Sunday, October 27, 2013

What I‘ve Learned - H. Peter Alesso

Midshipman Henry Gallant In Space
Guest Blog#2
Thank you for allowing me to discuss some of my ideas about writing my book, Midshipman Henry Gallant In Space.
I’ve learned some interesting lessons through writing a novel. I’ve found that the craft of writing requires the author to become invisible to the reader; a task not as easy as it sounds.
When you read a story by one of your favorite authors, you often find yourself immersed in another place, hopefully undergoing an exciting and thrilling vicarious experience. The characters bring to life the emotions and choices of this exotic situation. If you are too aware of the author’s craftsmanship then the story is broken – like an actor talking to, and looking at, the camera during a movie. It destroys the illusion and spoils the story.
Only the best of authors can truly achieve invisibility. Some of my favorites, I. Asimov, J. Campbell, A. E. Van Vogt, etc. have accomplished this for me. However, when I go back and look for the craftsmanship of their works I can recognize it. I look for clues on how they achieved their special effects. For example, when they ‘set the stage’ at the beginning of a chapter or section, they tend to offer long slow elaborate descriptive prose, rich in adjectives and superlatives. For action scenes however, the sentences are short, crisp and emphatic. When involved in conversation, the individual characters each achieve their own ‘voice’; that is they demonstrate a distinctive characteristic of speech, or language, so that they can be picked out of the dialog. Of course, the arc of the main story must be seamlessly inter-wound with the subplots so that the reader doesn’t trip over the narrative. As a result, the reader is engrossed so completely in the story that he is unaware of his actual reality, he has been transported elsewhere.
I find that there is beauty in expressing your thoughts. So find your words, tell your story.
In Midshipman Henry Gallant, I present a young man’s heroic epic journey. He doesn’t travel it along however; he has friends, mentors, rivals, and enemies, and one more essential element, romance. I hope you enjoy this story while I disappear from view.
H. Peter Alesso
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Genre – Science Fiction
Rating – G
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