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Do you want 5 Achievement Strategies ​guaranteed to improve your chances of success? FREE! http://www.gerardbianco.com/

Thursday, December 17, 2015

ERSKINE CALDWELL - TOBACCO ROAD

December 17th. Today we celebrate the birth date of Erskine Caldwell, novelist and short story writer. He wrote about poverty, racism and social problems in his native South in novels such as Tobacco Road and God's Little Acre. His novel, Tobacco Road, was one of the most acclaimed novels of the 20th century.

 I was not a writer to begin with; I was a listener.” __E. Caldwell from azquotes.com

Photo: Author Erskine Caldwell poses with his book Tobacco Road on Jan. 28, 1953. A play of the novel stirred up a big controversy on Jan. 16, 1953, when five actors were arrested at the Vancouver’s Avon Theatre and charged with obscenity. Bill Dennett/Vancouver Sun.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A SHARP BEND IN THE ROAD GIVEAWAY!

Dear Friends,

I'm giving away an autographed copy of my new book, A Sharp Bend in the Road: 17 Intriguing Stories on Goodreads to three lucky winners. It's easy to enter. Just follow the link below. Good luck. I hope you win!



Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Sharp Bend in the Road by Gerard Bianco

A Sharp Bend in the Road

by Gerard Bianco

Giveaway ends August 21, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

10 SUREFIRE WAYS TO WRITE MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE

Photo by Carol Rosegg. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Having Trouble Writing Dialogue? This Should Help!

Dialogue means words that characters say aloud to one another. Gestures, and not communicating to a question, can also be dialogue. Great conversation between characters can make or break your story. Here is a list of ten dialogue actions that will determine if your dialogue is any good. If your character's dialogue do not match up to at least seven of these actions then your conversations need editing.

The dialogue you write should:
·                 move the story forward.
·                 move the story with ease of rhythm.
·                 pull together the series of interrelated events that make up the story.
·                 shows and not tell.
·                 characterize your characters, meaning, your dialogue should be appropriate to the age, sex, educational background, sociological upbringing, occupation, and temperament of your characters.
·                 convey needed information.
·                 show the emotional state of the speaker.
·                 build suspense.
·                 foreshadow difficulty, disaster, happiness, or success.
·                 sum up the story to prove your theme.
Keep your dialogue fresh. Avoid repeating information. Remember, written dialogue sounds different than real conversation between two or more people. Keep your ah's and um's to a bare minimum, if you must include them at all.


Friday, May 1, 2015

10 LITERARY INTENTIONS GUARANTEED TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITING

10 Literary Intentions 
In Striving for Literary Excellence I Will:
  • Begin every story with a conflict. I will do this no matter how great the temptation to begin with back story, or some other form of introduction.
  • Create three-dimensional characters. In doing so, I know I must construct a detailed outline of my character's physical characteristics, as well as their behavioral psychology. I will use this outline as a guide whenever my characters appear in the story.
  • Create a detailed description of the setting of each scene. I must remember the reader can't look inside my head to garner the details of a room, which I. in my mind's eye, can clearly see. I mustn’t forget the reader does not know what side of the bed my protagonist sleeps on; the type of glass he/she likes to drink from; the color of their  shoes; the way she looks at him through the strands of hair that drape over her eyes when she’s angry.
  • Maintain a single point of view in each scene. I will remember that if and when I want to change point of view I will either use a space break, begin a new paragraph, begin a new chapter, or simply tell the reader I’m about to change point of view, the way F. Scott Fitzgerald did in his novel Tender is the Night, when he said, “To resume Rosemary’s point of view it should be said that …”
  • Incorporate theme into my story or novel, either before I begin writing, halfway through, or after I’ve completed the first or second draft. Otherwise why write? Otherwise why would I think anyone would want to read my writing? My theme doesn’t have to be explosive, just something someone can latch onto. That’s all.
  • Read compelling literary works every day, focusing on the way famous authors incorporated important literary elements in their works to create the classics that appear in one anthology after another.
  • Promise not to copy another writer’s literary style. Style grows out from within a writer. Not the other way around.
  • Scrutinize every paragraph of my story to make certain it forwards the plot toward my conclusion, has relevance, makes sense, rings true, and is exciting to read.
  • Stop using granny, or Uncle John, or my best friend, or my girlfriend/boyfriend to edit my work. I will use a professional editor before submitting my work to contests, agents, and publishers.
  • Acknowledge that writing is a craft, and like any craft, it can be taught, learned, and improved upon. I understand that in order for me to improve my writing skills, I must practice writing every day.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

ANNOUNCING 3 NEW WRITING PROGRAMS THAT WILL HELP YOU GET PUBLISHED

BIG NEWS!

