Frank Fiore – Novelist & Screenwriter

December 31, 2013

Novels as Brain Food

Filed under: Frank Remarks — Frank Fiore @ 2:49 PM

Mark Twain was often subjected to requests from young authors seeking his advice. On one occasion, he was asked if fish were good brain food and should he eat more of it to be a better writer.

Mr. Twain responded in the affirmative. “Yes. Fish is good brain food and after reading your submission to me I would suggest you eat two small whales a day.”

Funny as that is, new research, carried out at Emory University in the US, found that reading a good book may cause heightened connectivity in the brain and neurological changes that persist in a similar way to muscle memory.

Being pulled into the world of a gripping novel can trigger actual, measurable changes in the brain that linger for at least five days after reading, scientists have said. “We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense. Now we’re seeing that something may also be happening biologically.”

The changes were registered in the left temporal cortex, an area of the brain associated with receptivity for language, as well as the the primary sensory motor region of the brain.

Neurons of this region have been associated with tricking the mind into thinking it is doing something it is not, a phenomenon known as grounded cognition – for example, just thinking about running, can activate the neurons associated with the physical act of running.

So, if you want to exercise that muscle we call the brain in the new year, buy some of my 5-star rated novels.

Changing My Writing Name

Filed under: Frank Remarks — Frank Fiore @ 2:48 PM

A  colleague of mine saw one of my cover proofs for a recent novel of mine and saw that I had changed my name from Frank F. Fiore to F.F. Fiore on the cover. I later changed it back to Frank F. Fiore before it went to print.

She said I should consider using the F.F. Fiore because it sounded more formal and ‘author-like’. After some thought, I agreed.

So I’ve decided to use the F.F. Fiore ‘moniker’ starting with MURRAN which be published in mid 2014. But I might regret using my real name if MURRAN really catches on. After all, it will be very controversial.

We will see.

Shakespeare is Dead – Long Live Shakespeare!

Filed under: Frank Remarks — Frank Fiore @ 2:46 PM

Would it surprise you to know that some of our most recent popular movies are based on Shakespeare’s plays? That’s right. The old master is still relevant today.

Here are some examples.

’10 Things I Hate About You’ (1999), ‘Deliver Us from Eva’ (2003), and ‘The Taming of the Shrew’

‘She’s The Man’ (2006) and ‘Twelfth Night’

The Lion King’ (1994) and ‘Hamlet’

‘The Lion King II’ (1998) and ‘Romeo and Juliet’

For detailed descriptions of these comparisons with Shakespeare’s works, check out Famous Films You Never Knew Were Based on Shakespeare Plays.

2013 in review

Filed under: Uncategorized — Frank Fiore @ 2:43 PM

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

November 9, 2013

How To Write A Novel: An Approach for GIAGIN

Filed under: GAIGIN,How to Write a Novel — Frank Fiore @ 11:42 AM

I was re-watching one of my favorite movies a couple of weeks ago called The Razor’s Edge based on the book of the same name by W. Somerset Maugham. I was running through my mind the first person narrative approach to both the movie and the book and it dawned on me that maybe I should try to use that technique in GAIGIN.

So I sat down, took the DRAFT wire frame of the plot that I had created and wrote the first chapter in the first person to see what it would look like.

I was amazed with the intriguing result it did to the opening of the story. Here it is. Now remember this is just an attempt at using the first person narrative and no real attempt at polishing the work.

 

Hiroshima

August 1945

As I sit in a cold dank cell in the bowls of a military prison in Hiroshima awaiting my execution, I thought about another facing death. A remarkable young boy coming of age against the backdrop of this ill-conceived war my country has waged these past nine years.

The story I’m about to tell, to the best of my memory, is my recollection of that boy, maturing amidst this war, whom I was thrown into close contact over a period of years. A war that has cost the lives of millions of my fellow countrymen. A war of national suicide and the personal suicide of hundreds of thousands of a polite and cultured people gone mad – and that young boy, now a teenager tormented by this war, has placed himself in harms way.

Out of fear, revenge, honor or personal salvation, I couldn’t say. Only that any one of these or all has placed Trace Williams, an American teenager, in the pilot seat of a Mitsubishi Zero on his way to join other young Kamikaze pilots attacking the powerful American fleet off our coast. 

How did this young American teenage boy arrive at such a strange and startling fate? Perhaps I should start at the beginning.

So what do you think? Comments are appreciated.

 

My New Author App

Filed under: Frank Remarks — Frank Fiore @ 11:40 AM

Hey! My new Author App is available for the Android.  It’s FREE and contains graphic links to my Author Site, Blog, LinkedIn and Goodreads Pages, including links to my FREE Enhanced Digital eBook and all my books and eBooks in the Amazon and Nook Stores.

AUTHORS: This is a great use of digital technology to quickly give your ‘e-Business Card’ to people interested in you and your work.

You can see the app here and download it for FREE in the Google Play Store on your Android.

October 19, 2013

Don’t Give Up!

Filed under: Frank Remarks,On Writing — Frank Fiore @ 10:34 AM

Writing is a very lonely profession on one hand, but on the other, you are living within a stable of people you created. Still, when other profession receive support for their ongoing endeavors, writers need to find that the power to keep going in the face of rejection and perhaps the occasional ‘Oh. That’s interesting’ when you tell others of your story.

I found an article about authors who didn’t give up. It was written by Janeen Elite, and much was taken from Jack Canfield. Here it is.

 “Well, take heart dear writers and don’t give up. Just because a strange ‘someone’ didn’t like your piece does not mean it is not good.”

