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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Things that inspire me to write

cj Sez: The following pieces of info make me really happy:

James Lee Burke was born in 1936. (I’m not that old, but it reassures me I don’t have to be a twenty- or thirty-something to succeed. Okay, okay, so I should have started earlier.)  In the back of Burke’s novel, Wayfaring Stranger, on the “About the Author” page, I found this comment: 

“His novel, The Lost Get-Back Boogie, was rejected 111 times over a period of nine years and, upon its publication by Louisiana State University Press, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.” 

And this from author Chris Bradford: “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” 

You get the idea. It’s my motto: Keep on Keeping on.

Sunset...Dauphin Island, AL
There many things that inspire me to keep writing: My family, my friends, writers conferences, memories of places I've seen,  
and the wonderful critique group to which I belong. Each member brings a special writing/reading strength to the process of critiquing, and I've benefited immensely from their contributions to my WIPs. Ergo, because I must submit at least a few pages for every meeting, I am inspired to write. (Disclaimer: We’ve been on a brief hiatus while Michelle Ladner practices being a new mother. I understand it’s difficult to think and type and tend to a newborn all at the same time. Can’t imagine why.) 

It can be hard to find a compatible group of writers knowledgeable in the genre in which you write, but I highly recommend trying. The input can be invaluable and the camaraderie priceless.

Need a reason to make your writing the best it can be? (This comes from a past issue of C. Hope Clark’s fantastically informative newsletter, FundsforWriters, http://www.fundsforwriters.com

“Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle. They read it to get to the end. If it’s a letdown, they won’t buy anymore. The first page sells that book. The last page sells your next book.”
                                          ~Mickey Spillane

Style question: I was once asked this question: “If you've published a novel (or, lucky you, more than one novel), could you tell me whether or not the internal dialogue is italicized?”

My answer: I’ve seen it in print both ways. When you self-publish, the choice is pretty much yours. However, the rule there is, be consistent throughout the book. When you have an editor and a publisher, the choice is not yours.  I had read in one how-to book that if you use "he/she thought," the rule was that you didn't italicize the actual thoughts. But when Crimson Romance published my novel, Deadly Star, their editor required italics on all internal thoughts, no matter what. My best guess answer is that “the rule” depends on who’s in charge of the final product.

How do you handle internal dialogue? If you’re self-published, which do you prefer? Ital or no Ital? 

Okay, you-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.

cj
cjpetterson@gmail.com
Choosing Carter  -- Kindle  /  Nook  /  Kobo   /  iTunes/iBook
Deadly Star --  Kindle  / Nook  / Kobo
Amazon Central Author Page:  http://amzn.to/1NIDKC0

The Dauphin Island shore photo is by Jeff D. Johnston. The other ’toons are from Facebook.

5 comments:

  1. What an inspiring post! I usually try to integrate internal dialogue into the narrative so that it doesn't need italics, but sometimes you just need a direct thought on a separate line for maximum impact. I use italics for those.

    ~Joyce Scarbrough

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  2. Thanks, Joyce. I also prefer to use as little internal dialogue as possible. I guess as long as I'm published by Crimson Romance, I'll have to continue to use them. (I am considering the self-published route next time.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love your inspiring first paragraph about James Lee Burke. Good information!

    Here's how I do internal dialogue. If it's direct, I italicize it. If I use "he thought" or "she thought" then I don't, and I don't quote those either. (I only quote out loud speech.) For the former, I either use a separate paragraph of put it into one. For the latter, I think it's better to use a separate paragraph. (Not sure I always do this, though.) I hope this muddled explanation helps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, Kaye, Blogger is just plain lazy. Today, May 22, I got the notice of your May 15 post.

      Despite that, thanks for stopping by, and I agree with the way you treat internal dialogue.

      Marilyn (aka cj)

      PS: James Lee Burke is one of my favorite authors.

      Delete
    2. You know, Kaye, Blogger is just plain lazy. Today, May 22, I got the notice of your May 15 post.

      Despite that, thanks for stopping by, and I agree with the way you treat internal dialogue.

      Marilyn (aka cj)

      PS: James Lee Burke is one of my favorite authors.

      Delete

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