I'm happy to announce I'm offering three new writing programs that I'm certain you'll not only enjoy, but will BOOST your writing level as well. Here they are!


ONE-ON-ONE WRITER COACHING PROGRAM:

It's been proven you'll learn more, learn faster, and learn to write better with a personal writing coach.
My One-On-One Writer Coaching Program will help you make the leap past the rejection pile and onto the publisher's pages.

WRITE AND BE PUBLISHED PROGRAM:

This program is for both the beginning writer and for those who have been writing for some time without much luck in getting published.

My 8-week on-line course will provide you with the basic writing knowledge you'll need as the foundation for your writer's journey toward successful publishing. We'll look at the work of famous authors and learn about the writing elements they used to created their literary masterpieces. You'll then incorporate these same writing elements into your own writing to help put you on the path toward getting your work published.

LINE EDITING PROGRAM:

Need an editor? Self editing is important, however, self editing can only take your manuscript so far.

My Line Editing Program will Boost your writing way beyond the self-editing stage to the professional level. This is a great program to use before sending your work to agents, publishers, and contests!

FREE SERVICE: Want a one-time sample of my line editing? I will line edit 500 words of your manuscript for free as a sample of my "Down Deep" editing service. Send your work to: writingcenter@gerardbianco.com

______________

If you're serious about learning to write well please take a look at my writing programs. Here's my website where you'll learn much more about each program, and where you'll also find out how to get started.

http://www.writercoachingprograms.com

Any questions please email me at writingcenter@gerardbianco.com

See you soon at one of my programs!


Thursday, April 9, 2015

INTERVIEW WITH HAROLD JENKINS - SORT OF

Harold Jenkins
Tonight’s a big night for Harold Jenkins, fictitious leading character in Gerard Bianco’s play DISCIPLINE. Tonight, Mad Horse Theatre Co. is presenting DISCIPLINE to the world in a staged reading of the play. I had the pleasure of interviewing Harold just hours before the reading. Here’s what he had to say.

Gerard: Hi Harold, welcome to my blog. First, I want to thank you for coming to this interview only hours before the reading.

Harold: You're very welcome. It’s good to be here. Actually, it's quite good to be anywhere.

Gerard: So, you've got a big night coming up. Are you nervous?

Harold: Sure, who wouldn’t be? But I’m with a terrific cast and a great director. The audience will be happy and well entertained.

Gerard: It snowed last night into this morning, do you think that’s going to affect attendance?

Harold: It snowed, I know. Can you believe it? No, I don’t believe it’s going to affect attendance. It’s warming up, the snow should all be gone by this evening. The roads are clear. Besides, this is Maine. It only snowed an inch or two. Mainers spit on a couple of inches - especially after what we've been through this winter.

Gerard: Can you tell us a little about the play?

Harold: Sure. DISCIPLINE is a laugh-out-loud comedy starring me. It’s a comedy, but it does impart an important message. It’s thematic, we in the theater world like to say.
Anyway, the play starts out in the bedroom - the best room to be in when you’re with a lover. Lilly and I - Lilly is my true love - we’re sitting up in bed, discussing things a couple normally chats about, like, how to look at nipples, how to shave properly, me wanting to get laid, Lilly not wanting to. The usual. We turn out the lights to go to sleep. After a few minutes, I hear strange noises coming from somewhere in the apartment. I get up to investigate and find a strange man, crouching on the stove, sniffling. BINGO! Play takes off from there.

Gerard: Sounds exciting.

Harold: It is, especially when you find out what the strange man is doing in the apartment.

Gerard: Shannon Campbell plays Lilly. What’s she like?

Harold: Shannon is a great actress who puts her heart and soul into her part. She captures Lilly’s personality perfectly - really nails the part.

Gerard: Who else is in the play?

Harold: Burke Brimmer plays Frustrato - the strange guy on the stove. He’s a very talented actor who makes Frustrato come alive. It’s scary he’s so good. Then there’s Eric Worthley. He’s the policeman. He’s another terrific actor - he’s the perfect NYC cop. Oh, and we mustn’t forget Peter Brown - he plays me. Or do I play him? I don’t know. At times I get confused. He’s such a great actor our personalities have become one. I sometimes look in the mirror and I see Peter. How’s that done?

