Monthly Archives: February 2014

Four Things Friday – by Debbie Nance

·  I read a great blog about editing by Lauren Ritz on Writing Snippets. One idea she suggested was to change your manuscript’s font before a read- through. The unfamiliar typestyle helps you see the words in a new way. My writing partner, Jane Lamb, and I have finished another draft of Timeweavers (yay!) and we are doing some final revisions to prepare it for submission.  I tried Lauren’s idea and it works! Try it.

·  Carol Williams has said multiple times that we need to work at writing as if we were getting paid and soon we will be getting paid. She is right! I’m now doing some editing and writing-for-hire work for a project with Jenny Phillips.  As a bonus, I’m learning a ton!

·  Great quote for the day:  “Words are never too big for children as long as they are the right words.” -Jane Yolen

·  It is the last day of February, and, even though it isn’t a leap year, for fun everyone should watch Pirates of Penzance. Here’s a link to thePirate King song. You have to love Kevin Kline in this flick and the dancing is amazing!

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Three Things Thursday

#1 Cheryl Van Eck

The other day I read something so overwritten I thought I would vomit. I hate overwriting, also known as “purple” prose. It’s a disease that plagues almost every new writer. 

Basically, overwriting is when you allow words to get in the way of your story. 

There’s a mistaken assumption that flowery, pretty words make a great writer. Um, no.  Anyone can string pretty words together. A great writer is one who is so clear and concise that you forget you’re reading. They paint a picture so vivid that you see the scenes unfolding before you like a movie. 

Writing should always sound effortless.  This doesn’t mean it is easy … as any teenage girl preparing for a date will tell you, looking effortless takes a considerable amount of, well, effort. You have to go sentence by sentence and word by word to get it just right. But when you do, the results are incredible.

Writing prompt: Write the most purple paragraph you can. That’s right, get it all out of your system in one glorious, masterful, soul-wrenching, heart-rending, sunrise over the pale haze of a Tuscan villa-esque…

Sorry, I fell asleep while writing that. What was I saying?

#2 Brenda Bensch

We writers all know the old saw, “Write what you know.” Furthermore, we “know” how difficult it is to write, to find an agent, land a publisher, publish our own writings with all the work of being the author, editor, book designer, artist, and so much more.

So, what if you wrote a book about writing a book?  What if your MC found one of the above (or other) considerations too overwhelming? Which would it be? What would s/he do about it? How would your MC win out in the end? Or would s/he give up? If so, what would that do to his/her psyche?
#3 Ann Dee Ellis–Romance Novel Prompt
What do they have to do together that they weren’t expecting?
What do they realize about each other as the climax of the other plot comes together?
#4 True Love
This is in English. But there are subtitles for another language (sorry, I couldn’t find the one without the subtitles). Worth watching. A true love story.

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Kyra Leigh, Queen Bee AND the Next Writing Prompt

Not having a job has ruined my brain
I keep forgetting it’s Wednesday.
I keep forgetting most days.
Friday morning I get to get my wisdom teeth out.
Will I lose some wisdom?
Will I continue being able to write?
Lately I haven’t been writing the way I should. But I have been reading a few adult novels. