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You Gotta Read Reviews Admin Team
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
VBT Killing Castro by David Pareda
Our guest today is award-winning author and college creative writing instructor David Pereda. He is the regional director of the Florida Writers Association's Western North Carolina division and the founder of Asheville Writing Enthusiasts (AWE). His latest novel, Havana: Killing Castro, published by Eternal Press, has garnered him rave reviews and is being considered for film.
YGR: What are some of the things beginning writers should do to improve their craft?
David: First thing they should do is know the basic tools of writing and learn how to use them properly.
YGR: Basic tools of writing – you mean like a hammer, nails, or a saw?
David: Good analogy. Good writers, like good carpenters, know their tools and know how to use them. While a carpenter’s basic tools might be a hammer, nails and a saw, a writer has basic tools too.
YGR: And what are those?
David: The three basic tools of a writer are narrative summary, description and dialogue.
YGR: That’s it?
YGR: Would you give a brief description of those tools for our readers?
David: Sure. Narrative summary tells readers what happens offstage. It’s a scene that is told rather than shown and is usually used to bring in the backstory – or “the history” of what happened before the story began. To use computer jargon, narrative summary takes place offline. The best use of narrative summary in modern fiction is simply to connect scenes. It should be brief and used with discretion. Too much narrative summary will bog down your story.
YGR: What about description and dialogue?
David: Description is the depiction of a locale or person. While description adds color and richness, it should be used sparingly. A hundred years ago, writers - who were often paid by the word -- indulged in pages and pages of description. Modern readers, "trained" by TV, film and the Internet, are much more impatient. So, however beautiful you believe you write description, don't overindulge or you'll lose your readers.
YGR: And what can you tell our readers about dialogue?