Gerard: What’s it like to work for Daniel Burson, the director?

Harold: He’s terrific. He not only has staged the reading to make every scene seem real, he uses his directorial expertise to flesh out every character within the actor’s minds so that what you see on the stage is the ultimate performance. Amazing director.

Gerard: Well, there you have it. That’s all we have time for. Can’t wait to see and hear the reading tonight. I want to thank you for dropping by to chat.

Harold: It’s been fun, Gerard. And I want to thank you for creating me and the others in the play. Although I’m not quite sure what I should be doing after the readings are over. I hope you’ll write something for me to do.


Gerard: Sure, Harold. Break a leg tonight!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

DISCIPLINE STAGED READING APRIL 9TH & 11TH





JOIN MAD HORSE THEATRE AS WE CELEBRATE TWO TERRIFIC “BY LOCAL” PLAYWRIGHTS!

Mad Horse Theatre is proud to usher in Spring with the latest installment of its popular BY LOCAL new play series. The series has established itself as a standard for bringing exciting, original scripts by Maine writers to theater audiences in the Greater Portland area.

DISCIPLINE by Gerard Bianco, April 9 and 11th

FROM AWAY by MK Wolfe, April 10th and 12th


Admission is Pay-What-You-Can (suggested donation $10.00). Tickets are available only at the door.

7:30 Thursday-Saturday and 2:00 on Sunday.

 Tickets are available at the door. Visit www.madhorse.com or check out the Mad Horse Facebook page for more information.

DISCIPLINE, directed by Daniel Burson, is an award-winning romantic comedy that has us spending two evenings in the apartment of Harold Jenkins, a man many would consider a nobody. Helpless against the powers that control his every hour, Harold rebels in the only way he knows how - sexual hyperactivity. Lilly, Harold's less-than-generous lady love, keeps Harold's sexual advances on a short leash, leaving the poor guy frustrated and essentially isolated. New possibilities emerge for Harold when he discovers a mysterious stranger sniffling on his stove in the middle of the night.


In FROM AWAY, directed by Christopher Price, an impetuous promise made in childhood brings Kerstin to the upscale Cape Porpoise home of the best friend she hasn't seen in 20 years, to stand at her side as she weds.  But secrets from long ago threaten to tear apart the tenuous stability of this most dysfunctional family, with hilarious and heartbreaking results, and Kerstin discovers the courage to face the greatest taboo of all.


ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHTS

Gerard Bianco holds an MFA in Writing. He is the author of the award-winning mystery/thriller THE DEAL MASTER (2006) and DISCIPLINE: A PLAY (2012), which was a finalist in the Indie Excellence Book Awards (2013). His short stories have appeared in various literary journals and his lessons, exercises and advice on the art and craft of creative fiction have appeared on the web and in the book, “Now Write! Mysteries: Mystery Fiction Exercises From Today's Best Writers and Teachers.” (Tarcher, 2011; Edited by Sherry Ellis and Laurie Lamson.) His latest book, A SHARP BEND IN THE ROAD: 17 INTRIGUING STORIES, was recently published in January, 2015.

MK Wolfe is a playwright and lyricist whose plays and musicals have been staged in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey and Maine. Most recently, MK's Swedish Meatballs was part of The Maine Dish: A Feast of Plays About Food, a Maine Restaurant Week special event produced by Snowlion Rep in Portland.  MK's musical The Sock Who Lost His Mate (book, lyrics) kicks off the 4th Annual New York Children's Theater Festival.




Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A SHARP BEND IN THE ROAD GIVE-A-WAY

I'm giving away an autographed copy of my new book A Sharp Bend in the Road: 17 Intriguing Stories, on Goodreads, to three lucky winners. Good luck! Hope you win!




Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Sharp Bend in the Road by Gerard Bianco

A Sharp Bend in the Road

by Gerard Bianco

Giveaway ends March 23, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Friday, March 13, 2015

DISCIPLINE HITS MAD HORSE THEATER COMPANY

Mad Horse Theater Company, a professional resident theater ensemble serving Greater Portland, Maine, will present a full-cast reading of my play DISCIPLINE over the weekend April 9-12. This special event is part of Mad Horse Theater’s By Local Series.

