Endings that Kick you in the Face

A great ending is just as important as a hook and exceptional opening chapter. The reader has been kind enough to buy your novel and read it to the final critical pages. It’s advisable to give them an ending that will kick them in their backside, and send them out to get the next novel in a series or just another stand-alone story of yours.
Excellent conclusions to the story give the reader what they want but not in the way they anticipated. It reads smoothly, but it’s not. Keep in mind of the ending of your novel’s three-act structure with twists and climaxes, reversals, impediments and new plans. When you’re novel is over, end it. That protagonist in the first act who had the excellent car and has said a few iambic pentameter memorable lines of dialogue; to the hell with them — we don’t care where he ended up.

As the ‘B’-movie master; Roger Corman once said, “When the monster is dead, the movie is over.”

Shakespeare’s Sonnets

When writing a sonnet in the style of Shakespeare, there are some rules you need to keep. This type of poetry is required to follow a specific format including length, rhythm, and rhyme scheme. To write a sonnet correctly, to follow this process:

Select a subject to write your sonnet about as Shakespearean sonnets are on tradition grounded as love poems. Write your lines in iambic pentameter.

Write in one of the various standard rhyme schemes such as Shakespearean, Petrarchan, or Spenserian.

Necessary Format: Format the sonnet using three quatrains followed by one couplet.
Form your sonnet as evidence that builds up as it goes from one metaphor to the next. Be sure that every line of the sonnet has ten syllables that conform to the Iambic Pentameter. Guarantee your sonnet is precisely 14 lines and the last syllable on each line rhymes with another last syllable on a previous line.

The Shakespeare Rhyming scheme
If you’re writing the most common kind of sonnet, the Shakespearean sonnet, then the rhyme scheme for the last syllable of the line is as follows:

A
B
A
B

C
D
C
D

E
F
E
F

G
G

Every ‘A’ last syllable of the line must rhyme, and every ‘B’ syllables rhyme and so forth. You’ll see this kind of sonnet consists of three quatrains. Or four consecutive lines of verse that make up a stanza or division of lines in a poem, and one couplet (two successive rhyming lines).

How a Sonnet Tells the Story
Ah, but there’s more to a sonnet than just the structure of it. A sonnet is also an argument — it builds up a certain way. And how it builds up is related to its metaphors and how it moves from one metaphor to the next. In a Shakespearean sonnet, the argument builds up like this:

First quatrain: An exposition of the central theme and primary metaphor.

Second quatrain: Theme and metaphor extended or complicated; often, some ingenious example is given.

Third quatrain: Peripeteia (a twist or conflict), often introduced by a “but” (very often leading off the ninth line).

Couplet: Reviews and leaves the reader with a new, closing image.

One of Shakespeare’s best-known sonnets is Sonnet 18, which follows this pattern:

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest,
Nor shall death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest.

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

The arrangement of a Sonnet like this:

First quatrain: Worship, worship, excellent.

Second quatrain: Worship, worship, excellent.

Third quatrain: But, even if the bad thing happens, still excellent.

Couplet: Future excellent.

So now you see Shakespeare was a master of the english language and has been remembered over four-hundred years after his death.

 

There’s More to Writing a Book than Just Writing

With non-fiction books then the learning and expressing the subject of your manuscript would be essential. A fiction book is more or less the same. Wheather it’s in present-day or a few hundred years ago or in the future, then you need to be aware of currency, eating and drinking material. Off-world Sci-fi or fantasy also needs to be checked as you don’t want characters in a fictional world going for a chicken evening meal and paying for it in Dollars. You must spend time reading outside of your comfort zone, reading the work of authors you admire and the novels of authors you detest.

You must take notes, write down and learn to arrange your ideas before you start your book. I was asked on a writing course to study poetry. My first thoughts were, “Yuck, I hate poetry and will never write any.” But, I considered Shakespeare and looked into his work and discovered he was the Iambic Pentameter master (which is poetry and sonnet material), and that may be a reason his work is still loved 400 years after his death.
If you fail to feed your mind, then don’t expect it to serve you quality ideas when you next sit down in front of the blank page.

The Iambic Pentameter – Rythm of English

Syllables

Many words are single syllables or many syllables. Each syllable is either stressed or unstressed.

