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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

VBT Killing Castro by David Pareda

Writers Must Know Their Tools and Use Them Properly


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?

David: That’s it. Those are the basic tools that help writers build memorable stories. The difference in the quality and poignancy of the stories has to do with how well or how badly writers use those tools – the techniques of writing.

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?

David: Dialogue is an invented language that resembles everyday speech. Dialogue in fiction breaks the monotony of lengthy descriptive passages, advances the action and lends insight and personality to characters. Pitch-perfect dialogue involves conflict, either internal or external.

YGR: Thank you for being our guest today, David. It’s been quite informative. Would you consider being our guest again in the future to discuss more writing techniques?

David: It would be my pleasure. Thank you for inviting me to be your guest today.

To find out more about David Pereda or his new novel visit: http://www.davidpereda.com/

HAVANA: KILLING CASTRO – Blurb
When an old fisherman is gunned down on a Mexican beach, prominent Miami surgeon Raymond Peters becomes the prime suspect. The dead fisherman is believed to be Fidel Castro whom Dr. Peters had helped disguise through clandestine plastic surgery on a trip to Cuba two years earlier. But is the body really that of the Cuban leader? In order to save his own life, the beleaguered physician must solve the murder, find the killers and retrieve a mysterious journal. And this has to be done while outwitting a sensual but ruthless assassin named Marcela, sent by Castro’s brother Raul.


3 comments:

Andrea I said...

Brynna and David,

As a reader, that was a very interesting and informative interview. I will also check out the book.

Brynna Curry-Moderator said...

Welcome, David! Thanks for joining us today.

David Pereda said...

Thank you, Bryanna and Andrea. It's a pleasure being with you today. Have any questions?