“There’s a tremendous amount of play-writing talent in the Greater Portland area,” says Brent Askari, Mad Horse company member and By Local co-organizer. “And with By Local, Mad Horse is demonstrating a deep and substantial intention to help foster, nurture, and promote that talent.”

DISCIPLINE is an award-winning romantic comedy that has us spending two evenings in the apartment of Harold Jenkins, a man many would consider a nobody. Helpless against the powers that control his every hour, Harold rebels in the only way he knows how - sexual hyperactivity. Lilly, Harold's less-than-generous lady love, keeps Harold's sexual advances on a short leash, leaving the poor guy frustrated and essentially isolated. But new possibilities emerge for Harold when he discovers a bizarre and mysterious stranger sniffling on his stove in the middle of the night.

DISCIPLINE will be read twice over the weekend, on two different days. Please save the date to see this laugh-out-loud comedy that holds a thought-provoking theme about special people all over the world.

Friday, February 27, 2015

#EGGCERPTEXCHANGE "LADY ELINOR'S ESCAPE" by LINDA McLAUGHLIN

Today, I bring you something fun and exciting, and something we've never done before on the blog. Allow me to present historical-author Linda McLaughlin's interview with one of the characters from her book Lady Elinor’s Escape. It's 19th century English Barrister Stephen Chaplin.
Let’s hear what he has to say:

I recently visited barrister Stephen Chaplin, Esquire at his offices in London’s Lincoln’s Inn.

LM: Mr. Chaplin, thank you so much for agreeing to meet with me. Can you tell me a bit about yourself? For instance, are you originally from the London area?

SC: No, my family is from Lincolnshire. I grew up on a small estate with my elder brother and my younger sister, Olivia.

LM: Where did you attend university?

SC: Cambridge, of course. The men of my family have done so for several generations. Then I came to Lincoln’s Inn to read for the law.

LM: Did you always want to be a barrister?

SC: Not as a child, of course. Boys always have dreams of being brave warriors or finding one’s fortune at sea. But Father said I wasn’t cut out for the military--not obedient enough--though he thought I would do well in Parliament, since I seemed to enjoy arguing.

LM: You do think for yourself. What do you like most about the legal profession?

SC: I find it most gratifying when the law and justice align, which doesn’t always occur. Many of our laws are unnecessarily harsh, and I’d like to do something about that one day. In the meantime, I do what I can to help those in need of protection.

LM: What are your reading tastes?

SC: The Times, of course; all the London newspapers, for that matter. I rarely have time to read for pleasure, unlike my sister, Olivia, who devours every Gothic novel she can get her hands on, no matter how ridiculous. She even has hopes of publishing her own romantic novel one day. I’ve told her in no uncertain terms that she may not use my life experiences as fodder for her novel, or she will be very sorry!

LM: Hmm. What is the oddest thing that’s ever happened to you?

SC: (With a smile) That would have to be the day I met the mysterious Mrs. Brown, a.k.a. Lady Elinor Ashworth. I was in the West Country, having a peaceful breakfast when a madwoman in widow’s weeks came bursting through the door, demanding immediate passage to London. She appeared to be in need, so naturally I volunteered to assist, not knowing she would disrupt my life, destroy my peace of mind and make me fall madly in love with her.


BLURBS FOR LADY ELINOR’S ESCAPE

Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him.

There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin’s life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a rescuer of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled by guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with the secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party.


EXCERPT FROM LADY ELINOR’S ESCAPE

In this excerpt, Stephen shows up at the dress shop on a rainy spring day with a basket of flowers.

He handed her the basket of flowers, then shrugged out of his coat and handed it and his hat to Peggy O’Shea. She gave him a flirtatious smile in return before hanging the wet items on a nearby rack.

Elinor stepped forward. “Flowers, Mr. Chaplin?”

He turned toward her. “Ah, Mrs. Brown. Yes, I thought these spring blossoms just the thing to brighten Madame Latour’s shop on such a dismal day.”

“How very kind you are,” said Ellie. “But an entire basketful?”

He smiled. “The young girl selling them was in despair over the lack of customers. She appeared to be almost drowned and nearly in tears, so I bought all she had, including the basket.”

“And paid far more than they were worth, I am certain,” Elinor murmured.

“Did you say something, Mrs. Brown?” he asked with a raised brow.

“Nothing of importance.”

He rummaged through the basket and produced a nosegay of bluebells, which he presented to Dolly. “These are for you, to match your eyes.”

