THE ART OF WRITING

THE ART OF WRITING

Self portrait in Progress

Self Portrait in Progress

Today I was asked that as an artist/writer what comes first when I have a story idea? Do the images in my mind dictate the words, or do the words conjure up the images? My answer was: the story always come first, and that sets the images (characters/locations/scenes) in my head.

This question compelled me to dig into my files for an article I wrote several years ago on comparing art and writing.

Here’s the article. Cheers!

The Art of Writing

CROWDED SCENES

As an artist and a writer, I find the two crafts parallel each other in many ways, for example, “crowded scenes.” And I’m not talking about a painting that depicts a crowd, or a “crowd scene” written into a story.

In art, a “crowded scene” is a painting with too much going on: too many unrelated objects on the canvas competing for the viewer’s attention with no place to “rest” the eyes, and no pathway to lead the viewer into and around and out of the chaos. These paintings are too much “in your face,” and more often than not, they chase the prospective collector away and on to another canvas.

A “crowded scene” in a novel can happen when there are too many characters jabbering on the same page, ala nightly TV news panels, and the frustrated reader chucks the book in order to plug his ears to stifle the din.

Another equally annoying “crowded scene” rears it’s clamorous head when the author refers to his characters sometimes by their first name and other times by their last name. This occurred in a book I read recently, which happens to be a best seller written by a best-selling author. He regularly flip-flopped first names, surnames, and nicknames on the same page and often in the same paragraph. For example, in a scene with a conversation between two men, he pulled the first, last, and nickname switcheroo, as though there were six characters in the scene rather than two. If a character’s name is Bill Smith, don’t refer to him in one sentence as Bill, and the next as Mr. Smith, and the next as Smitty. We authors need our readers to experience a rapport with our characters. Playing the “name-game” can easily break the spell, and that suspension of disbelief becomes fragmented while the reader reminds himself that Smitty is Bill. I know, I know, in the context of a novel, Mrs. Smith will call her husband Bill, and Bill’s golf buddy may call him Smitty. But don’t “crowd” the same page and certainly not the same paragraph with all of Bill Smith’s monikers. My advice, whether you’re a renowned artist, a best selling author, a dabbler, a scribbler, or anyone in between: avoid crowds.

PORTRAITURE AND CHARACTER DESCRIPTION

What do portrait painters and fiction writers have in common? Portrait painters not only have to get the features exact, but the reason some portrait painters excel and others falter is the ability to capture the essence of the subject. It sounds cliché, but the eyes do speak volumes to an artist with the ability to tune into the spirit behind the visage. A good portrait is not just a canvas and paint substitute for a photograph: it’s a glimpse at the inner-self.

In fiction, the author not only needs to describe the characters by their physical attributes: short/tall, fat/skinny, etc., but he also must allow the reader to “know” the nature of the character’s inner-self as well, and all while following the rules in Novel Writing 101 about “show, don’t tell.” For example, which of these men seems more menacing? “He was a mean looking man with big teeth.” Yawn! Mean looking man, big teeth, big deal. Or, “His face flushed crimson, his eyes narrowed to slits, and he sneered through a mouth crowded with irregular teeth large enough to devour a leg of lamb in three chomps.” Now that’s one nasty dude you don’t want to cross on a day he’s skipped lunch.

COLOR

We all know the importance of color to a painting. Whether it’s an abstract, still life, landscape, etc., color sets the mood. Color can also set a mood in writing. When the protagonist awakens to a dawn ablaze in crimson, we anticipate an important, life changing event lurks just beyond that fiery horizon. When the protagonist awakens in a black mood to a weepy, grey sky, we can bet he/she would be better off spending the day in bed.

So, the next time “writers block” has you sitting ashen-faced in front of that blank white page think pink, or blue, or green, or orange. Let colors inspire you, and soon those greenbacks will be within reach.

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REFLECTION

Reflection

Inspired by Congressman John Lewis’ speech, and in honor of Martin Luther King Day, I decided to re-post my painting “Reflection.” I hope you all take a minute to read the blurb explaining the story behind the painting. Cheers!

I have always liked the concept of trying to put myself in someone else’s shoes, in order to better understand the basis of their emotions and actions. In this painting, I wanted to delineate two abstract profiles that demonstrate the idea that when we are fleshed out and outwardly adorned we are all unique. But under the costumes and grease paint, we are one, all Mother Earth’s children. I still have hope that in my lifetime I will see everyone, despite their race, ethnicity, religion, lack of religion, economic situation, sexual orientation, etc., treated with dignity. How hard is it, really, just to treat people the way you want to be treated? Quality Giclee print from greeting card size to poster size are available at :  http://fineartamerica.com/featured/reflection-pamela-allegretto.html

The original 16″x20″ acrylic on canvas painting is available for sale on my art website: http://www.pamelaallegretto-franz.com.

