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Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Slant rhyme or half rhyme, sometimes called near rhyme or imperfect rhyme are words that come close to rhyming, but they really don’t rhyme. (Said / regret, or find / friend.)
            Emily Dickinson is best known for her use of slant rhyme. They are a common characteristic of her poetry as is her unconventional punctuation. 
            I will admit, my original thoughts about slant rhyme were confining. I was under the impression that Dickinson (and others) used slant rhyming merely to increase the possibilities of word choice. This, in turn, would allow the poet greater flexibility and increase his/her ability to convey meaning.
            In searching the internet for thoughts on the advantages of slant rhyme usage I came across a site, In their definition of slant rhyme the author states, “Many poets use slant rhyme to introduce an element of the unexpected and prompt their readers to pay closer attention to words themselves rather than the sounds of the words.”
            This makes perfect sense. It is this unexpected inconsistency that challenges the reader and adds what Paul Fussell, in his book, Poetic Meter & Poetic Form describes as: counterpoint, modulation, tension, interplay and variation.
            Ezra Pound states that “Most arts attain their effect by using a fixed element and a variable.” Dickinson’s slant rhyme is that variable.
            Fussell also talks about poets who put much attention into meter with no variation. He states that their poetic “metrical regularity makes them remarkably easy to memorize and recite.” In other words, there are no surprises. Their expectancy is the very essence that makes the poem and breaks it as well.

            By using slant rhyme, Dickinson not only increases her word choice, thereby increasing her ability to convey the very essence of what she intends, she also gains the ability to surprise the reader, adding tension to her poem and taking her poems to heights far above a fixed element and into the world of art as Ezra Pound insightfully recognized. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013


(The Deal Master Trailer Banner)

Novels, if they are well written, are exciting emotional grabbers. Movies, if they are well made, can be an exhilarating ride on an emotional rollercoaster. When you can put the two together, you have a dynamic duo that will and can support and enhance each other, offering the viewer twice the impact and twice the emotional effect.

I am pleased and excited to announce to my blog readers that the book trailer for my mystery/thriller The Deal Master is hot off the press and ready to be viewed. Here it is. I hope you like it!

The trailer was produced by the award-winning team of Nikki Gold Farren and Gerard  Bianco Jr. and their production team at Rare View Films. 
Along with films, Rare View Films also produces music videos, and they are now in the process of producing a comedy web series titled, Method or Madness. Be sure to watch for it.

The movie includes a cast and crew from around the globe. It was directed and edited by the award-winning, talented young director from Paris, Theo Zenou.

The cast was comprised of a group of superbly gifted actors and actresses. It was shot on location in New York City with the Arri Alexa camera. As you can see, the quality of the trailer is top notch.

The Director of Photography is the brilliantly artistic Mingjue Hu.

I wrote the trailer, together with the director, Theo Zenou. What we did not want was a “typical” book trailer with stock photos and voice over. What we wanted was a Hollywood-style film that offers the flavor and ambiance of the book, along with a taste of what the characters from the novel look like in the flesh. I made certain to include all the major characters from the novel.

I hope that you enjoy The Deal Master Trailer. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding the trailer, or questions you may have about creating your very own trailer for your novel.

Thanks, Gerard

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Ever read a novel that starts out like a house on fire, has a middle that keeps you turning pages, but then falls off at the end like a herd of buffalo stampeding off a cliff?

Ever watch a movie that begins like a blockbuster and then falls flat with a clichéd ending that you've seen a hundred times in bad “B” movies?

I’m convinced this happens because the authors of these books and films did not use a well–planned outline when creating their stories—one that will ensure a chart-buster ending.

Imagine an archer randomly shooting an arrow into the air in hopes that it will somehow hit a bull's-eye somewhere. Outlining a story from beginning to end will guarantee that you will hit your target every time.

Not using an outline to write your story is like a doctor saying, “Oh, we won’t take X-rays, we’ll just start at the head and keep cutting until we find the problem.”

Writing a short story or a novel is tough enough without having to stop in the middle to wonder where you’re going to take the story next. For those who say that outlining is the death of spontaneity, or that it’s too restrictive, or a hindrance to creative flow, let me say that outlining is the total opposite. Outlining gives you the freedom to be super creative while writing because you no longer have to decide on where the story is going, or how you are going to get there—that job has already been done. With a properly-planned outline you can let your creative juices flow to develop strong rich characterization. Plot problems will no longer exist when you use outlines and you can use your genius to focus instead on description, dialogue, style and voice.

The secret to developing great outlines is to work with a formula that is best suited to your style of writing and personality. There are all types—some that are basic and others that go into great depth. There is even new software available that will practically do the outlining for you. Choose the formula that feels most comfortable.  

Here are three steps that I developed that have guided my pen from beginning to end of a story, or should I say, vice versa?

  1. Understand that your story should have a beginning, a middle and an end, and that they must be treated separately to start. (You’ll have time later on to make them work together.)
  2. Plan the end of your story first. Knowing where and how your story is going to wind up will keep the beginning and middle parts of your story in line. It will also ensure that a) you do not veer off your story line and b) it will give you a direct link to the causality you will need to focus on that will bring you around from start to finish.
  3. Use the Plunge Opening. This means that at the beginning of your story, or fairly close to the beginning, you should leap straight onto the major conflict that will affect your protagonist. Many writers wait too long to get to the juice of the story. Instead, they use precious time and paper to ‘set up’ the story. BORING!

So, now that you have the beginning and the end of your story, the middle will practically write itself.