Her blue eyes grew wide with wonder as she accepted the nosegay. “Oh, sir, no one ever give me flowers afore.”

“Well, I am certain this will not be the last time,” he said gallantly. Ignoring Dolly’s worshipful look, he returned to the basket for another nosegay, white violets this time, which he gave to Peggy.

She bobbed him a curtsy. “Oh, thank ye, yer lordship.”

He gave her a warm smile. “You are very welcome, Miss O’Shea. But I am not a lord, merely a mister.”

“No matter. ’Tis a fine gentleman ye are, to be thinking of us working girls.”

“Girls, why do you not go on home?” Mimi asked. “You have all worked so very hard today, and there will be no more customers, n’est-ce-pas?”

With glad smiles for Mimi, and more thanks and curtsies for Stephen Chaplin, the girls donned their cloaks and left the shop.

“I will get a vase for these lovely flowers,” Mimi said. “Please come into the parlor, Monsieur Chaplin, and warm yourself by the fire. I have made the coffee and there is water for tea.”

“Thank you,” Stephen Chaplin said. He delved into the basket one last time before handing it to Mimi. As she left the room, he handed Elinor a bunch of purple violets.

Elinor held them to her nose and breathed in the sweet, delicate fragrance. “‘A violet in the youth of primary nature, forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,’” she quoted.

“‘The perfume and suppliance of a minute; no more,’” he added softly.

Startled, she gazed into his warm honey-brown eyes and her pulse began to race. She would have to guard her heart around this man? Why did he have to have such an effect on her? Was it simply because he was the only eligible gentleman she had ever known?

No, a gentleman who brought flowers to poor shop girls and quoted Shakespeare was surely out of the ordinary. What a catch he would be for some young lady. But of course, not for her.

WHERE YOU CAN BUY THE BOOK:

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00CHSNEII
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/lady-elinors-escape/id645217449
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lady-elinors-escape-linda-mclaughlin/1100559263
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/lady-elinor-s-escape
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/312406

AUTHOR BIO:

Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of books and history, so it's only natural she prefers writing historical romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward. Linda also writes steamy to erotic romance under the name Lyndi Lamont, and is one half of the writing team of Lyn O'Farrell.

You can find Linda online at:
Her website: http://lindalyndi.com
Blog: http://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LindaMcLaughlinAuthor

Twitter: @Lyndi Lamont https://twitter.com/LyndiLamont 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

#EGGCERPTEXCHANGE "SUMMER'S GROWTH by TINA GAYLE

Happy to have author Tina Gayle on the blog. Tina is a multi-genre author, delving into mystery, romance, and the paranormal.

This post will focus on Summer's Growth, just one of the many books by this author.

Blurb for Summer’s Growth:

In the spirit-haunted Winston estate in Ohio, rooted in time and occupied by the lingering ghosts of a great family, the torch is about to pass...

Mattie Winston, sober, sensible, and steady, has served as Keeper to the family for decades. Amber Harrison, hovering on the edge of flunking out of college, unsure what she wants out of life, has barely even heard of the Winston estate. The family, however, has decided that it's time for the changing of the guard. These two exceptional women soon find themselves dealing with violence, murder attempts, and old family mysteries while each finding the love of her life. Two romances and a growing friendship, all twined around a brooding family tragedy, make for an outstanding paranormal mystery offering depth and charm beyond the commonplace. The growing love of Amber and Carter and of Mattie and Quincy offer readers a tender and engaging first novel in a winning new paranormal series.