REFLECTION

REFLECTION – Click on image to enlarge or to order giclee prints.

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Magazine Article

Magazine Article

Here is the complete Artscope Magazine article that I wrote about yesterday. I know, one less “T” in Allegretto, but oh well, ecco la vita! Visit my art website at: http://www.pamelaallegretto-franz.com to view these and other original works of art. Quality giclee prints are available at my profile page on Fineartamerica at:  http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/pamela-allegretto.html?tab=artwork

Artscope Magazine article

Artscope Magazine article

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ARTSCOPE MAGAZINE

I am so happy and grateful that Artscope Magazine http://zine.artscopemagazine.com/2016/12/allegrettos-whimsy has seen fit to publish an article about me, written by acclaimed New England writer, Tom Soboleski. https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomsoboleski. In its 10th year, Artscope is the premier culture magazine of New England, and thus, it is a great honor to have my work exhibited on its pages alongside such gifted artists. I also appreciate Tom’s lovely review of my novel, Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, included in the article.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

Citizens Of Earth

Citizens Of Earth – Click on painting for article.

Thank you Artscope Magazine and thank you Tom.

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PINOCCHIO

PINOCCHIO –                Pinocchio is my favorite “Guy.” I love his fearless curious nature, his sense of joy, and most of all, his unwavering love for his father. I enjoy a large collection of PINOCCHIO dolls that includes the model for this painting. I also collect copies of Colodi’s book in both Italian and translated versions.
Happy Holiday Season and Happy New Year to all my INTERNET “friends” around the world. You are of every color, race, religion, non-religion, and sexual orientation, and yet we are still one “family!”
CHEERS!
PINOCCHIO

PINOCCHIO

Tanti auguri!

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Allegretto Art – FREE Worldwide Shipping

Allegretto Art – FREE Worldwide Shipping extended today, Saturday, 11/26, until midnight tonight: Eastern Standard Time! Quality giclee prints, greeting cards, tote bags, i-phone cases, throw pillows, etc. A thousand thanks to yesterday’s buyers! I am deeply appreciative and hope you all enjoy the prints and cards. Cheers!!! Go to: http://pamela-allegretto.fineartamerica.com    Original art is available on my art website: http://www.pamelaallegretto-franz.com   

Pamela Allegretto Franz

Pamela Allegretto Franz

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“A MUST READ” – 5 Star Review

“A MUST READ” Those words on the heading of a 5-Star Amazon Review of my novel, “Bridge of Sighs and Dreams,” go a long way to ease my post-election blues. Here’s the rest of the lovely review written by Rick Tuber/Shanghai Cuts. “Nazi’s, Fascists, greed, and revenge, “Bridge of Sighs and Dreams” has it all. A suspenseful story of survival that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I really enjoyed this book that was so unpredictable. Pamela Allegretto paints a picture of one family’s love and hope during occupied Italy of WW 2. A must read.”
BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:

                                                                                  AMAZON:

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

BARNES & NOBLE:
BOOKLOCKER:
ITUNES:
KOBO:
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STRONGER TOGETHER

Stronger Together

No matter the shapes or colors of the petals, I wanted my flowers to have a party on my canvas where everyone’s invited.

A special thanks to all the talented artists who have written such lovely comments on this painting. It would be wonderful if the whole world could be as understanding and supportive as artists are with each other. We don’t care about who lives where or what the politics are of any country. We don’t care about race or religion, or lack of religion. We don’t care who’s gay, straight, or transgender. We care about each other as human beings with a shared love of beauty and artistic freedom. We are all children of Mother Earth and have no room in our lives for racism, bigotry, or bullies!

This painting is my tribute to Hillary Clinton, and my appreciation to her

Stronger Together

Stronger Together

for having cracked that glass ceiling a little bit more. Next time……………..

The original painting is available for purchase at my art website:  http://www.pamelaallegretto-franz.com     or contact me here.

Quality giclee prints from greeting card size to poster size, decorative pillows, tote bags, towels, and shower curtains are available at: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/stronger-together-pamela-allegretto.html

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Amazon Review – 5 STARS – “A spectacular historical novel!”

This 5-STAR review made my day!

“A spectacular historical novel!”

“I am nor never have been a fan of history although I do enjoy historical novels. BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS is no exception! I could not put it down, doing so only when I couldn’t keep my eyes open and had to sleep! I hope that Pam continues to write more books – I look forward to reading anything she would write. She has a great way of expressing thoughts and painting pictures using words. I did use a dictionary for the occasional Italian phrases but soon I learned that I really didn’t need to. The way the phrases were put in the context of the dialogue of her wonderful characters made it easy to determine the meanings. Thanks, Pam, for a wonderful trip through war-torn Italy. I have a much better appreciation for the Italians and all the Europeans, Jewish and non-Jews, who lived through the atrocities of WWII – God bless them!”

