Today, on our day of parting, we talked a little bit about goals. Not personal, life goals, but the goals that we, as authors, should set for each book.
I confess to some confusion when Dave Farland first mentioned this. Duh, goals include: write novel, get an agent, get money, publish novel, rinse . . . repeat. Are there other goals?
Yes. However, these are authorial “evil” goals.
You like it already, don't you?
Dave Farland told us that an author should always have these evil goals. Most of the goals that were mentioned in our final class today related to making your latest novel your best novel. Some of them refer to techniques that Dave Farland has seen in other books that he wants to adopt.
Here is a list of evil goals that could be considered as you begin the plotting process to your latest, totally awesome, kick a** novel.
Note: Do not share your evil goals.
Gorgeous metaphors and similes-critics love this stuff, and it adds a great deal to a good story.
Use beautiful writing.
Create a villain who is the most loathsome character you've ever come across in literature.
Awesome battle scenes. Perhaps you want to take it up a notch from the last novel you read and thought, my battle scenes are way better than that!
More gruesome or drawn out or wonderful than the last guy.
Personal goals – maybe where you're at as a writer. Take the next step in this novel, whether it be cutting back on that darn passive voice or trying to delve deeper into your protagonists emotions.
Decide to fill a gap in the market-what will the Twilight fans read next?
Write your book so it has the same feel as another book-resonance.
Resonate with something else that you love and you know readers will associate with. Snow fields resonate with Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back, for example.
Pacing goals-Watch out for those lagging spots
Hooks every so often-end and beginning of chapters, or heck every page
Emotional beat rhythm-Work on keeping the emotional beats in your novel varied and exciting.
Symbolism or parables
Make your novel more stimulating to the senses than any other before you. If your story is full of water scenes, make the reader fell like they're wetter than they've ever been before
Play with reader's emotions. Most authors do this (who us?), but why not take it up a level, or twist it to the side?
All in all it was a very productive week for everyone who came to Death Camp this year. No deaths. You can like that or leave it.
Back to the real world now. Yuck.