomfortable.

Okay, that’s it for this collection of rambling thoughts. I’m not quite done with my cab and I want to pull up Netflix and watch my favorite snobs Frasier and Niles. ‘Until we talk again.

-Camille.

Character Biography Template Download

This is my character bio template you can download and edit for your own characters. Character Bio Template   CHARACTER BIO TEMPLATE Name: (Include formal and any nicknames or aliases) Role in the story: Age: Sex/Gender: Race: Ethnicity: Marital Status: From: Parents: Siblings: What languages do they speak?: Where do they currently live? Describe their home/city: […]

What is Descriptive Writing?

Descriptive writing is a description of characters, objects, environment in your story. It awakens the five senses: Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, Touch.

Try using sensory descriptive words.  Here’s an example from my upcoming story

VAGUE: I sat up in my dark bedroom. I felt horrible and angry. Eventually, I laid back down and started to cry.

VIVID: I sat up in my bed engulfed by the darkness, only the light from the moon illuminating the room. I felt a heavy pit in my stomach as I tried to grasp what just happened. Why do I keep allowing this happen? I wiped away a tear, angry at myself for crying. Get it together, I told myself. I laid back down in my bed, looking out the window, as the blaring sound of an ambulance whirled by. I stayed very still, trying not to feel anything, trying to be numb. If I moved my body or even one inch, I would come undone. I closed my eyes and could feel the hot tears running down my cheek and onto my pillow forming a warm puddle against my face.

See the difference? Ayana is expressing sadness because she feels heartbroken. But simply saying she felt horrible and angry wasn’t enough. Simply saying she was in a dark bedroom wasn’t enough. It’s important to paint the picture for your audience.

Check out this link:

Descriptive Writing

Character Development

Do you ever find yourself completely swept away by a character in a novel you’re reading or even in a movie or television show you’re watching? Well that’s because a writer (or a team of writers) took the time to make that character true to life.  Some of the most interesting characters in literature are complex characters.  They may not have the most endearing attributes, they might be a bit hypocritical, but overall they are human. I think we can all identify with our own complexities. As people we all have layers. A well written character will make you love or hate them, or maybe you can feel a bit of both. The important thing to remember is to see your characters as human and don’t worry if your readers hate them. At least your readers feel something! Happy Writing!

Character Generators

Fill in Your Character’s Bio

10 Tips for Your Character Biographies

How to Write a Character Profile

How to Write a Character Biography

8 Ways to Write Better Characters

My Character Biography Template

How Detailed Should I be When Writing a Character Bio?

Character Biography Templates

Why and How?

 

 

Writing Productivity Tips

Need some tips to keep you motivated or productive in your writing? What about becoming organized? Check out some of the informative sites below!

Writing Productivity Secrets From Authors

10 Productivity Tips for Writers

50 Words a Day

Motivation Tips

9 Ways to Get Started and Stay Motivated

10 Writing Productivity Hacks

7 Writing Tools to Work Smarter

The Ultimate Writing Productivity Resource

Calmly Writer (Chrome App)

7 Top Tips for Beating Writer’s Block

Banish Writer’s Block

 

 

Encouragement to Keep On Writing

We all get down sometimes when we create stories or share the work we’ve worked so hard on. Maybe people are not paying attention, maybe they don’t seem too interested in what you’re writing. But is that a reason to stop making something you love so much? How do we overcome discouragement? I don’t have the answer because I often feel discouraged too. Maybe some of these tips on not getting discouraged whether writing related or other things in life can help.

24 Quotes That Will Inspire You to Write More

How to Get Reads, Readers & Comments

8 Reasons No one is Reading Your Articles (This is more geared toward this particular site, but it has some useful information that could help in attracting more readers )

Accepting That No one Will Read Your Story (How to overcome it)

10 Reasons to Write Your Story  Even if No One Reads It

Writers Don’t Get Discouraged (Coming from a fellow Simmer)

Why Every Story You Write is a Guaranteed Failure

How to Stop Getting Discouraged

The More We Compare The More We Lose Ourselves

12 Things to do When We Get Discouraged