A Light Bulb Moment

Earlier, a post from a Facebook friend gave me one of those “light bulb moments”.

I’ve never wanted to blog about the actual art of writing-one, because there are already so many other people doing it, two, because I assumed everyone already knows everything, and three, I’m not sure if anyone would want to hear what I have to say on the topic.

Ah, what ever gave me that idea?

I’m still learning. Things change almost daily. We pick up tid-bits on how to do things and how to approve our writing all the time, and, we can also forget things (or get slack).

One of my favorite things about being an author is the fact that most you meet are willing to help. Everyone wants to see everyone else succeed (at least, most of the professional authors I’ve met, anyway).

I have spent years, years learning, and most, if not all, I’ve learned from others. I have read articles, books, taken courses, excelled in college English classes…but most of what I’ve learned I have done so by learning from others who took the time to put the information out there for those of us who were just learning, willing to go the extra mile, look things up and post it so we could all learn.

So, with that in mind, I thought I’d pass along some bits of info.

If you have a question on a particular thing, ask. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll try to find the answer. But, I’ve learned a lot over the past twenty or so years. Surely, I’ve learned something that could help. 😉

Tibit for today: Use adverbs sparingly, especially the -ly adverbs.

I know! I know! How are you to do that? How on earth am I supposed to let the reader know that Cassie is upset if I tell them she stomped heavily across the floor?

Well, I have to say this is a lame example, but go with me here.

You can do it with a little tweeting of the words and showing her doing it.

No, it isn’t always easy. And, yes, I have been known to “cheat” and use them when my mind refused to give me a description of the adverb. But, whenever possible, we are supposed to show that Cassie is upset in other ways.

Instead of writing: Cassie stomped heavily across the floor to the fireplace, picked up the candlestick and threw it forcefully towards Max, we say …

Well, stomped tells us that she is upset by itself, so here we could just leave out the “heavily”. It’s redundant, anyway, and not to be used (that’s another lesson). And, if she “slung” the candlestick  towards Max, then she’s apparently ticked. Ask Max. 😉

For beginners:

The first thing you need to do is to decide what you want to write. Is it Fiction or Non-fiction? Memoirs or articles? Perhaps, it is Sci-Fi, Horror, Women’s Fiction, Romance? What is it that is calling to you? Write what is of interest to you, not what someone suggests or what is trending. Stay true to yourself and your stories.

Worry about the publishing, etc. later. Let’s just get you writing for now.

Next, network with those of us who write and publish in that genre. I can’t tell you crap about writing Sci-Fi, unless the “rules” apply to all genres (and, some will).

Learn about POV (point-of-view) and which is best for what you want to write.

Learn how to stay in a character’s POV and not “head-hop.”

Learn how to “show and not tell.”

Here’s one that so many don’t thing about: learn your grammar! This is a “biggy”! Learn the correct tenses, learn punctuation, correct sentence structure, etc. I learned things had changed since I first learned about the dreaded comma. I think it’s to the point that no one knows any longer what the correct usage is.

No, it isn’t as easy as putting words onto paper or a screen. There is much more to the process. Some folks will say, no, there isn’t. But, don’t be fooled. If you want to make a career out of writing, if you want to be published and read, then learn all you can about the craft. And, continue to learn. As in anything worth doing, it pays to read and soak up all the knowledge that you can.

Until next time,

~D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Other Love….

I love writing. I do.

Yet, there are other things I enjoy. Graphic Design is one of them.

Recently, I created a website for a friend. I designed the image, the banner and the website. I used techniques I hadn’t before, realizing there was a lot easier way to do things than the way I’d been doing them. What can I say? I’ve always seemed to be one who did things the hard way. But, that is part of the learning process, and it was a lot of fun.

Here it is.

http://www.pennyburwellewing.com

pennys-website

If you enjoy reading paranormal mystery/women’s fiction, then I suggest you give Penny’s book a read. There is a refreshing uniqueness to this series that you will love. It’s clean, although there is romance and murder, and there is some comedy thrown in. Jolene (the main character) is so real that I feel as though I know her. And, she is a hoot!

 

A Sad Day in South Georgia

Yesterday morning, Sunday January 22nd, 2017, we got a tornado warning on our phones. The weather had awakened all of us just minutes prior, although we weren’t aware that it had.

We were sitting under the carport, watching the weather. It got dark, and the tops of the trees started to twist. Then, in an instant, the lights went off as far as we could see, and the wind stopped blowing. Needless to say, we ran inside.

When we went back out, sirens could be heard coming from all directions. It was obvious something bad had happened. It wasn’t long before we learned that Sunshine Acres had been hit.

Not only was the trailer park destroyed, but homes, barns, more trailers. It’s a massive mess in several areas.

Today, the outpouring of help has been amazing. There was so much traffic that the police was directing it. We were told they had so many donations that they couldn’t take more today. There was no more room.

It’s heartwarming to see that people still come together, regardless of race, social status, education–whatever. It does not matter.

This is the South. We take care of one another.

~D

Tips on Book Covers for Self-Published Authors-by Bryn Donovan

One of the things I loved about self-publishing after being traditionally published was the fact that I had control over my own book cover design. I think a lot of indie authors enjoy that! Although I have strong opinions about covers, I’m not a designer. I hired a professional to design my self-published book cover, and I’ll…

via Self-Publishing: Book Cover Design Mistakes to Watch Out For — Bryn Donovan

Writing Isn’t Easy

Years ago, when I was much younger and naive–or perhaps, stupid–I thought all one had to do was write a story and try to have it published.

Nope. No way. Ain’t happenin’.

Once I began to study the craft, and especially after the internet evolved, I realized there was much more to this than writing.

I loved the stories that played in my head and the characters in those stories. But, writing the stories so that a reader could see, taste, feel, everything the way I saw it, involved a lot more than I realized. I have to show and not tell, the grammar has to be correct, sentence structure has to be considered. The pace has to be right, and most of all, I have to grab that reader’s attention as soon as she/he starts reading if I’m going to keep her/him reading.

Then, once that manuscript is as close to perfect as I can get it (or get to a point I just have to let it go) comes the task of having it published. Another joy.

Oh, and not let us forget promotion. Oh, no. That is a huge part of this. See, you can write the greatest book possible, but if people don’t know about it, you’re screwed. It isn’t going to get read.

So, when you read a book, try to remember that the author went through a lot of work to get that book published, and if you like the book, give that author a good review and let others know about the book.

~D

 

 

Happy New Year!

Wow. It actually just set in that tonight is New Years Eve. Where have I been?

It’s taking me a while to regroup and get up and going again. Although I bought a new computer approximately a month ago, with Christmas and other things going on, I have yet to plan, set goals and make schedules.

Of course, there always seems to be something to come along and destroy those schedules. Haha. Never fails. But, at least by having them it helps to get back on track.

Well, most of the time.

What are your goals for the new year?

It’s time for me to sit down and figure out mine!