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Category Archives: General Discussion

Synchronicity…

Yesterday I pondered a quote in the “real world” on Show vs Tell, and this morning, reading my feeds over coffee, I find this:

IHearISeeIDo

How many times do you find that ideas proliferate like wild fire, something catches your eye (or ear or fancy) and then you find you are experiencing a part of a tsunami that affects so many other minds and thoughts and lives?

Are we reacting — but not conscious of – to that which is already present all around us?

Are we feeling the “force” before it manifests fully?

Or is it simply a sensitivity to noticing what is always there, akin to being pregnant and noticing how many other pregnant women are around that you previously ignored.

Humbling and exhilarating at the same time!

 

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Posted by on January 16, 2016 in General Discussion

 

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I’m B-a-a-c-c-k-k

It’s been a long, long, long time since I have added to this blog.

Back on track with writing “The Whitehaired Shooter.”  I’ve got a little over 10,000 words jotted down now this first week, and believe it’s due to taking the time off to study the craft and art of fiction, and working on my “sample novel.”

I’m finding that time was well spent in developing my characters, looking at plot structure, and working up an outline.  I’m having so much fun, it hardly seems like “work.”  ‘Course I understand once serious revision starts, I’ll be singing a different tune.

To my friends here in blog-dom, I can’t make any promises about frequency of posts, but I’ll be popping in much more regularly from now on.

Cheers!

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2016 in General Discussion

 

Do You Really Know How To “Show, Don’t Tell”?

Confused about “show don’t tell” when you write? This blog post by Sue Coletta , courtesy of Ryan Lantz’s blog, will assist! Certainly helped me.

A Writer's Path

Idea

Yesterday marked my deadline for completing the pre-edits for Marred. “Pre-edits” seems like it would be an easy task. It wasn’t. Once the track edits begin in two weeks, I’m not allowed to change anything other than what the editor points out. So I wanted to go through the manuscript…one…more…time…and improve it to the best of my ability.

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Posted by on October 1, 2015 in General Discussion

 

Conquer the blank page – and a way to beat writer’s block

Taking writing tips from fashion design and furniture making, learning to let go and write #amwriting

Nail Your Novel

When you sit at the keyboard (or seize your writing irons), how certain are you about what you’re going to write?
I’m a big fan of plans, but sometimes they’re frustrating. We know the next point in the story but can’t get the characters there. We need to set up a development and it won’t work. Or we need something, anything to darn well happen.

This week I heard the broadcast journalist Libby Purves (@Lib_Thinks) ask two creatives about their processes, and the results were rather interesting (listen to it here) . They weren’t writers, but what they described was exceedingly familiar.

Katherine Hooker Nail Your Novel

The moment when you get the pencil out

Fashion designer Katherine Hooker (left) @KatherineHooker and furniture maker Peter Korn (below) (who has written this book about creativity) were asked about the moment ‘when you first get the pencil out and think now I’m going…

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Posted by on May 31, 2015 in General Discussion

 

How to Fix Your Story Without Going Back to the Drawing Board

Here’s a reblog from Drew Chial about untangling and bookmarking your first draft without losing momentum. Great tips.

Drew Chial

1. TitleThe Case Against Editing as You Go

When I first started writing I scrutinized every paragraph the moment after typing. I counted the syllables so I could adjust for rhythm and flow. I checked my metaphors to see if they mixed wrong, I ran every verb through the thesaurus, and I dialed all my hyperboles back.

By the end of the day my word count hovered around the same number I’d started at. Sometimes it was in the negative. My effort to fine tune the perfect page kept me from finishing my stories.

Writing is hard. I was making it harder than it needed to be, writing the way I’d seen authors work on TV. They’d type THE END, pull the last page out of their typewriter, set it on top of the stack of pages, pat it, and hand the completed work to their publisher. Their publisher called them…

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Storytelling Basics

It’s been a long time since I’ve made a blog entry. It’s not because I’ve lost interest or just got lazy, it’s because I’ve been involved in an intensive learning and writing cycle. I couldn’t fit one more thing in. Until now.