The following is a list of writers who also received “that” letter. Many even received it more than once, but they didn’t let that stop them, and you shouldn’t either.

Margaret Mitchell received ‘that’ letter 38 times. The book? Gone With The Wind

Talk about rejection, James Joyce’s Dubliners was rejected 22 times! And even after it was published, only 379 copies sold in its first year. To make matters worse, Mr. Joyce admitted that he purchased 120 of those copies himself.

“A very bad book.” Told to Pierre Boulle about his “Bridge Over River Kwai”

“The book is not publishable.’ regarding – “Who Killed Virginia Wolfe?”

“…too different from other juveniles on the market to warrant its selling” told to Dr. Seuss, about his book And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street.

“This is a work of almost-genius – genius in the power of its expression – almost in the sense of its enormous bitterness. I wish there were an audience for a book of this kind. But there isn’t. It won’t sell.” told to Ayn Rand about her book The Fountainhead.

“…she is a painfully dull, inept, clumsy, undisciplined, rambling and thoroughly amateurish writer whose every sentence, paragraph and scene cries for the hand of a pro. She wastes endless pages on utter trivia, writes wide-eyed romantic scenes …hauls out every terrible show biz cliché in all the books, lets every good scene fall apart in endless talk and allows her book to ramble aimlessly …” The author was Jacqueline Susann and the book was “Valley of the Dolls.”

So, if you are writer, don’t despair – keep writing.  And remember this quote from Judy Blume . “I would go to sleep at night feeling that I’d never be published. But I’d wake up in the morning convinced I would be. Each time I sent a story or book off to a publisher, I would sit down and begin something new. I was learning more with each effort. I was determined. Determination and hard work are as important as talent.”

Surprise!

Filed under: On Writing — Frank Fiore @ 10:32 AM

You’ve seen them in books and movies. Those turnabouts called by a number of names—“reveals”, “revelations,” “twists” or “surprises”. They add a lot to a story and make it much more interesting.

What you never want to do is make your story predictable or derivative where the reader or viewer says, “Yeah. I know what comes next.” Makes for a boring story.  I used the surprise of reveal device many times in my stories and I get the result I was looking for from my readers.

Case in point. In my first Jeremy Nash novel – A Taste of the Apocalypse – I have a major character turn on Jeremy Nash and the Mossad agent Sabra in a very surprising scene. A reader told me that what transpired was like a punch in the stomach.

Dave Farland wrote about these surprises.

The truth is that writers love a reveal because we as an audience love a reveal. We crave those juicy little surprises that pop up in a good story. In fact, as a writer, I crave them so much that I often like to write by the seat of my pants often just so that I can have those nice little surprises jump out at me as I’m writing. You know what I mean—those moments when you discover that the protagonist’s best friend is really the killer that they’ve both been hunting throughout the book. Sometimes the idea will strike you, and you’ll look back at your story, and see that it seems you’ve been setting up that surprise all along.

A good writer will season his work with surprises, peppering them in.

Read more of his comments on surprises here.

As I develop my next novel, Gaigin, I consciously look for places to put in reveals that will surprise the reader.

How to Write a Novel – Gaigin Update

Filed under: GAIGIN,How to Write a Novel — Frank Fiore @ 10:30 AM

Character behavior drives the plot, which drives character behavior.

I”ve exhausted my attempts at developing plot so I turned to developing the characters as far as what they do in the story.  I listed all the characters that I knew at the time and made a list of the things they do – or have done to them – and experiences they have in the story.  By doing this I was able to cross match the experiences of the characters.  In the process, I was able to fill out more of the plot.

Another plus developing the characters this way was the need to add a few more people that certain characters demanded to make their experiences whole.

So now that I’ve completed the character development, I turn back to the plot. I need to now hang the character experiences and behavior on the wire frame of the plot hoping that the sequencing of their experiences matches up with the overall scenes of the plot. If I’m able to do this, then I have a story. All I need to do then is fill in the details of each scene.

October 3, 2013

What’s the Rush?

Filed under: Frank Remarks,MURRAN,On Writing — Frank Fiore @ 9:06 AM

One day, while writing my first novel CYBERKILL, my wife, impatient to read the manuscript, asked me how long will it take to finish the story. I replied, “As long as it takes to tell it”.

When I sent out MURRAN to my beta readers, I received some interesting side remarks that spoke to how people read.

One reader remarked that it was taking so long to read through the first part of the book. He didn’t see why I took so much time on the first section. I told him pretty much what I told my wife, “As long as it takes to tell the story properly”.

Now, his comment did concern me. This was my first foray into mainstream fiction and I wondered if I was doing teh genre justice. But my mind was put to rest with this comment on MURRAN from my first publisher.

“A decided departure from Cyberkill and the Nash Chronicles, Murran shows a maturity in pacing.  While Cyberkill and Nash (by their nature) create an action-adventure feel by quickly moving from scene to scene, my fear in starting Murran was that a more dramatic story requires a different pace to set the mood.  And, this manuscript met the task – pulling the reader along but never making the storyline feel rushed.”

I was thankful for that remark since it proved that my pacing for MURRAN was correct.

Dave Farland said it best.

There was a time, say a century ago, when people used to talk about sitting down to “enjoy” a novel, or “relax into” a novel. A story wasn’t necessarily seen as an adrenaline pump.

There are a lot of virtues that a slow story can have that a fast story can’t. For example, if I want a story to be intellectually complex or morally profound, I may need to spend more time narrating thoughts and internal dialog as my protagonists wrestle with major life-changing questions. Does this “slow the story down?” No, it actually engages the reader intellectually, and may carry the reader better than another action scene would.”

So, what’s the rush?

 

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