Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Entry On My Vlog "Settings"

Just uploaded a new video on my Vlog/YouTube channel about "Setting". This is the first of a few installments about how a person's setting can affect them, whether they are a character in a story or an author in real life. Please check it out and leave a comment either here or on my YouTube channel underneath the video. Thank you.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Moving Time...

OKAY GANG HEADS UP:  Starting today, I will be on extremely limited or no interet access.  Because we are starting our move to the new place.  It will take 3 days to complete and then I don't know how long until the new  internet access will be up and running.  So if you don't see or hear from me for a few days, this is why.  Hope to be fully up and running again soon.  Take care.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Trying to Raise Views and Interest for my Vlog...

Hi Gang, the traffic to my Vlog has been pretty good for an unknown but I'd like to increase the views. Please check out my latest installment about writing titled "Creating Tension In Your Story" and share the link. There are other installments about writing at the channel people can check out as well including a Concrete Ship from WWI. Thanks so much.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Little Bit About Settings....

Settings... where does your story take place?  In Heaven?  Hell?  Another planet? This world?  If it is this world, what time frame?  Middle Ages? The future?  World War I or II?  Another time entirely?  And how does that setting affect the rest of your story?  Does the environment your characters are living in shape their personalities or how they get by in life?  Are they isolated with few friends because of the terrain or location?

So many questions right?  But this is something that every writer has to deal with when telling a story. And of course your setting can also shape what genre of story you are telling.  Take Frank Herbert's "DUNE".  The setting of Arakis had a major role in shaping the main character Paul and his mother.  From leaving a world of splendor with water and lush vegetation to going to a barren desert planet, where water was more valuable than money or any riches.  The dangerous and harsh world re-shapes Paul from pampered youth to hard-bitten leader of the desert tribes of Arakis.  He learns hard and fast how to survive the threats of the planet itself, along with the political backstabbing that led to his father's murder.  Setting can create a great tension that helps drive your story.

Ray Bradbury's short story "HERE THERE BY TYGERS" is another sci-fi story where a planet shapes the lead characters.  A mining survey team arrive on a planet that will offer you anything you wish, lush vegetation, water, even companionship.  But in return she only asks that you love and respect her.  There is only one little catch, Paradise can be yours as long as you respect the hostess on whom you are staying.  Unfortunately, through the actions of one man, they learn the price of disrespect and decide to leave.  All save one member who the others envy because he loved the planet and adored her.  And they knew she would take care of him and even maybe extend his life in a lush world that aims to please him.  But having left her, they could never return.  Even as they look back on the world it now appears as a violent raging world of molten lava and volcanic eruptions.  They had abandoned her and now she is furious and will not let them return to her surface.  Literally a woman (in the shape of a planet) scorned.  A truly brilliant piece.

So what kind of setting are you aiming for?  An inner-city ghetto, or a desert where an army is trying to deal with survival in more than one respect, to a quiet suburban town where 'nothing seems to happen'.  In each case your characters must interact with their surroundings.  That setting should shape your character's personality and development before and during the story.  In that quiet suburban town where your lead is bored, what secrets lie beneath the ground or behind those seeming bland windows of the cookie-cutter housing that lines the streets.

Now what's brought about all this talk today is the fact that in less than a week, my personal "SETTING" is about to change.  My wife and I are moving 45 minutes away from where we are now, to another town where she can attend a university for the next 2-3 years.  We've already seen the new location and it's lovely.  But it's also quite different from our current setting here in Santa Cruz.  I'm going to take photos of where we are now and the new place after we've moved and post them here.  Both places are coastal communities.  But each one is quiet different and yet similar at the same time.  I'm hoping that with the photos I can make this more clear and talk about "Mood" in a future blog installment.  Because even though the 2 towns are both coastal, they have very different personalities and moods.  Until next time take care and keep writing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

It's finally here. My new Vlog entry "CREATING TENSION IN YOUR STORY" is up. My apologies for the delay. I had to do a lot of editing and then it took 2 tries to get it uploaded onto YouTube.  As the title implies, this is a detailed  and visual exploration of how to generate tension in your writing.  I cover several levels and types of tension, along with detailed explanation of one terrifying scene from my current novel "THE SHIP".  I hope you find this enjoyable and informative.   Enjoy...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Animals and Stories...

I added a new installment on my Vlog about writing.  Here's the video from my YouTube channel  "AllanTheAuthor".  This particular video is all about animals and how they can affect your writing.  Whether it be giving you ideas, or being used as plot points to help move a story along, or even finding out the animal has a story of its own.

I hope you all enjoy it and if you feel like it check out my other writing videos on YouTube at:

Friday, August 3, 2012

Making Characters More Alive Thanks to Real Life...

Hi gang, got a new entry on my Vlog.  This one is about making your characters more real and easy for your readers to relate to.  You'll find how sometimes using experiences from real life (your own or maybe a friend's) can be used to make a character seem more understandable and sympathetic to your readers.  I mean, let's face it.  Readers like to feel that they are reading about someone who, like themselves, has ups and downs that they can relate to.  But sometimes figuring out how to do that can be a problem.  I hope this latest Vlog entry will help.

The link is just below, please check it out and I hope you enjoy it.