Monday, November 25, 2013

New Releases and tips from Paranormal Author Joann H. Buchanan

Writing Tips from
Paranormal Author
Joann H. Buchanan
There is actually only one solid without a doubt way to ensure your novel stands out. Write it as if it is the only book you are ever going to put out for people to read. Tell your story as if you are on your deathbed and need to make sure it is told right. Wow sounds easy enough right?

     Well this is where it gets tricky. There are a lot of books out today that do a lot of tell instead of showing. What does that mean? Below is a good example of show don’t tell.
     The wall was beautifully decorated.
     This sentence seems simple enough. However, it doesn’t paint a picture. All I have done as the writer is tell you the wall is beautiful. So what. How is it decorated? What makes it beautiful?
     Now here is the same sentence with a few details.
     The bold red wall was decorated with bronze leaves and a piece of artwork that said Imagine, Create, Live in big black lettering. A shelf hung in the center of the wall with a bronze framed black and white picture of an older relative.
     By adding the details in the second sentence, I have now painted the scene for the reader. Does this mean it is the best paragraph in the world? No, of course it doesn’t. However, if I’m writing a story about the couple in the frame, I have shadowed them and now you know they exist. In painting the scene I have given the reader something to experience. Yes in this example it’s only a wall, but what if the wall itself had a magic door only your character could see? What if the frame was worth a million bucks? What if I had told you there was a squirrel with an infinity symbol painted on it? The point is this, when writing a story, paint a picture with your words. Let me fall into the world you create. Let me see what your character sees. In essence, let me peek into your mind.
     Telling a story is so much more than see spot run. It’s also practicing your writing and doing whatever you can to take it to the next level. It’s writing every day and READING every day.
     I went to the store a couple weeks ago to pick up a few things for dinner. When I was finished, my basket was filled with vegetables, chicken, pasta and cheese. On my way to the checkout, I picked up a few other nonessential items and headed to the line. I stood behind a man dressed in oil stained jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt. He wore a plaid jacket with wool lining. The jacket had a ripped pocket on the right side where he pulled out his checkbook. He didn’t realize when he pulled out his checkbook that a few dollars had dropped on the floor. I bent over and picked them up then tapped the guy on the shoulder.
     He turned to me with tired eyes. “Hey, you dropped this,” I said.
     His eyes lightened up and a smile formed across his face. “Thank you,” he said.
“Oh Joann, I didn’t even realize you were in line,” the lady checking us out said.
     I smiled, not sure why it made a difference to her that I was in her line.
    “It’s ok,” I said.
     To my pleasant surprise, she had read all my books and was telling the man in front of me about them. I was extremely humbled by this and felt my cheeks flush. The man turned and looked at me and said, ”I’ve been thinking about writing a book for teens.”
    Now for those who don’t know me, I love it when people say they are writing a book. My heart fluttered. “Who do you read?” I asked.
      “Oh, I don’t read at all. I just figured if that vampire girl can make millions off of a silly little story about love between a vampire and high school girl, I should be able to come up with something. It must not be too hard.”
     My mouth dropped. “Well, you have fun with that,” I said.
     Clearly the man knew nothing about writing. I shook my head and said my goodbyes to him. “That man is impossible,” the woman checking me out said.
     “Oh, don’t worry about him,” I told her. “He has no idea what he is getting into.” 
     A few minutes later I was through the line and out the door. At that moment, my forehead scowled from the irritation I felt. The nerve of someone saying it must not be that difficult, oh and he doesn’t read but he plans on writing a book that teens will fall in love with. I wanted to scream. Of course I didn’t because that’s not my style. After a while, I brushed off the comments the man made and didn’t let it bother me.
     Why am I bringing this up? Simple. Today, I went to the store and ran into that same man. He sat down and tried to write. He said he got one sentence done and didn’t know what to put next. I looked at him and said, “You might want to pick up a couple books and read them before you try to write.” I then recommended Eats Shoots and Leaves along with the Elements of Style. I also told him to pick up Harry Potter, Judy Blume and Stephanie Meyers so he would know what a story looks like.
     The funny thing is this, if you are going to write, you have to read. Your own mind will not expand if you don’t. My one piece of advice to writers who are starting out is to read. Learn from what you read, then write what you love and learned. Write every day and read every day. Yes, I said it again because it’s that important. You can learn something from a poor writer as well as a good writer. Sometimes you can learn more from a poorly written book than you can a well written book.
     Reading is the most fundamental thing you can do when you want to be an author. There are more things to do, but start with reading.
Angel, hero, monster, demon--we all become what we really are. Jonah has been sent to the Native American Reservation in Sisters Oregon to live with his grandparents. What should be the most boring move in his entire life turns into an adventure that will last a lifetime. There he learns the one secret his family has kept from him and joins a group of friends called The Youngling Pack.

Though his whole life has been turned upside down, he manages to fall in love with Alaynee, his best friend's fraternal twin sister. When Alaynee's little brother, Squeaks is kidnapped by a poacher, Jonah comes to the rescue--only to find himself face to face with the dark side of the gift he has been given. He breaks the most sacred rule the clan has, Never Bite A Human--and thus creates a creature he must track down and kill.
      When you've been touched by the darkness, it leaves a mark on your soul.
      Jonah and Alaynee are happily putting the past behind them. They're planning a wedding and moving forward. Great news is waiting for them and the youngling pack. When Cathy, Alaynee's mom, finds a stranded girl in the city and brings her back. Alaynee soon discovers there's more to her then meets the eye. Cleo is a lioness whose powers over men will haunt Alaynee in more ways then one. Will Jonah and Alaynee be able to plan their happily ever after or will the evil that resides have it's way? Can a kiss really trap a soul?

Amazon Link to The Kiss
Amazon Link to I am Wolf



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  1. Wow, lovely post...and such great information. I have also run into people with that mentality...who want to know why I think I have the ability to edit or review...and one of the things I tell them is the fact that I read a LOT of books has honed my ear for what works and what doesn't. Thank you for sharing and happy holidays to both you and Ms. Jewel!

  2. I haven't read these books yet but they sound amazing and I love the covers!