Excerpt:
Standing by the bay window in the front room, Mattie watched the car approach. Her new recruit’s arrival had goose bumps popping out on Mattie’s skin, adding to her anxieties.
She wanted to run, but instead glanced at the kindhearted spirit of Opal, her distant grandmother. Dressed in her best early American gown, the many layers of her petticoat swished with a soft hiss when she moved.
“There’s no reason to be nervous. Once you meet Amber, you’ll see she caps the climax,” Opal voiced in a soothing tone. “Your Aunt Rachel is absolutely thrilled to have a descendant from her branch of the family as keeper.”
Looking beyond her at the rest of the room, Mattie searched for the other members of the family council. They always offered her their support when she faced a big decision. Yet, today they were conspicuously absent. 
“Don’t worry. The whole family is behind you. We just thought it better if we didn’t all hover.”       
Shifting from foot to foot, she wrung her hands together. A simple process of a changing of the guard for them, Amber’s arrival marked the end of the life Mattie loved. 
The beautiful spirits around her didn’t understand how cruel humans could be to each other. What if she screwed up and the girl left? Or the girl hated living with a house full of spirits?
Unease pricked at Mattie’s mind. She had no experience in dealing with strangers. All her business associates understood her likes and didn’t force her to attend any social events. 
A quick glance out the window, and a car rounded the fountain. She wasn’t prepared to entertain Amber. How could she be? She never invited guests to the estate. 
“Now, Pumpkin, there’s no need to worry. It’s time another branch of the family realize what a pain it is to be keeper.” Opal smiled, offering her special form of reassurance. “We’re all here to help with the transition.” 
The high notes of Beethoven’s Fifth sprang from the piano. Mattie jumped in surprise at the sudden noise. She whipped around to see Uncle Samuel, the artist of the family, standing next to the piano. 
“The game is afoot.” He arched his eyebrows and grinned, then disappeared.
“I’d better leave.” Her aunt patted Mattie’s shoulder. “Just remember, the girl is uneasy too.” 
Opal disappeared.
With a deep breath, Mattie turned and gripped the cold metal knob in her hand.
Soon her home would belong to a stranger, and then what would she do?

Purchase ebook at: 

Bio:
Tina Gayle grew up a dreamer and loves escaping into a good romantic book.

She is currently working on two different series. The last book in the Executive Wives’ Club series will be coming out 2014.  This series combines elements of women fiction with the passion of romance. 
The Family Tree series has two books out with Fallen Leaves release in April of 2014. A paranormal romantic suspense series, the books follow the keeper of the Winston manor and the trials she has to overcome to remain in the house of her ancestors.

Find Tina Gayle everywhere


Saturday, February 7, 2015

HOW TO CURE WRITER’S BLOCK IN TWO EASY STEPS

"Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
via Wikimedia Commons - 
I never get writer's block. Writers who get writer's block think story is the most important element in writing. It's not. It's how you feel about a thing that's most important. A great writer uses story to express his or her feelings.


Learn to feel. Then write a story that will convey, metaphorically, how you feel. If you do these two things, you'll never, ever get writer's block.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

NEW RELEASE GIVEAWAY - AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF MY NEW BOOK!

In celebration of the release of my new book, A Sharp Bend in the Road: 17 Intriguing Stories, Goodreads is giving away an autographed copy to 3 lucky recipients. Giveaway dates: February 5th - February 9th.


Sign up below for a chance to win!    GOOD LUCK! --GERARD

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Sharp Bend in the Road by Gerard Bianco

A Sharp Bend in the Road

by Gerard Bianco

Giveaway ends February 09, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Sunday, February 1, 2015

UNDERSTANDING THE NEEDS OF YOUR CHARACTERS

How to Create Three-Dimensional Characters


Fleshing out your characters is one of the most important elements in writing great fiction. Details, such as how your characters look, how they walk and talk, and their idiosyncratic propensities, must be written into your story so that your characters have a three-dimensional quality. But, when it comes to representing characters as living, breathing beings, addressing your character's physical profile is only half the battle. An author must also be sympathetic to a character’s wants and needs. Your sensitivity will round out your characters and will add fullness to your story as well.

Why Do Stories Fall Flat?

            Ever wonder why your stories sometimes fall flat? What’s missing?
Ezra Katz from Wikimedia
 The problem could be, like some parents who work too long and too hard, that you've lost sight of the wants and needs of your children, and by children I mean the characters you've created in your story or novel. They have wants, the same as the little guy who tugs at your pants leg when you’re trying to work on that new story. They have needs, the same as the child you have going off to college.
            Identifying and satisfying the needs and desires of your characters is a significant notion, and something rarely considered by the inexperienced writer.  Lacking this knowledge comes with a heavy price, but high rewards are garnered if you can carry this concept through.
            A writer who has no sympathy and understanding for the human conditions of his characters will have difficulty arousing the sympathy of the reader. This is why even a well-structured story can sometimes lack the sparkle of a successful story. A writer who understands his characters and satisfies their needs ignites a sympathetic response in the reader, which, in turn, results in an emotional bond between author, characters, and reader.