Three months ago,  I had written twenty thousand-plus words, and found myself straying mostly into dead end chapters.  This happened even though I knew what I wanted to accomplish and thought I had built a pretty thorough outline. I even had three distinct “acts,” and had worked diligently to develop believable, likable – even lovable – characters.  And yet I floundered.

My precious book had become “confusing, ambling, and not at all compelling.” It was flat and non- engaging. Even knowing that first drafts suck didn’t help. I had fallen down the rabbit hole.

Determined to get to the bottom of my writing problems, I used problem solving skills honed over many years. Applying critical thinking basics, I searched for what I was missing.  With that I realized how poor my storytelling skills are. I tend to ramble and digress, and even telling jokes, never get the punch lines right.

So began my quest for basic material on storytelling. I didn’t find much in the fiction writing category, so I cast my net further out. When I saw this one, I was  hooked.

HollywoodStorytelling

I love this book! I’d recommend it if anyone needs help with basic storytelling skills.

The authors have compiled material they use in workshops given mostly to scientists, bureaucrats and business people. It is a basic, practical guide for communicating ideas through story. The three person team consists of scientist-turned screen writer Randy Olson, actress-screen writer Dorie Barton, and improv comedian Brian Palermo.

It focuses on the elements and structure of story, how to connect and make your audience care about and become engaged in your story. And it is fascinating reading. The information and tools are practical and instantly usable. This was my Rosetta stone, the missing link in my understanding of fiction writing .

I scrapped my first effort, all nine chapters.  And it hurt less than I thought it would.

Armed with an understanding of what makes a story, I put more work into building the main ideas I wanted to get across in each chapter, before I started any writing. I used the same basic ideas, but reorganized them into a story. The first draft is now approaching thirty-five thousand words, and my writing is now more specific.

It’s still a suck-y first draft, but I am confident I can polish it into something worthwhile, and I am no longer lost. My story is unfolding, and daily writing has become a joy instead of a scary burden.

During my blog absence, I have read another half dozen writing books, and three novels. With a basic plan and structure, I’m able to jump back into any part of my story and make adjustments as I continue learning about story structure, character development, dialogue, pinch points, and more — all without having everything come crumbling down. That shows me the foundational work I did was worth the effort and time invested.

I’ll be sharing some lessons I’ve learned from my recent studies, and here is the first post-break lesson learned:

10. Make sure you’re telling a story, not just knitting words and scenes together.  Storytelling is what makes a connection with your readers. Imagination, a clever turn of phrase and thought provoking ideas can make for interesting prose, but don’t skip over checking to see if you have actually told a story. Doing this will help, particularly if critiques have mentioned (in similar remarks) your work is “confusing, ambling, and not at all compelling.”

To see all the lessons to date, click here:   Go to Lessons I’m Learning….

 

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Who’s To Blame For The Accidental Gun Death Of An Idaho Mom

Who’s To Blame For The Accidental Gun Death Of An Idaho Mom

The tragedy in Idaho could have happened anywhere, and this post brings up some good points for anyone who carries or knows someone who carries a gun for self and family defense.
Straight talk with good points to consider, no matter which side of the discussion you find yourself on.

Limatunes' Range Diaries

Authorities: 2-year-old boy accidentally shoots and kills his mother inside Idaho Wal-Mart | Fox News.

The above story has been shared with me no less than six times over the past twenty-four hours. I’m sure in the next twenty-four I’ll get another ten links, messages, tagged in a few more Facebook comments or asked, “Did you hear about the woman who’s son shot her in Wal-Mart?”

While I initially balked at the assault to my inbox I suppose I understand it.

I’m twenty-nine years old. The same age as the mother. I have three children. One of them just days past her third birthday. And I carry a gun.

I’ve carried a gun longer than I’ve been a mother. In fact, day in and day out since the days my three little ones were born my children have spent more time in the presence of a gun than they…

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Posted by on January 1, 2015 in General Discussion