Unstressed Syllable symbol:
Stressed Syllable symbol: /

In a sentence, these syllables ( unstressed = lower case, and stressed = uppercase letters) will string together to make a rhythm, and in the case of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, he used the Iambic Pentameter:
   U       /        U          /             U          /     U      /       U          /
“But SOFT what LIGHT through YONder WINdow BREAKS.”
       1         |        2            |         3               |       4        |        5

What is an Iamb? and example words:
Iamb: U /  –   Behold, Behind,  Destroy,  Desire,  Reserve
Trochee: / U   –  Sunny, Forest, Planet, Double,  Changes
Spondee: / /   –   Football,   Heartbreak 
Dactyl: / U U   –   Strawberry,   Scorpion
Anapest: U U /   –   Understand,   Contradict   

So, I’m sure you are thinking, “I’ve never heard of an Iambic Pentameter, and what’s its use anyway?”

Ok, I can ask you if you remember any dialogue from the James Bond film Goldfinger. I’m sure after some thought you come up with, “No Mister Bond I expect you to die!”

Funny that is the only line you remember from a film that had a run time of 110 minutes. Since that is a memorable line and now quite famous as it has over six youtube videos with that name, let’s look more closely:
  U     /   U        /      U  /    U       /     U     /  
“no MISter BOND i EXpect YOU to DIE!”

The Iambic Pentameter – Odd that that was a line that you remember. Find some more lines from films or tv programs that you still remember, and you will likely find they are ten syllables long with the perfect rhythm of the Iambic Pentameter.

Syllable Rates:
1. Single syllable rate: Monometer
2. Double syllable rate: Dimeter
3. Tripple syllable rate: Trimeter
4. Four times syllable rate: Terameter
5. Five times syllable rate: Pentameter
6. Six times syllable rate: Hexameter
7. Seven times syllable rate: Heptameter
8. Eight times syllable rate: Octameter

Shakespeare wrote a lot of his plays and Sonnets in Iambic Pentameter.

Improving Your Writing

Here are 19 tips that I have learned, that can improve the next piece you write.

1. Know your intended reader in a sub-genre.
2. This means more than knowing a few things like; how old they are, their average income. To know the readers means you understand their fears, frustrations, and aspirations. Writing from the reader’s perspective will dramatically change the way you write.
3. Know your purpose and goal.
4. Every time you write be it a blog post, press release, video script, or anything else, it must have only one objective. This objective is what forces you to write with crystal-clear focus.
5. Use short words.
6. To persuade, you need to be easy to understand. I hate words that are put in the text just to obfuscate the meaning, lol. Don’t show off with how many big words you know.
7. Use short sentences as these slow down the passage of time and are employed in scenes where a significant action is taking place.
8. Your thoughts can come across more clearly in small sentences.
9. Use short paragraphs.
10. If the reader turns a page and sees nothing but a grey text filled page, it will bring on a feeling of depression to read that page. Whereas if there are line breaks and paragraphs then there will be more white and the reader will be happy to read further.
11. Use active language.
12. Active language is dynamic and entertaining. Passive language is tedious. How do you know which is which? In active sentences, the subject is performing the action:
“Bob fixes cars.”
In a passive sentence, the purpose of the action becomes the subject of the sentence. For example, instead of saying, “Bob fixes cars,” It might say,
“The cars are fixed by Bob.”
Passive writing presents your idea poorly. It feels “backwards.” It’s also exceedingly difficult for many readers to understand. Write with power. Use active language.
13. Write recklessly, re-write ruthlessly.
14. When you are writing the first draft, it’s okay if it’s awful. In other words, right carelessly, taking no care about the line edits. When you have the first draft on the paper, filled with power and energy. Then you can clean up any “messes” you might’ve made in the text. Be ruthless while you re-write.
15. Have a writing routine.
16. You already have a “recipe” for the writing. You are perhaps conscious of it, although it may not be excellent, you do have a general procedure to follow when it’s time to write; it’s called an outline. The elements of that outline can include where you write, what time of day, with what tools and drinks, temperature and sounds, the software you use, such as Grammarly, Scrivener, Marked 2, Hemingway Editor, Cliche Finder, the Online Text Corrector, etc.
17. Let your writing “age with time,” and when you come back to it fresh, you may see the text more clearly.
18. After you have completed your first draft, then put it away for a week or two. Let it “age.” I know this is almost impossible as you may have been living the story and researching it morning, noon and night. On your return to it with fresh eyes, potential improvements will almost leap off the page.
19. Finish writing your first draft before getting feedback. I have written a few short stories and put the first draft, complete with grammatical errors, into a group of people who make comments.

Use these simple techniques, and I practically guarantee your writing should improve. I am currently looking at the Iambic Pentameter and will report my findings soon.