Thursday, September 20, 2012

Guest Blog and Giveaway with Eric Swett

From My Mind's Eye

For me, one of the most difficult aspects of writing is putting into words what the characters look like. In a lot of my early writing I approached physical appearance in one of two ways. My first approach was direct and happened almost the moment the character entered a scene. Traits were listed, almost as if from a checklist.

John was tall, and muscular with a strong chin, piercing blue eyes, a mop of disheveled brown hair and small golden hoop in his left ear. He wore black jeans, a torn grey AC/DC tee shirt and a pair of beaten up Air Jordan's.
Sure, you get a pretty clear picture of what John looks like, but it a horrible bit of writing that no one should have to slog through.

My second approach was on the extreme other end of the spectrum from the first. I was miserly with the description, doling out bits of information over the course of pages, if not chapters. By the time I finished conveying what the character looked like, the reader usually had some other image in their mind and my attempts to describe the appearance of the character were disruptive or shocking.

When I was writing Apocalypse Rising I spent a lot of time going back through the book to make sure the major characters were properly described without bombarding the reader. Of all the rewrites I did, this single issue received the greatest amount of attention.

I have struck a happy medium with myself where I do not blurt out all of the detail at once, but I make sure to incorporate the major aspects of the character's appearance within a page or two of his introduction. It is still a struggle, but I found a way to make it a little easier for me

The first thing I do now is find a picture that closely matches what I have in my mind. Sometimes it is a head shot, sometimes it is full body, and other times it is a picture filled with people, but I home in on just one of them. I try not to use celebrities, but spend a lot of time on photobucket or flickr looking for a certain aspect, such as strong chin, then I browse along until I find a picture I like. Once I have the image on my screen, I will list descriptors for the various features until I feel like I have exhausted the options. With my list and picture in hand I am ready to introduce the character and most of the work is already done.

Eric Swett

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Apocalypse Rising
Eric Swett

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Haileybug Publishing

ISBN: 1477524533 
Smashwords:  9781476457451
ASIN:  B0085HB9C8

Number of pages:  178
Word Count: 58,042

Cover Artist:  Jan Marie Parupia

Book Description: 

Long ago, an Angel surrendered his memories and his power when he left Heaven behind, so that he could make a difference in the real world. A couple thousand years walking amongst the teaming masses of humanity has left him disillusioned, but he refuses to give up. He spends his time with the forgotten souls of an urban slum, making a difference wherever he can.

When Justin witnesses the brutal murder of a woman at the hands of a ruthless business tycoon, he must run before his eternal life is cut short. Justin must swallow his pride in order to save himself, and the one friend he has left. The journey back to the fold is filled with danger and discovery as he finds himself in a race towards the end of the world.

Author Bio: 

Eric Swett started writing a story at 100 words a day in the spring of 2011 as an exercise while he worked on his novel. One year later and that exercise turned into his first novel, "Apocalypse Rising."

He is the husband of Tracy and the father of Zachary and Connor. He works in the IT industry and is a recent transplant to North Carolina. He loves all things science fiction and fantasy and openly claims the title of geek.

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1 comment:

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