Mary Gray

How to Write Dark and Twisty Books to Showcase the Light

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    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    Find a readership. It helps so much if you can find readers who will enjoy your stories. Build a community with them so you can engage in discussions and possibly write the books they want to see.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    Try Javierre Navarrete’s Pan’s Labyrinth, Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride, Crimson Peak, any M. Night Shyamalan movie, Helen Jane Long (for the sweet scenes), Lindsey Stirling, Jennifer Thomas, and classical playlists on your favorite music retailer site.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    So, have care with your prose--the cadence of your words and titles you choose. You can gain or lose a reader purely based on your prose or voice.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    Eccles’ locations are Valiant and Allegory. From these names alone, we can ascertain there’s a deep meaning.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    We should take care when we choose the names of characters and places of our story. In The Phantom in the Forest, the fox’s name is Vulpine--an unusual but fitting name, since it means “fox.” But it sounds dramatic, eerie.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    Take a poetry class or attend a workshop on songwriting. If you have a good ear or an innate musical ability, it may come naturally to you. Or, creating beautiful prose may not be your thing.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    Study hymns, songs, and poetry. Then practice mimicking these cadences by composing verses of your own.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    theme that explores the ramifications of justice versus mercy
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    Use Morbidity To Explore Theme

    The choice of themes available to us as writers are incredibly wide and varied.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    While we’re on the topic of using narrators on the sketchy side, why don’t we throw all chips on the table and allow the villain to tell his or her story?
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    Allow The Villain To Tell The Story
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    And that’s what unreliable narrators allow you to do--provide a twist that’s so unexpected and delightful, readers admit they liked not getting the facts straight.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    But when the housekeeper cuts off George’s proposal to the beautiful young lady, George is shaken out of his trance and painfully admits he’s been lying to himself about his circumstances the entire time.

    Looking around at the room and its inhabitants with wide-open eyes, George silently admitted that he often lied to himself; it was the only way to survive.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    At the end of last year, I was blessed to stumble upon an unreliable narrator story when author Katie Coughran sent me her brilliant The Skeleton Key for our Christmas anthology.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    As the story unfolds, it becomes more and more obvious that the narrator is crazy, climaxing to the point where, beneath the floorboards, the narrator claims he can hear the old dead man’s heartbeats.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    One of the most famous examples of an unreliable narrator is the protagonist in Edgar Allen Poe’s A Telltale Heart. He admits from the get-go that he killed “the old man,” but he claims he isn’t mad.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    Of course, the revelation that a narrator is unreliable can happen all at once, or clues can be given along the way.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    It keeps them on the edge of their seat.

    Unreliable narrators are so much fun because they don’t give the facts straight. You can’t trust them, because, one way or another, you know they are lying.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    Sometimes, readers enjoy when you really shake things up in a story.

    Sometimes, readers are delighted when they sense they can’t believe what their being told by the point of view character.
    Menna Abu Zahrahas quoted9 months ago
    We have to read the next chapter, because Cassidy expertly cut the scene at a pivotal moment, flared our emotions, and fearlessly thrust us toward the next scene.
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