Filter Words – Who Knew? Not Me

A week ago, I stumbled onto a YouTube video discussing filter words. Never hearing this term before, I watched, listened and learned…and discovered I was guilty of using filter words.

What are Filter Words

Although I’m relatively new to the idea, my understanding is: words that create distance between the reader and the detail the character is seeing, hearing, tasting or feeling.

In other words, we are not using one of our senses to digest the story, rather instead, we are being told through one of the character’s senses.

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Tip for Choosing Character Names

Thought for the dayWhen I started reading fantasy novels in my teen years back in the 1980s, I struggled with the pronunciation of some of the far-out names authors had given their characters. To get through these stories, I turned names such as Gorggegx in George in my mind and kept reading.

Why fantasy authors feel the need to create strange names always confused me. It came off as part of the genre, I think. When I started writing fantasy stories, I thought about using similar names, but I quickly put it to rest and stuck with names I could pronounce.

Since then, I’ve encountered many odd names in the genre, and I continue to do the same thing: turn them into simple names.

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A Hard Lesson Learned

Hard Lessons LearnedAlthough it’s tough to admit it, six years ago, I made a horrible mistake in my publishing journey. After publishing the first book in my Castle Keepers fantasy series, Shadows in the Stone, I should have buckled down and completed the draft to the second book in the series, Scattered Stones.

However, feeling the pressure to get more books on my publishing shelf, I wrote a few short stories that were not in the fantasy genre. They were quick writes, quickly edited by my editor and quickly published. I soon had four books on my shelf. It looked impressive.

I was following the advice of those who believed the more books on a shelf, the more a writer gets noticed because they have a larger footprint.

However, those giving advice didn’t stress the vital fact that the books written should all be in one genre. Readers sometimes stick to one genre, so those who loved my fantasy novel might not like my contemporary stories about death, domestic abuse or a cranky neighbour.

Sigh.

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Why I Watch Movies

movie nightWinter is the season I catch up on movie watching. I try to watch at least one a week. Some years I don’t do well, and in times like last year, I end the winter with watching only one or two movies.

There were years that passed when I didn’t see any movies. Spring, summer and fall are just too busy to watch movies—unless something monumental, such as a Marvel movie—comes out in theatres. I’m just not a TV watcher, so I’ve missed many good—and some just for fun—movies over the past three decades.

Why do I force myself to watch movies now?

Disconnect

Movies remove me from reality. Although many enjoy this chaotic, messed up world that has become void of common sense, I often prefer to journey the path less travelled, less noisy, more personal.

Movies transport me to another time, another place and a more fantastic reality. It must be the fantasy gene in me that keeps me hoping that life can be more adventurous, more challenging and more magical than it is. I need the break from reality to recharge my batteries.

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Happy Canada Day – Let the Adventure Begin

When you read this, I’ll be miles away from home, exploring, hiking, fishing, canoeing, mingling with family, sitting around a campfire and enjoying my Canada Day in the only way I know how: by enjoying the great outdoors.

Diane Tibert canoeing Atlantic OceanI’ll be going to my most favour place in the world, so close to the Atlantic Ocean I could throw a book from my deck chair and hit the water. I’ll be so close to family I’ll be able to look across the table and see them, walk to the next property and see more, and continue walking for half a kilometre and still see more.

Cousins abound due to Tibert fertility. My grandmother had 17 children; my father being the eleventh. He added eleven more to the clan. We love the old homestead so much, even when we don’t live there, we go there often in spite of the distance.

This place is in the middle of nowhere, where sometimes the only sounds you hear are the ripple of water and the cry of a gull. It’s a place where I’ve done a lot of reading and writing, a place where I can organise my thoughts. I find myself here each time I’m lost. It reminds me of who I am and what’s important in life.

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Waiting for Inspiration to Write is the Wrong Attitude

I recently read an article about waiting for the muse to inspire a writer before they sat down to write. The jest of it was that one shouldn’t force the writing.

FREE KINDLE READ: Shadows in the Stone - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00815FI6M
FREE KINDLE READ:
Shadows in the Stone

While this might work for some writers, I fear it doesn’t work for most writers. Writing only when inspiration hits creates a few problems.

Inspiration hits at inconvenient times: while driving from Nova Scotia to Fredericton at 3 o’clock in the morning; eating watermelon on a horse; paddling in the middle of the harbour; sitting at a writers’ meeting; waiting in the pouring rain because someone is late…you get the picture.

In many instances, you can’t even scribble a sentence on a napkin let alone write out a complete paragraph or half a short story.

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Bookism: The Silent Threat to Good Writing

When creating fiction, writers will inevitable have to learn how to write dialogue. I have never read a novel without it though I suppose one exists somewhere out there. One vital key to good dialogue is attributing the spoken words to the proper character, so readers instantly know who is saying them.

We do this by using dialogue tags: “The last time I heard this song by Charlie Rich,” Liam said, “you were young, adventurous and in love with me.”

The words Liam said is a direct dialogue tag. It tells the reader without fuss or doubt that Liam said those words inside those quotation marks.

Another method of informing readers of who said what is through an action by the character. This is technically not called a dialogue tag, but it does the same job.

For example: “This was my favourite show when I was a kid.” Judy grabbed the clicker and turned up the volume. “My brothers and I watched it every Saturday morning.”

Both these methods of indicating who said what are clean and non-distracting. Readers often won’t notice them, which means they won’t be nudged or jerked from the story, but will continue to read without interruption.

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