Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What's wrong with backstory?

Judging contests like RWA's RITA and Golden Heart is a great way to figure out what's really behind all those pesky writing rules. For example, we all know "show don't tell" but the fact is sometimes telling is exactly what you need, like when you're fast-forwarding.

Backstory is another of those elusive concepts. Sometimes it works, sometimes it really doesn't. But when and why?

Sometimes things in your storyworld differ from the reader's normal world. When an item goes against expectation and makes a difference for the current action, you actually should include a brief explanation.

Backstory doesn't work when you invite the reader into your world--but you make her memorize its entire history first. If you did well in history and love memorizing dates, well, know that I'm giving you The Look.

The point is, immerse your reader in your world and give them secure footing. But an interesting story is the most important thing. Wait with the history lesson for a few chapters.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

3T Writing Tidbit

I've been published since 2009 but I've been writing for a lot longer. Over the years I've accumulated various items of wisdom from all over. Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit will showcase these items one at a time in no particular order.

Show the moment of the heroine's (hero's) change.

This has a lot of implications.

Show not tell--basically, can you a) put her up on a movie screen? or b) sit in her skin and feel what she's going through?

The moment--meaning a specific instant in time, although the whole book should lead to it.

Change--the heroine may return to Kansas but she's at least changed inside.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Novella

My new stand-alone novella, Black Diamond Jinn, has a cover! Kudos to Valerie Tibbs for another amazing piece of art.

I expect to release Jinn in late May. More info to come!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April 1T Giveaway!

Welcome to the First Tuesday giveaway! Each first Tuesday of the month I'm offering a contest where I choose one winner (who hasn't won in the past twelve months) by random number from all comments on that post. The winner will receive his or her choice of one Biting Love ebook *or* a $5 gift certificate from Amazon or Samhain!

If you're a 18+ and an adult, and if you consent to having your name listed on the rotating 12-month winner list, just comment on this post to enter! Void where prohibited. Please note, the Biting Love books contain explicit sex and violence. If you win please consider that when making your prize selection. Winner chosen at the end of the month and posted as part of next month's contest.

And March's winner is--joye! Congratulations, joye! Please email me at mary@maryhughesbooks.com to claim your prize.