Inky: Last weekend it was a girl’s day with the wisteria. Today I partied down with Jasmine, Azalea, and Rose. Daff couldn’t stay and Hydrangea was late arriving with the Shrimp tree but fun was had by all. It was a wild, hot, sweat filled time….
..there was this one dude though, pineapple shaped, that had a weird aroma kept drawing the flies. Don’t know who invited him so I booted him to the door!
One cold shower, and a glass of wine later a whippoorwill is singing tenor, while an owl serves the bass, and my bed is crooning my name.
Tomorrow is a day off for me. Do something fun. I’m going to. See you Monday.
I started hitting best-seller lists as soon as I stopped using outlines. I started with nothing more than a couple of characters I thought I’d like and with a premise. Nearly every new writer I know uses detailed outlines, and so did I for a long time. But when I stopped relying on them, my work became less stiff, more organic, less predictable. BUT, nearly every beginning writer I’ve known and some excellent veterans as well, such as Jeffery Deaver, create chapter-by-chapter outlines of considerable length before starting to write the novel. The point of this tip is simply that if you feel constrained by an outline, it isn’t the only way to work.
Writing Tip: Dean Koontz
Image: Ron Edmondson
All things are possible until they are proved impossible and even the impossible may only be so, as of now.
Observation: Pearl S. Buck
Image: found at flickr
Doing? challenging the impossible to drop the ‘im’. Windows are all open cause the a/c went out today and they can’t get by till tomorrow, my wine glass is empty; supply emergency requiring getting dressed and heading to the not so near wine store, and the mother of all plot snarls came to visit and tangled up my computer screen.
Now I know in the universal scheme of things, that <waves above> is not a huge thing. Somewhere a planet is fighting off the Gorbecks that want the Stramenium that is the basis of the very planet they reside on. A huge plant busting asteroid is streaking toward a tiny insignificant plant. The only one in the known universe that holds the one element that would be the answer to Earth’s pollution, and energy problems, and yes here on the home front, people are being people. But.
Okay… So maybe it’s still not that warm, and I do have my handy dandy plot unsnarler here somewhere, and yes it’s not that far to the wine store still….
It’s a girl moment. I’m going to scream now….
7 Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly. Once you start spelling words in dialogue phonetically and loading the page with apostrophes, you won’t be able to stop. Notice the way Annie Proulx captures the flavour of Wyoming voices in her book of short stories Close Range.
8 Avoid detailed descriptions of characters, which Steinbeck covered. In Ernest Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”, what do the “American and the girl with him” look like? “She had taken off her hat and put it on the table.” That’s the only reference to a physical description in the story.
9 Don’t go into great detail describing places and things, unless you’re Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language. You don’t want descriptions that bring the action, the flow of the story, to a standstill.
10 Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them.
Writing Tips: Elmore Leonard’s, 10 Rules of Writing
There was an ocean above us, held in by a thin sac that might rupture and let down a flood at any second.
Inky: like today rainy, windy, more rain and dark dismal skies. I loved it. At the 5 o’clock whistle I scampered out minus the raincoat, minus the umbrella and just held my face up to the sky like a parched blossom recognizing it saviour….
Quote: Different Season, Stephen King
Image: found at flickr
Doing? drying my hair and nursing a hot toddy..
Inky: My wisteria and I have a girl’s day planned for this weekend. She’s been looking a little down, so it’s a make over we’ll be having.
I love gardening, but it’s sad that I’ve neglected my flowers this year.
Nothing for it but to spend the weekend home, getting them in order for the bees, and hummingbirds.
Have a great weekend, all. Head outside in the sun!
Photo: found at Pinterest
3 Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue. The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But “said” is far less intrusive than “grumbled”, “gasped”, “cautioned”, “lied”. I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with “she asseverated” and had to stop reading and go to the dictionary.
4 Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said” … he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange. I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances “full of rape and adverbs”.
5 Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have the knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful.
Writing tips: Elmore Leonard’s, 10 Rules of Writing
Image: digital library unt edu
Inky: So the yard sale was a huge success except it rained afterwards, and I caught a cold while cleaning up, along with the allergy. Here I am, 72 hours later, one huge doctor’s bill, a bottle of antibiotics for the graduation of a cold into bronchitis, and a cough that sounds like it has been dredged from the depths of hell itself. Murphy’s Law, or rather Inky’s Fable if I just could figure out the moral….
Inky: So I’ve been planning this time off of-a-sort for months. Five days, the plan is to have a huge Saturday yard sale of some really nice stuff. A hoarder’s treasure dream. I have everything clean, neat, and ready, everything has been planned right down to the last detail.
With the exception of the annual rain of pollen.
Last two days everything has been covered in yellowish green dust, and my nose has taken off on a marathon of sneezes that could bless the entire state of Texas. It’s that Murphy’s law thing isn’t it?
Anyway, the show must go on and the stopping of a yard sale right before the final act would be like coitus inter…. well you get my drift. So I’ve stuffed my money apron full of kleenex, claritin, a flask of bourbon and eye drops. Last time I took on this type of challenge I wound up with walking pneumonia.
Yeah. Well. Here we go….
I’ll be back Monday. Hopefully…
She blames herself. I hurt from knowing that I hurt her. Even when we know all of these other people are to blame. My friends. The media. Not her. Not me.
I can’t help myself. I continue the cycle and I say, “I don’t want to hurt you.”
Lily is quiet for a moment before she says, “I’m tougher than you think. You just need to believe in me. You know, like a fairy.”
I do believe in fairies. I do. I do. The jubilant chorus from Peter Pan fills my ears.
I look up at her, tears in both our eyes. Is that how we end this? I trust that I can share my grief with her and that she won’t crumble beneath the pain?
She nods to me like go on. I can handle it.
Excerpt: Long Way Down, Becca & Kristia Ritchie
Image: Huffington Post
Doing? Fighting a cold, battling a fever, and feeling absolutely miserable. You?