An Example of How to Satisfy the Needs of Your Characters

            Benjamin Percy, a sensitive and poetic writer, is an author who pays attention to his character’s needs. In his short story, “Refresh, Refresh,” a tale about the tragedy of war, the narrator, Josh, and his friend Gordon, are victims whose fathers were plucked from them and sent overseas to fight a battle that no one from their small town of Crow, Oregon truly understands. The boy’s relationship to each other is a key factor in the story.
            “He had had a bad day,” Josh says of Gordon. “And I could tell from the look on his face—the watery eyes, the trembling lips that revealed in quick flashes his buckteeth—that he wanted, he needed, to hit me. So I let him.” There you go, a perfect example of a writer fulfilling the needs of his characters.

            So, pay attention to the needs and desires of your children, both those at home and those in your stories. Fulfill these needs when you can. You’ll be a better parent for it. Oh, and a better writer, too.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

NEW BOOK RELEASE! A COLLECTION OF 17 INTRIGUING STORIES


Announcing the official release of my new book, A SHARP BEND IN THE ROAD: 17 INTRIGUING STORIES.

Over two years in the making. On the shelves at last.

Here's what reviewers are saying:

"A Sharp Bend in the Road showcases a carnival of amazing and totally different types of stories. From a story about a young man's encounter in an elevator, to a gay couple in a jewelry store, to a woman entering a retirement home. Bianco's characters are real, yet colorful and unique. he has a gift in creating genuine dialogue making each story come alive. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of stories. 5 stars for sure! A fine collection written by one author who clearly knows his craft." --Susan Violante for Reader Views.

It was my privilege to be interviewed by Jane Isaac, England's hottest new rising star of the
mystery/thriller genre. In the interview you'll learn:
  • What makes this story collection different from those of other writers?
  • Elements I've added to give characters a lifelike impression?
  • Satisfying the needs of characters.

A Sharp Bend in the Road is available in either softcover, hardcover, and as an eBook. Here are the links to: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and for our Canadian friends Indigo Books.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

UNEARTH THE TREASURE WITHIN YOU

I read an interesting story yesterday on the BBC News site about how thousands of ancient coins were discovered, buried beneath the earth. (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-30654568)

The coins, dating back to the 11th century, had been buried in a lead bucket, just two feet below the surface of the earth.

As a writer, I thought about this story and what the unearthing of these coins meant to me metaphorically.

I compared the coins to the vast treasures buried deep within all us, hiding below the surface of the hard exterior shell we’ve built around ourselves - the shell we believe protects us from the outside world - the shell that shields us from insult, embarrassment, and injury to our pride. The "insecurity shell,"  I call it.

Do you know the shell I'm talking about? I'm certain some of you do. Perhaps you began building yours the first time someone told you that you couldn’t do something because you lacked the talent, or the money, or weren't smart enough. Or maybe you began building your shell when an unthinking parent or teacher told you that you you'll never succeed in life if all you did was write, or paint, or sculpt, or act, or write poetry.

It’s a safe place when you close up - shut off your creativity, your inherent mode of expression, and your talents rather than suffer the embarrassment of hearing words of discouragement from those around you.

Young children don’t have this problem. They haven't developed the adult sensitivity we inherit as we grow older. They’re free from the sin of humiliation.

Every summer my family and I packed the car and headed out on a vacation from Brooklyn to the shores of Long Island. I remember one trip we took when my son was about five or six years old. As part of each vacation, we’d stop at a toy store and I’d purchase a “vacation” present for each of my two children. We were in Sag Harbor at a toy store when my son chose a Roman warrior outfit complete with a plastic helmet, shield, sword, and breastplate as his vacation gift. I bought it for him, thinking he’d wait to “dress up” when we got back to the motel we were staying at. But instead, he dressed up in his outfit as soon as we were outside the store. At first, I was somewhat embarrassed as he paraded around the streets of the town in his outfit, pretending to slay imaginary bad guys. But eventually his childlike innocence won not only my heart, but the hearts of the people we passed on the street as they watched this child of nature doing what kids do - just being themselves and having great fun at it.

In the dawn of 2015 why not cast off the shackles of insecurity and unearth the treasure that’s buried inside of you. Yes, you. You have a wonderful gift waiting to burst forth into the sunlight if only you’ll look for it. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find it straight away. Keep digging. It’s in you somewhere. You just have to keep looking. You’ll find it when you crack that shell you’ve built around yourself.

Take a bite out of life. Expose the inner child within you - the one that’s been locked up for many years. Take a chance. You'll be amazed when you find the gift you’ve been given. Share it with the rest of us. Like the coins, it’s a priceless treasure just waiting for you to unearth it.