Thank you to Mary Kay for taking the time to write such an amazing review!

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at: AMAZON:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs…/1122645088…

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/…/bridge-of-sighs-and…/id1041486835

KOBO:

https://store.kobobooks.com/…/eb…/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

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TROPICAL VIEW

TROPICAL VIEW

For me, big, bold colors reflect the joys of a tropical island. I wanted to keep this painting as uncomplicated as island life. It’s all about celebrating color and simplicity. Quality Giclee prints from greeting card size to poster size are available at:  http://fineartamerica.com/featured/tropical-view-pamela-allegretto.html 

The original 16’x20″ acrylic on wrapped canvas is available for purchase. Contact me here for information. Or visit my art website: http://www.pamelaallegretto-franz.com

TROPICAL VIEW

TROPICAL VIEW

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/tropical-view-pamela-allegretto.html

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5 STAR REVIEWS – BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS

5 STAR REVIEWS on AMAZON AND GOODREADS – Who says 13 is an unlucky number? it’s not unlucky for me! I have 13 “5 Star” reviews on Amazon and Goodreads for my historical novel: BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS! Life is good! Click on the book cover and read more about it.

Nazi-occupied Rome sets the stage for Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, where the lives of two women collide in an arena of deception, greed, and sacrifice. Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is a story of betrayal, dignity, and purpose that highlights the brutality toward Italian citizens, under both Mussolini’s Fascist regime and the Nazi occupation, and illustrates the tenacity of the human spirit.

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at: AMAZON:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

BARNES & NOBLE:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs…/1122645088…

BOOKLOCKER:
http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:
https://itunes.apple.com/…/bridge-of-sighs-and…/id1041486835

KOBO:
https://store.kobobooks.com/…/eb…/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

Amazon buy link
amzn.com/B015JRFQE

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AWESOME REVUE FOR BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS

Awesome Review for BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS! Thank you, Jennifer Alderson, author of: The Lover’s Portrait and Down and Out In Kathmandu, for the amazing revue. I am over the moon to have such an accomplished author as yourself enjoy my book AND write such a glowing review! Cheers!

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Hello Pamela Allegretto! I want to let you know I posted my review of your novel, Bridges of Sighs and Dreams, on Goodreads. I was really captivated by your story and characters, and gave it 5 stars. Best of luck to you!
My review ends with: “I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about this intriguing period in Italian history, as well as those who are just looking for a great (historical fiction) novel to read!”
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1694867939

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TROPICAL HARVEST

Tropical Harvest – For me, big, bold colors reflect the joys of a tropical island. I wanted to keep this painting as uncomplicated as island life. It’s all about celebrating color and simplicity. The original acrylic painting on wrapped canvas is available on my art website: http://www.pamelaallegretto-franz.com  

Quality giclee prints from greeting card size to poster size are available at: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/tropical-harvest-pamela-allegretto.html

TROPICAL HARVEST

TROPICAL HARVEST

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ONLINE INTERVIEW – BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS

BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS

Check out this online interview regarding my novel: Bridge of Sighs and Dreams! My “little engine that can” just keeps chugging uphill. How fun!    http://wayneturmel.com/2016/07/tales-of-ww2-italy-from-pamela-allegretto/ 

 Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at: AMAZON:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

BARNES & NOBLE:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams-pamela-allegretto/1122645088?ean=9781634906548

BOOKLOCKER:
http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:
https://itunes.apple.com/

KOBO:
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

Amazon buy link
amzn.com/B015JRFQE8

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

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GOODREADS – 5 STAR RATING BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS

I am pleased to announce that my novel Bridge of Sighs and Dreams has received a “5 Star” rating on GOODREADS. Check it out at:https://www.goodreads.com/auth…/…/14409573.Pamela_Allegretto – While you’re there, you may like to read my author Q&A. If the spirit moves you, please feel free to add a question.

Nazi-occupied Rome sets the stage for Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, where the lives of two women collide in an arena of deception, greed, and sacrifice. Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is a story of betrayal, dignity, and purpose that highlights the brutality toward Italian citizens, under both Mussolini’s Fascist regime and the Nazi occupation, and illustrates the tenacity of the human spirit.

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at: AMAZON:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

BARNES & NOBLE:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs…/1122645088…

BOOKLOCKER:
http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:
https://itunes.apple.com/…/bridge-of-sighs-and…/id1041486835

KOBO:

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

https://store.kobobooks.com/…/eb…/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

Amazon buy link
amzn.com/B015JRFQE8

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