Next HSW Meeting
Saturday March 12 at 10 am at Scheels & Google Meet
Program is to be announced. Check the HSW website in a few days to see what or who we come up with.
Join Link for Google Meet
To join the Google Meet from your computer, use this link:
To join audio only from your phone call (US) 949-424-7153 and enter this
PIN: 995 846 279#
We will be doing FIRST PAGES so if you’d like to submit the first page of your book, please send it to Matt by Friday, February 11th. Follow these guidelines. Do not put your name on the page, do include the title and genre. Use 12-point Times New Roman or an equivalent font and double space.
If you have not been to a meeting at Scheels, here’s how to find us. Enter from the parking lot and go to the escalators/stairs past the aquarium. Go upstairs and turn left past the Abraham Lincoln statue. Beyond the arcade are the restrooms so turn toward them, then go left to the door alongside that has a badge control on it. The door is unlocked and you can go into the hallway where the meeting rooms are the three doors on the left. We usually have two of these rooms, so look for us.
From the President:
Page One – Setting or Immediate Scene?
I think it would be helpful to contrast two key elements of a story: setting and immediate scene. I’ve talked about immediate scene before; it’s writing that occurs in the moment. It’s a close POV where the reader is experiencing what is happening as it happens.
Dialogue is usually immediate scene, unless the dialogue is recounting something that occurred off-stage, out of the sight of the reader. Usually something in the past.
Setting is that element that tells the reader when and where the story is taking place. It creates an atmosphere or context for the story.
Here’s the conflict. Traditionally, stories started out with a description of setting. In both movies and books this was called “exposition.” However, in recent years, exposition has shrunk more and more. We have shorter attention spans. We want things to get moving. We don’t want a long explanation of background.
That’s why “immediate scene” has become more important to readers and moviegoers. Audiences want to get right into the story, be immersed in it. The challenge for writers is to plunge in, yet introduce the details of setting without bogging down the scene.
Think of TV shows such as, Law and Order, CSI, Gray’s Anatomy. The show usually starts with some kind of emergency or a murder or some other crime. The audience doesn’t know the context at the start. The pieces start to get revealed as the show progresses.
How do James Bond movies start? With an action scene. In Casino Royal, the first ten minutes – the teaser – involves Bond chasing some operative in the most spectacular footrace I have ever seen. It looks like they’re in the tropics, but we don’t know where. We don’t know who the guy is who’s running from Bond. We don’t know why Bond is chasing him. This is a far cry from Dickens who would have given the dates of birth of pursued and pursuer, walked us through their grammar school days, and given the shoe size of everyone in the scene.
I’m NOT saying to start a novel with an action scene. I’m saying to get the reader into what’s happening right away. Forget prologues, world-building, data dumps, and a lot of description right up front. Work the setting and world-building into the story in pieces as you stay in immediate scene as much as possible.
The teaser that launches immediate scene is now expected by audiences. When we send queries to agents, they expect immediate scene too. The slow burn is something bestselling authors can afford because they’ve already captured an audience who is more willing to give them some leeway. But if you’re starting out, stay in immediate scene as much as possible.
Book Signing Update
The Grassroots book signing event is now scheduled for Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 3:30 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend. High Sierra Writers members who are participating are Gavin Black, Marie Navarro, Susan Cornfield Duggan, and Rene Averett (as Lillian I. Wolfe). Also April Wildman and Jade Griffin will be reading also. They would appreciate it if you came out to support them.
Divas Day Out Rescheduled
Due to a double-booking at the Grand Sierra, Divas Day Out has been rescheduled to May 7, 2022. The event runs from 10 am to 3 pm and features all kinds of booths and activities to tickle the fancy of even the most discriminating diva. While this has created a scheduling conflict for Lynda Bailey, she won’t be there in person, but her books will be attending. Also hawking books will be Linda Kay Hardie, Marie Navarro, Leanna Falconer, Jacci Turner, Susan Cornfield Duggan, April Wildman, and Rene Averett (under 3 pen names.).
Ladies, come on out and have a wonderful time!
Thinking about self-publishing your book and don’t know where to start?
TMCC is offering a three-day course on self-publishing taught by Rene Averett, who has published 15 books from cookbooks to children’s books to novels on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. This class teaches you how to prepare your manuscript, upload it to Amazon, set the pricing, and submit it for sale. You will also learn where to look to find your book sales and other information and hoe to use Amazon’s tools.
If you’re interested, sign up at TMCC EPIC.
3 sessions, Thursday 04/07/2022, 04/14/2022, and 04/21/2022
To sign up, go to TMCC Epic’s class link: truckee.augusoft.net/index.cfm