Friday, February 10

Say Hello To Brynna Curry!


It's been an exciting week here at Word Wrangler's with Lyrical Press. There were some great pitches, and I'd like to say good luck to you all. Wrapping up the week is Lyrical Press author, Brynna Curry. She's got some great tips about POV and a peek at her new book to boot.

Thanks to everyone at Word Wranglers for inviting me to visit with you today. Since Piper had the pitch session on Tuesday, I thought I would pass along some tips that have helped me with point of view, a big monster to tackle for new writers.

After months (or maybe years) of writing, polishing and dreaming, it's finally happened. You've sent out dozens of queries to your 'hit list' of agents (or publishers) and someone has asked to see more. Just a few pages and one person's opinion stand between you and possibly realizing your dream of becoming a published author. You feel confident as you press SEND or hand your package to the mail carrier, but after several months of waiting, Ms. Agent sends back the dreaded form rejection. (You should celebrate by the way. Frame it. You've started your journey. Rejections are part of the learning process.) You might cry, go for the ice cream to get past it but slowly the wheels start turning and you begin to wonder why? How do I improve?

At this point, you've probably read your manuscript at least several times. No one's perfect. We all miss things whether it is your first or fiftieth book. The more you read it, the more you'll start to overlook things. Are you guilty of point of view slips aka head-hopping?


I think POV may be one of the hardest elements of writing to learn. It was for me and I still slip up now and then, but applying some tips in a way that made sense to me helped alot. Just like anything else, to do it well you must practice. There are no shortcuts around it, but if you master POV, you'll find other common problems correct themselves or in the least show up as obvious errors.

It's all about perspective. I like to use what I call the "ghost method." Someone else may have already thought of this, but I promise it does work. I like to think of my manuscript as a big box or globe. The author is a ghost hovering over the box. Inside it is the world you have created for your characters. Within that world there are four types of characters you (the ghost) are allowed to possess and control--hero, heroine, villian, and supporting persons.

• Omniscient POV - You, the author, are a ghost or spirit hovering over the box containing your story world. You represent the storyteller or narrator. You see, hear, and know everything happening inside the box, including all of the characters thoughts and actions. The nature of this position lends to a lot of telling instead of showing and passive phrase. Something you definitely don't want.

• First Person POV – ex. I was sixteen when I met the werewolf who turned me.

The ghost has chosen to join our characters and enters the box. Once you enter the story world, all your awesome omniscient powers vanish. With first person you may possess one character only for the entire length of the story. You can only experience the world from that character's point of view. A lot of middle grade and young adult books I've read are in first person, usually the heroine's, such as Twilight for example.

• Third Person POV – ex. Tucking her bar towel in the back pocket of worn jeans, Rhiannon picked up the phone behind the bar.

The ghost may possess any of the characters now, but whom you choose depends on the genre you are writing. The same rule for first POV applies here too. You can only see, think, feel and hear what the character in possession experiences. Unless the character is using telepathy or some other extrasensory ability, if so you need to make it believably clear beforehand.

• Second person POV – ex. You could see the way his eyes lit up at the sight of the puppy.

Is all about you. With second POV, you've added the reader to the box. Reader inclusion is like bringing the reader into the story and then putting them in a bubble. They can no longer experience the story through the character's eyes. They are just stuck there waiting for everything to play out. It's also frowned on by many publishing houses (I won't say all). Second does have uses however, especially in instructional writing.
A lot of romance novels are written in what I like to call deep third. While first and omniscient POV are fairly straightforward, third POV is the most difficult to master in my opinion. Keeping character voice consistent when switching from hero to heroine isn't easy. Switching between them too often will throw the reader out of your story. Remember to keep your POV switches smooth. Choppy transitions are as difficult to read as it would be for a ghost to constantly switch hosts.

Thanks again for allowing me to join you today. Happy writing!

Brynna
Brynna Curry also writing as Brianna Roarke
Let me cast a spell on you...www.brynnacurry.com
Lyrical Press page: http://bit.ly/A1BSP0
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/zsWFDm
Twitter: http://twitter.com/brynnacurry


Bio: Paranormal romance and romantic suspense author Brynna Curry is a lifelong believer in the importance of reading. She enjoys the writing process, helping others hone their craft by lending her time to review books, critique manuscripts and serving as a writing contest judge. She loves hearing from her readers.
When she isn’t writing, she’s often found haunting the library for new books to read, at the park with her son and two daughters, or just spending an quiet evening at home with her husband Jackie watching old westerns on TV. She lives in North Alabama where the history is rich with music and culture, forests and lakes are abundant and beautiful, and every day is another adventure.

Buy Link: http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=295

Blurb: Love can come along at the most inconvenient times...

Skye Corrigan treasures family above all else. Standing by his best friend Rhia while she
suffers the heartache of losing her father to cancer has strengthened their childhood bond. Lately
Rhia affects him in ways she never has before.

Rhiannon O'Malley shares Skye's past and hopes for a future with him, but love must come
with a willing heart. Her father's terminal illness has left her in charge of the family pub. Skye has always been there for her, but when their relationship changes, will she find the courage to claim the future? Or will a thousand-year-old curse keep its grip on two hostage hearts?

Excerpt from Sea’s Sorceress (Elemental Magic Book Four) by Brynna Curry

Soft throbs of music hummed through the air of O’Malley’s Pub. Outside, the wind had
quieted and rain tapered down to a drizzle. Heavens, she was tired, and the weather wasn’t helping. If Rhia could just have ten minutes off her feet, preferably out of the crowd, to gather her thoughts. Grrr. I can’t even hear myself think. Was it a crime to want a few blessed minutes of peace?
She lined up four mugs on the counter and began to build the Guinness for table three. Glancing over toward Amy’s section, Rhia noted everyone appeared to be content for the moment. Good.

