Weaving quirks into a story by Mark Alders
Hi there. My name is Mark Alders. I feel so honoured to be here guest blogging at Night Owl Romance. Before I get on about my debut novel, let me talk about one of my quirks (and how I weave it into my writing).
I don’t know about you, but when I watch/read the news I’m fascinated by the quirky minor stories. You know, the ones that are tucked away before the sports section and placed well after all the relevant ‘doom and gloom’ stuff that is fed to us on a daily basis. They are usually weird human interest stories, and sometimes, just sometimes, they are a great inspiration for things in my writing. Nothing weirder than humanity…well, ‘in-law’s aside, that is (‘cause we all know ‘in-laws’ are from Titan or some other distant place like that).
Yesterday, what was I more interested in? Nope, not the G20 summit or whether or not there is going to be an interest rate cut. Not at all. I was interested in a story that featured a skeleton up a tree. And not just any skeleton, mind you. This one was 30 years old. Yep. That’s right. In Germany 30 years ago an elderly man climbed a tree and shot himself.
Which begs the question…
If you’re going to kill yourself, surely you could think up of a better place to do it than up a spruce tree where you won’t be found for 30 years! It was only found because a young hiker stumbled across a bone while walking through the forest. Said hiker then took the bone to the police, who then, naturally, searched the area. Low and behold, 11 metres (20 feet or so) off the ground there was a skeleton tangled in the branches. Next to the skeleton was a pistol dangling from a rope (I want to know which hardware store he bought that rope from ‘cause for it to last 30 years in all weather it must be damn good stuff)
Then again, 30 years ago was there a tree there? Perhaps he shot himself in the forest and a tree grew around him? Why did he go into the forest to do it anyway? Did he have any relatives that cared? (He was reported missing) Nothing better than a mystery, is there?
Then there’s the ultimate question, the one that has plagued me since I first heard this story. If a man shoots himself in a forest and no one hears, did it really happen?
So with this skeleton story in mind, I think writing, too, should hold some mystery for readers.
To know everything, to be force-fed and made to digest every detail can actually have the reverse effect to what the author intended. Sure we all like to write about lovely sunsets and rolling country sides, but it can become tiresome and boring really fast if not done right.
When I read a book I like to have some things left to my own imagination, especially when it comes to scene setting and descriptive details. There’s nothing worse than having to wade through pages and pages of exposition or information dump that has really nothing to do with the plot. As a writer we want to hold the reader right until the very last sentence. If, for example, that skeleton story started yabbering on about the variety of spruce or the describing the forest and the effects of climate change upon it, then it would have taken the focus away from what really mattered: why was the skeleton there.
There…that’s my quirk out the way—well one of them anyway. As for my reason for blogging here, it’s all about me letting you know about my book the “Call of the Hunted”. Available now from eXtasy books.
Here is the extract to help entice you.
The widdershins, an ancient creature that has walked the Earth for an eternity, calls out in the night for a companion. He has been alone for so long and yearns for another. When he comes to a small farming community, he calls out again, desperate to find the one that will love him and accept him for who and what he is, a being of great power hunted for an eternity by those that fear him.
This time someone unexpected answers his call.
A young man named Kayvan who has the exuberance and innocence of youth as well as being filled with everything that is pure and good comes to the widdershins. Will the widdershins accept Kayvan? And more importantly, what will happen if he does?
So there you have it. Also, one lucky person will win a free copy of the eBook “Call of the Hunted”. All you have to do is comment. Simple, hey?
Oh, I have a new ‘announcement’ only blog. Go here http://markalders.tumblr.com/
and check it out. It’s the place where I will place my writing news and up-coming releases, including stuff I submit to publishers and/or agents.