Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Writing Vivid Settings: Professional Writing Techniques for Fiction Writers - Rayne Hall

NaNoWriMo is just around the river bend folks. Time to get inspired. 



Do you want your readers to feel like they're really there—in the place where the story happens? Whether you want to enrich stark prose with atmospheric detail, add vibrancy to a dull piece or curb waffling descriptions, this guide can help. Learn how to make your settings intense, realistic, and intriguing. 

I start this little review with a preface. I have this great friend at work, Jeff, who is like myself: a writer. Granted, I'm not published. I just have this blog. But, that is my dream. I want to be a published author. And so does he. He's more on the screenwriting side of it, but still! If you create images with words, you want to share that with the world. We share a brain when it comes to putting words to paper. Back and forth we banter and throw out ideas and suggestions, same sense of humor. We inspire and encourage each other. We determined that we were meant to form a writing team. So we did. Because support matters.  Writing is a LONELY road guys, so it's awesome to have someone equally as crazy along for the ride. Side note: I am so grateful for a boss that doesn't mind the randomness that goes on between the two of us. For real. Because I'm pretty sure every other supervisor would tell us to shut up and get back to work. Yeah. My boss is pretty dang awesome. But, I digress. 

Anyway, Jeff was telling me how he downloaded some writing craft books and that they seem to be helpful. Now, my experience with those types of books is that I feel like the author just wants to hear themselves talk. The only writing book I read that I felt served any purpose for myself is Stephen King's book On Writing. But, I trust Jeff. He's my gay work husband and my writing brother from another mother and he is ALWAYS taking care of me. He was showing me the books he got on his Kindle. I had seen the blue cover and writing hand of Rayne Halls writing books a few times on Amazon's list of recommendations, never opted to get them. Jeff told me that I should check them out because they are simple, short, and to the point. And, they are short. But he definitely recommend this book: Writing Vivid Settings. 

Being stuck and hitting a wall with what I was writing, thought maybe this will help. And you know what? It totally did. And let me tell why. It was zero bullshit. And I know bullshit. I deal with it on a daily basis at work. It as clear and concise and everything I needed at the moment of my writing block. 

This book, for me, was a reminder of what I needed to make sure I do on a daily basis: breath life into my writing. Make sure that there is color and sounds and rich sights that transport a reader deep into the story. I feel like I do this anyway because as an avid reader, it's what I want in a story. I just want to be lost in the world and be devastated when I have to come back to reality. And Rayne Hall gives amazing tips and commentary to make sure you keep your reader engaged in your world. 

When I write, I tend to focus on colors and sounds. Those sections of the book provided me with new ideas and ways to improve those strengths. However, there were little bits and pieces that had me thinking, "Damn. I don't think I have this stuff in there. And it would make my story  EVEN BETTER." It's the little things really. 

After I read this book I totally for three of her other books. I'm currently working through Rayne Hall's Writing Fight Scenes. I am going back and forth from reading it and writing on my post-apocalyptic wanderlust of mercenaries, clones, and evil corporations. And it's definitely helping keep me focused and on track. 

For all my fellow NaNoWriMo folks, this is a great book for getting to the nitty gritty of writing a world that is saturated and full of imagery. Promise. No beating around the bush. And did I mention it's a quick read? 

If you are an experienced writer or this is going to be the first time you get your thoughts down on paper, check out this book. It's a nice and easy guide to what a writers are required to do: make the reader escape from reality...even if it's just for a few minutes.

And again, thanks Jeff! Always looking out for my, good buddy! 

Thank you so much for reading!
Remember to always be yourself. Unless you can be a pirate. 
Them ALWAYS be a pirate!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this great review, Candace. I like your reviewing style, very personal and authentic. I'm glad you think that my book is zero BS, because that's what I set out to write. Many years ago, I was frustrated that there were so few books available for writers who'd progressed beyond the basics and wanted to learn advanced skills, and that most of them were a lot of words, a lot of hyperbole, and little content. Filling that gap was one of the reasons why I started the Writer's Craft series. I wanted to write the books I would have needed years ago. I'm glad to see that I've succeeded. :-) It's also interesting for me that you were aware of my author brand (the Writer's Craft books with the blue covers and the hand) before you've read one of them. This means that my branding strategy works, which is useful to know. :-)
    Best of success with your fiction writing,
    Rayne

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