E. E. Knight has a couple of blog entries of note. The first is on showing not telling, or, in other words, how to avoid exposition dumps. This got me thinking about the opening scenes for the two short stories that I am working on and how I had ended up committing the expositional sin in both. Having set about remedying these transgressions I find that, strangely enough, I am having fun replacing a paragraph of exposition with a page or two of character interaction. Who knew? Well, I did. I had just forgotten.
The second blog entry of interest was about an old Jackie Collins’ paperback and its character based back cover copy and front cover teaser. It struck me that it might be a good exercise to try and do this for (some of) the characters in Tactics. Fifteen minutes later I had a fun little set of six two sentence (more or less) character descriptions. They’re a bit silly so I’m not sure how comfortable I feel in sharing it. Perhaps later (if and when) I take a few more steps down the road to getting published.
Spam isn’t entirely evil. In fact I have come up with way to make use of it. When I need a quick name for one of my characters — something that always gives me pause when I’m writing — I scan my spam bucket and usually find some interesting name in the ‘From’ column.