Writing Tips

Almost anyone can write: only writers know how to rewrite. It is this ability alone that turns the amateur into the professional. William C. Knott, Freedom With Writing

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Right brain or left brain

cj Sez: As the year's end races closer and closer, I find that keeping on track with meeting my appointments is getting harder and harder. I could alibi that I've bitten off more than I can chew in terms of volunteering in the midst of necessary stuff, but that'd be an untruth. The truth is, I need to pay better attention and keep a better appointment calendar, as in just one. Right now, I have at least two and occasionally three.

I'll note an appointment (or paperclip a card) on the calendar hanging on the kitchen door and then forget to write it in my planner . . . or vice versa. That wouldn't be much of a problem if I would just check both places every morning . . . which, of course, I don't. The third "occasional calendar" I mentioned is simply the collection of all those little scraps of paper and back-of-business-card notes that I shove into my jeans pockets or bottom of my purse. Who I'm supposed to meet when and where just disappears.

Out of sight, out of mind is the term.

I'm more of a visual person (is that a right brain or a left brain thing?), and that shows up in my writing. Scenes are the least complicated for me to write. I enjoy creating the details that permit my readers to visualize where the characters are and what they are seeing. But I tend to keep my details sparse and incorporated into the flow of the scene's action. I don't tell the reader the office is small and crowded. I like to let my character do that by having her desk chair bump against the wall when she stands up and then walks the five or so steps it takes to open the door for a client to enter her office. This lets the reader imagine the scene as well.

Dealing with personal introspection/emotions/internal dialogue is more difficult for me since I "see" the action in my stories as movies in my head. Narrative without dialogue doesn't exist in movies unless there's a voice-over, so I tend to use very little. I've been told and I do understand I need more narrative in my novels, so I'm working on expanding my use of internal dialogue. I'm sure it'll be sparse, but I'm also sure it will bring more depth and realism to my characters.

Okay, I've confessed. Your turn. What is your writing strength or weakness?

That's all for now. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I'll try to do the same.

cj . . . sending ghostly, ghastly Halloween vibes your way.

PS: Halloween craft ideas from Facebook

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Deadly Star in new sales promo

cj Sez: First . . . I want to pass along the good news that publisher Crimson Romance has included my DEADLY STAR in their "Running to Love" bundle of novels, tentatively slated for release on October 27. That's TEN romantic suspense stories for 99 cents! Means I might earn about a penny in royalties, but look at all the people who (hopefully) get enticed to read my novel. %>)

Next . . . It's official. I either have to get the lawn tractor fixed or hire a herd of goats. My two-acre yard is almost three weeks behind in needing mowing, and the recalcitrant lawn tractor refuses to cooperate by allowing itself to be repaired. We're now on option three of electrical parts. If this fix doesn't work, I'll have to give in and take the thing to an expert: A Professional Mechanic.

Kind of reminds me of a work-in-progress. I take the manuscript as far as I can take it (critique group, several edit cycles, a manuscript exchange among two or three out-of-state authors that write in my genre, beta readers), and then, to really get it ready to publish, I have to take it to an expert: An Editor. That's because I'm sure to have missed something in the plot or character development that makes the story work. Something like what's obviously wrong with the lawn tractor (i.e., the nut behind the wheel is loose).

Getting an editor is a "given" for any author. Typing "The End" is the beginning of another phase of getting published. Whether you're submitting queries or undertaking the task of self-publishing, having your manuscript professionally edited is an essential part of the process. Editor-proof your novel . . . Do not skip that step.

By the way, the "Running to Love" bundle is being made available on all of the publisher's sites, including Amazon.com and B&N.com. After you've had a chance to read the stories, please let the authors know what you think by taking a few moments to give them a review. We appreciate your feedback.

That's all for today. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I'll try to do the same.