Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Critique

Had a great session with my fellow writers at our latest Skyline meeting. Excellent group. Attentive, kind-yet-concrete suggestions, talented.

All of their critiques of my two submitted chapters were spot on. One suggested I start my tale in a different spot. This was not the first such suggestion for a change of first chapter; however, this one seems to work, doesn't hinder the flow, and moves the story in a more fast-paced way.

The difficulty lies in the fact that chapter two has a little sparring match between two women that I hoped would solidify the fact that my heroine is an action figure. If I delete the sparring match, I will lose that immediate sense of warrior-woman. The problem is, I very much like the book starting with chapter 3. Ack! I know it can be done. Means more rewrites, but isn't that the secret life of a writer - rewrites. :)

I will also lose my prologue battle. I do so love writing battles, but I know I can incorporate parts of it in another chapter. Such dilemmas are great, though, because it means I have written something.

Another problem area was the title for the king. I use Arild King as one of my ways of differentiating the different cultures of my three main allies. I fear it was a 'cute' and easy solution. Best it was brought to my attention. I have shifted it back to the more conventional King Arild. I'll figure out other ways to show the cultural differences. The use of 'cute' contrivances doesn't make for great writing.

Ah! Life is good and writing is part of that good life.

Blessings!
Sharron

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Blackboard Sessions

Had our first blackboard session at Writers' INK Saturday. Turned out very good. Our intrepid leader, Cheryl, found a couple good quotes and we focused on them. Road to hell is paved with good intentions and the road to hell is paved with adverbs.

Seems funny to still be talking about adverbs all these years. Stephen King wrote about them a long time ago, suggesting that we all take a serious look at the overabundance of said adverbs in our writing. Are the adverbs we're using advancing the story? Or are they a crutch to get over a difficult patch? As I sat and listened to this discussion, I laughed. We never used one adverb while we spent over an hour talking. I know they are used a lot as 'saidisms,' but you'd think we'd still use one now and again. Once I pointed that fact out to the other participants, we started using them. Life is interesting.

I have oft heard that writers are a lonely people. That we write in solitude. Etc. Etc. Etc. However, I find that I need the 'vibe' that I get when I chum around with writers. The others at our meeting felt the same. Yes, I have to write when I'm alone or at least have announced to the world that I am going to be writing, so please keep it down. But when all is said and done, how can we write about life if we don't live it, share it, love it.

If you noticed, I thoroughly enjoyed our meeting. There were no new members, but I felt a new commitment from those present. And I know the others had fun, too. Enjoyed the time together, leaving refreshed and inspired. Of course, I didn't go home and write, much as I wanted to. Too exhausted, but I did print out the submitted stories for next Saturday's Skyline meeting. Spending this week editing them.

I also worked on A's story. I love reading intelligent works. One's that touch my soul and make me think and laugh and cry. I suppose I love reading. Go figure.

Well, that's it for now. Looking forward to living. Blessings!


PS - Keep writing, don't worry about the adverbs, and do a 'find' and 'search' when you're ready to begin editing. If you search 'ly,' you'll be able to see if you are cluttering your work with useless words or using them judiciously. If you worry about them as you write, you'll just bog yourself down. No using in bogging down. Yuck!  xxxooo

Friday, July 28, 2017

Published !!!!

Small steps are better than none at all.

Sent an article into a local newspaper and it was published. My first since high school. I have ambivalent feelings about this. Trying to get one of my books published still stymies me. I am looking upon this small victory as a victory. As a pat on the back. As an 'I am a writer' kind of thing. If that makes any sense.

Been vacationing with family this summer with odd little side jaunts. One to Put In Bay, an island in Lake Erie. Fun and refreshing. My son from Utah and grandkids and my daughter-in-law, along with my 'Cleveland' family, rented a condo and spent the nights playing games. Haven't done that in a very long time. Sightseeing filled the days, along with swimming and lots of ice cream. Golf cart rides!

Going to Lake Hope in southern Ohio soon with a dear friend and my daughter, my granddaughter, my dog, and my granddaughter's friend. Lake Hope exudes peace and joy and lots of laughter. We spend the nights in front of a roaring fire, with the air conditioner turned up as cold as possible, and giggle and sing and play games.

School will be starting soon for my granddaughter. This will be our last hurrah of the season. Looking forward to it.

But then again, writing groups still visited. First Saturday of the month for Writers' INK (see link below) and second Saturday for Skyline. Both groups fun and unique.

Hope you are enjoying your summer.  Remember - life is good.

Blessings!




http://westlakebayvillageobserver.com/read/2017/07/18/writers-group-offers-support-connection

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Telling / Showing

Found a great article - which I've promptly lost, but now have found and inserted link at the bottom of today's post - about telling and showing. Needed to remind myself in order to fully explain the concepts to a client. I'd never seen it explained this way - and for some unfathomable reason it seems to have struck a chord with me.

'Using a spatial metaphor, the showing mode is also called a narrative with “small distance,” presumably because readers get the impression that they are somehow near the events of the story, while the telling mode correspondingly evokes the impression of a “large distance” between readers and the events.'

Showing - nearer to the story. I like that. Means, to me, that I'm up front and personal with what's happening, staring right in the face of the antagonist and protagonist, and hanging by my fingernails to the edge as I 'breathe' what's happening right before my eyes.

Telling - ok. It's an ok process. But I'm pretty far away from what I'm reading. I can see what's going on, the broader spectrum I suppose, and I can see the characters. But I'm a hands-in-the-face personality. I really like to see the sweat pouring from the heroine's brow as the villain, spittle splattering my face as he cackles his glee at undoing good.

Ah - seems too easy. But I like the visual. I'm a visual writer/teacher, too. I like to close my eyes and see what's happening. I don't rely on my writing imagination; I rely on my visual imagination.

Well, I must be running along. Going to play with a friend and his characters.

Blessings,
Sharron


www.lhn.uni-hamburg.de/article/telling-vs-showing