“Whew. Sure is busy tonight, boss.” Siobhan passed by on her way from the kitchen to serve the platters she carried to a couple of gentlemen sitting at the bar. As soon as she set down the tray, one hand went to her lower back.
Rhia finished the last Guinness. “It is at that. Sure you don’t mind covering the kitchen?” “Not at all. It’s a blessing to be out of the racket for a bit.”
“I appreciate it, but get off your feet when you can. I don’t want you to overdo it.”
Siobhan patted her swollen tummy. At four months along, she was still fascinated with her pregnancy. Every kick and flutter was celebrated at length to anyone within earshot. “I’m healthy as a horse. Besides, I’m sure your pet hunk will be back soon.”
“Lord, don’t say that in front of him. His ego is big enough already. And how many times do I have to--Oh, for cryin’ out loud. You’d think that bloody phone could stop ringing for five minutes.”
The pub was really packed this evening and as much as she hated to do it, she would have to call her mother and ask her to run the kitchen for the remainder of the evening shift. Siobhan might put on a brave front, but she wouldn’t be able to hold out another four hours until closing. Maybe her Da would be okay by himself for that long. What else could she do? Skye had all but run out of the kitchen three hours ago, mumbling something about Liv screaming inside his head. He needed to leave. Family comes first, always. So she’d told him to go.
Tucking her bar towel in the back pocket of worn jeans, Rhiannon picked up the phone behind the bar. If only she could rip the thing out and smash it against something. Her hands were full just working the bar and trying to keep an eye on her waitresses.
“O’Malley’s,” she shouted over the noise of the crowd. “This is Rhiannon. How may I
Help you?”

“Hello, love.” His voice was silk, smooth, rich and very dangerous. Skye.
“Speak of the devil and there you are.” Her lips curved into a soft smile and her heart did a slow, flip.
“Mmm. Sometimes a little bit of wicked is a good thing.”
“Yeah. Sure. You keep on believing that.”
“Want me to show you?”
Yes please.
“You really are hopeless. How is Liv?”
“Aww, now you’ve dashed all my hopes of making wild--”
“We all have to live with disappointment and I’m busy, so…” She cut him off before he could paint any more pictures in her mind and tugged at the collar of her button-down shirt.
“I miss you too, darling. Liv’s doing just fine. I’m holding one of the two most beautiful babies in the world. She gave birth to twins. A boy and a girl.”
Rhia heard the pride and joy beaming in his voice. “Wonderful, Skye, just wonderful. Babies are the sweetest gift of love.” Countless times she’d ached to hold her own child, but the man she loved didn’t have a clue in spite of all his psychic abilities. Skye, you idiot. Why can’t you see how much I love you? Desire and temper tore through her with frustration.
Skye gasped, pausing for a moment, his breath audible through the connection.
“Skye? Is everything alright?” she asked. Tell me I didn’t say that out loud. He couldn’t know. Could he?
When he spoke his voice was thick with emotion. “Little minx, you’ve a secret.”

18 comments:

  1. Good morning. Thanks for allowing me to visit with you today!

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  2. Good morning and welcome to WW. Your tips are really good and I loved the excerpt!

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  3. a good read thanks

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  4. Brynna,

    The "ghost" idea is marvelous. Nice job!

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  5. Hi, Anonymous. Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Have a great day.

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  6. Welcome to WW! I love POV. I'm a POV purist, meaning I don't mix heads in scenes. I don't find it difficult b/c I'm so in the head of the person I'm wriring that it would be weird to not have clear POV.

    How arrogant does all that sound? Pretty bad. LOL

    Great tips, and thanks!

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  7. LOVE the excerpt Brynna - sounds like an amazing book.

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  8. Nice to have you here Brynna. POV used to be a big problem for me. I did the omicient pov for a long time. It was a hard habit to break. Love your excerpt and your covers!

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  9. Hi, D'Ann. I tend to get caught up in a scene and forget the technical side of writing. Especially if it's dialogue heavy and mine usually are. My characters love to talk to me. *smiles*

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  10. Thanks, Kristina. Skye is such a rascal and Rhia is strong and steady. They make a great team.

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  11. Thanks, Shawn! Renee Rocco does awesome work. I think Sea's cover is my favorite for now. Very dramatic. I'm anxiously awaiting the cover for Fire's Ice. I'm sure it will be spectacular, so I just might change my mind.

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  12. Is it possible that some POVS are different for countries? I recently read a British book where the POV headhopped horribly. I even knew what the panhandler on the street thought who appeared for two seconds in the book. I found this difficult to follow, but the author is very popular in England. BTW, very helpful blog. Thanks.

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  13. I love the originality of your work! I am going to search for your books they sounds amazing!

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  14. This is fantastic advice. New authors always need that kind of easy-to-understand and relate info coming from published author experience.

    Thanks Brynna for this great post!

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  15. @crazycatlady Thanks! Enjoy!

    @Morgan That's a good question. I think POV would be the same everywhere, though different editors do like different things. One American author that comes to mind in Nora Roberts (in her J.D. Robb persona). She gives us more than just Eve and Roarke's POV and it does enrich the story because of genre. But if she did the same in her romances, all the head hopping would be a headache to follow. That's just one opinion though. Thanks for dropping by!

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  16. @ Mary Stella - Hi, Mary! (Hey, y'all Mary is my sometimes crit partner and a great writer in her own right.)

    It would be impossible to repay all the writers who helped me with their advice and critiques along the way, so I pay it forward every chance I get by trying to help others.

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