Friday, February 15, 2013

Author Spotlight: Elizabeth Arroyo

 
Please welcome Elizabeth Arroyo, author of The Second Sign!
 
Thanks for having me Livia. I'm so excited!
 
My mom used to tell me I was hard-headed. Life advice usually flew over my head. I had to learn things by experiencing them. Well, duh... Okay, so I learned that I don’t have to experience everything. I grew up.
 
But I don’t have to grow up in the world of books and make-believe. I can experience everything in the comfort of my living room. I can cry, be afraid, cheer, and be moved without risk.
 
Readers want to experience your book. We want to cry, laugh, cheer, and/or be afraid, and the best way to do that is through the art of showing.
 
There are many facets to writing, many indicators of showing and telling. I’m only going to skim the surface here with what I look for when deciding whether to show or tell.
 
I ask myself two questions…
1. How do I want readers to feel?  
2. What do I want readers to know about my character?
 
Example
 
Big picture showing
In The Second Sign, Gabby is being stalked by a demon. During revisions I designed a scene to show the readers 1) how scary demons can be; and, 2) to show how Gabby is clueless when it comes to demons.
 
It wasn't enough to tell readers. I wanted them to feel afraid and to feel afraid for Gabby.
 
Showing is in the details
Think about friends or family members when they are angry. Some are quiet, their face a slab of stone except for the small movement of their brow, barely noticeable, indicating they are beyond pissed. Then there’s the Rage-Quiter. This is the person who throws the remote controller clear across the room, stomps out, and slams the door shut. Yes, I've seen both in action.
 
There are so many ways to show someone who’s angry, afraid, in love. It wouldn't convey much to the reader by telling them.
 
Take your readers on a journey, move them to action. That can make the difference between a good story and a compelling one.
 
Thank you Liz!
 
* * *

And an awesome giveway!
 

14 comments:

  1. Thinking about the writing and how the reader is experiencing your words is great advice.

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  2. Thanks for having me Livia!

    Words are very powerful tools. =)

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  3. Congrats Elizabeth!

    Some wonderful writing advice.

    Waving at Livia.

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  4. Elizabeth is all over the blogosphere at the moment! Congrats!

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  5. I was hard-headed, too. Still am. :P
    Best of luck.

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  6. I certainly had to learn from my own mistakes, and I'm afraid my son is the same way. Some great tips for showing here, too.

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  7. So true. Every character is different. I have a character who does nothing to show his anger, but everyone knows it's there. It's actually a ton of fun to write a scene with that happening, because it makes for some interesting "showing".

    :-D

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  8. Showing does create interesting characters. And they are fun to write. Thanks for all your great comments! =)

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  9. Great advice! Thanks so much for this Livia!

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  10. Very specific writing advice..thanks for sharing.

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