Friday, March 23, 2012

Chipper Muse News

After a five-part series on Supporting Indie Authors, I thought I'd mix it up a bit. So, today I'm sharing what is spine-tingling new and awesome in the world of the Chipper Muse.

First, I'm using the word spine-tingling because of a New York Times article, "Your Brain on Fiction." There are some great tips for writers in this article. Seems that there's proof in neuroscience for some old saws of fiction-crafting wisdom that we've all heard a million times.

Your writing shines better when you use unique metaphors (which engage the brain) rather than cliches (which get tuned out because the brain records them as "just words").

And when you describe things, use the five senses because the sensory parts of the brain kick in as the reader reads. Write that scene where your character is running vividly enough, and the reader feels she is running too.

Hence, I'm hoping you are feeling shivers up your spine and that you smell delightful lavender and feel the silky delight of soft-scented rose petals in your hands as you enjoy my blog today. Thanks, New York Times.

On another note, Lissa Clouser, who is a friend from good old Nanowrimo, gave me a Kreativ Blogger award. So I want to give her a shout-out and thank-you here, and invite you to check out her writing blog, A Quid for a Quill. She's bold enough to write poetry as well as fantasy, and she's a lot of fun. When you stop by her blog, leave a comment and let her know I sent you over.

Lissa's blog mentioned a challenge to those of us writing novels to share 7 sentences from page 77 of our current work in progress. I'm game. My WIP is an urban fantasy, starring a girl who finds out a rumored family curse is no rumor after all. Here, you get a glimpse of the villain, Hex, as well as the evil baddie he's working for. Share thoughts if you'd like, since I'm currently taking critiques!
A rush of air moved past him, like a hot breath, hissing past his ear. “I’m right here, Hex,” a hard voice crackled.
Hex spun, hands instinctively grasping for purchase. There was nothing to hold onto. But he caught himself, straightened, and looked for the speaker. No one was there, expect for the silent five. But the fire in the trashcan flared up and twisted into odd shapes, flickers of images that Hex could barely comprehend before they slipped into new shapes. Startled, Hex backed away and tripped into another trashcan, sending the metal container spinning and rattling along the ground.
So, what do you think? What would you suggest to improve the writing?

If you're a regular reader of this blog, let me know what you're working on now. I'd love to read seven sentences from your work and give you feedback, if you're willing to share.

Next week, I'll be sharing the story of a fellow writer who has found success through word-of-mouth endorsements and reading groups. In the meantime, happy writing!

Copyright (c) 2012 by M.A. Chiappetta. All rights reserved.


  1. hey, Michelle! haven't read in a while but i'm planning to catch up. as for suggestions, the trashcan might have sounded like: clamor, cacophony, some arresting language because of its impact on the silence. btw, you, Valerie, and i need to do lunch!

  2. Thanks, Lisa! I appreciate the input. Yes, we should get together. :)

  3. I read that article the other day, and it was very enlightening and challenging as a reader and a writer.

    I really like your little excerpt, and I don't really have much critique for it, it seems great, and my brain is tired!

  4. Hello, Michele. I thought the snippet was very well written. I would share as well, but I got hit with that myself recently by about three people and must blog about it at some point soon. I guess I'd better hurry and dig up that 77th page and get it ready.
    I do thank you for the tips. I hope you're having a great weekend.


  5. Thank you for the sweet shout-out! I can definitely say your excerpt that you posted has me curious about the "silent five" and just what kind of mess Hex is in. And curiosity is always the first thing that gets me reading more!

  6. I'm a slacker! Thanks, Lissa, Rebekah, and Jimmy for stopping by and for the nice comments on my tiny novel excerpt. Looking forward to sharing more of it soon, I hope. :)


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.