egg huntWriters are always looking for fodder to enhance their next story. Holidays with family or friends is a gold mine for these morsels. I’m not suggesting you add crazy uncle Frank as a character. Keep an eye out for little things like who talks the most, are they loud and want everyone to hear their stories? What are the roles everyone plays in the holiday? Are they the picture-taker of the family, the one that brings more dishes than they signed up for, the one that is always late, or the one that always brings an extra person?

Think in terms of your senses. Look around the room and make mental notes of what you see. What are the conversation circles like? Beyond the typical gathering around whatever sports event aligns with the holiday, how are others conversing? How do the parents converse with their children? Is there one child not joining in with the other kids.

Are you overwhelmed by the smell of warm home cooking when you walk in? What isn’t being said? Is it one of those times in the family when there is an issue that everyone has chosen to ignore because it’s a holiday? How is everyone dressed? Is there a faction of the family that shows up dressed to the nines and another who looks like they just rolled out of bed?

This weekend is Easter; a sacred holiday. But beyond your spiritual experience, when it comes to families getting together, whether it’s the obligation, or because they want to, over-eating, lots of candy, and hunting for eggs that may have cash, things with the family can get squirrelly. Consider it a gift for your writing and use it!

#Easter #egghunt #amwriting

Sharing from Shirley Crowder’s blog, Inspired Prompt, Pros and Cons of Self-Editing.

It’s good for writers to do self-editing. By all means use the spell, grammar, and context tools you have to go through the manuscript. But when you feel like it’s done, as clean as you can make it, call on a professional. They are going to come to your work with a fresh perspective, completely subjective.

When I chose an editor, in addition to their reputation, I chose one who is in my reader demographic. While my story will be new to her, she is my potential audience, making her comments about the story more valuable to the project.

Just a few thoughts. Let me know your thoughts on self-editing.

Two little words that pack a powerful punch. The end. It is complete. The story and the characters have come full circle. Or at least the author has worked very hard to make that happen. The author toils and sweats over when these last two words need to be written. Tens of thousands of words later, has enough been written for the reader to fall in love with the characters? Has the reader found some relatability to the plot? Will the reader miss the characters as much as the author who birthed them?

Recently, I wrote those two little words. They came after three complete rewrites of the entire book, printing the manuscript and reading each page, each line looking for errors or holes. The moment I turned the last page and realized it was as clean as I could make it. The story was complete; the protagonist had a resolution, it felt great to type THE END. I completed what I set out to do.

The next day I began to outline the next book in the series. Such is the writer’s life.

The end — for now.

 

Not mean criticism, professional, critique to make us better writers.  We must listen to those who have gone before us, who are a few steps (or dozens) ahead of us. Jerry Jenkins is just such a writer.

Here he shares his most popular sites for writing. Enjoy — https://www.jerryjenkins.com/mostpopularposts/

 

What if something had happened when you were in high school and you couldn’t have completed it? A family tragedy, a major life mistake, lack of adult encouragement. Even the most entry level jobs require a high school diploma or a GED. Today we celebrate with those who for whatever reason didn’t finish high school in the most traditional way. They completed their GED. Today we say Hats off to you! Congratulations for sticking with it. Way to go, setting your goal and accomplishing it. What’s next? Trade school, a certification program or college? You have now overcome some obstacle and you are ready for the next thing to better your life.

You may not know us, but there are thousands of us cheering you on.

Please share this post or your own with #GEDGradDay included.

Thanks,

Karen

 

As we have discussed before, I’m a writer who reads. I don’t understand writers who don’t. There is much to be learned about our craft from reading. This year, I have ventured out of my standard and safe fiction genre to read some non-fiction, business and mystery. I’ve read critically acclaimed novels and some very light and fluffy stories.

Here’s what I’ve learned — award-winning does not mean it’s a good story, it just means someone with credentials decided it was well written. Think about it, there’s a difference. I won’t mention titles, because I realize this is my opinion. You may have loved the book.

I’ve also learned that I do not enjoy novels written in first person. Ugh, they are tiresome to read. First person does not let the reader choose which character he or she will most relate to. It’s difficult to relate to other characters because you are never allowed inside their head. Thoughts or feelings are revealed from the first person’s reaction or observations.

The most recent book I read changed point of view every other chapter from first person to third person. It was ok, but many times the author retold the previous scene from first person. And I was a little disappointed each time I turned to the next chapter that was first person. The story was good. But unlike other books I’ve read, I didn’t miss the characters the day after I finished.

Those are a few thoughts on first person point of view. What are yours?

Karen

#writing, #kentuckywriter, #amwriting

 

I shared with you that I now need to go back through my manuscript and add better descriptors for my characters. I know what they look like, but you, the reader, won’t at this point. Every writer has their own tips and tricks to creating list-1character. While it’s impossible to not pull some attributes from real people, you don’t want to fully model characters after a single person.

My characters have been given some characteristics of people I’ve encountered. But no one character is exactly like a real person I know. That being said, I need to give them hair, skin tone, body structure. In order to write descriptions, I needed something to look at. I’m a very visual person. So I spent some time with Google searching for images of people who looked like what I see in my head for Maggie, Dan and the gang. I tried to choose generic images that had no names attached to them. So if you know any of these folks don’t tell me. These images will ONLY be used for me during the writing process, they will not appear anywhere in my book.list2

When I told my son about the exercise, he looked at the pages on the wall and then asked “what did you Google to find these people?” With that, I will caution you if you try this to be both as general and specific as you can or you may wake up your internet blocker. Adding the word “head shot” in your search helps.

What are your tips to describing the features of your characters?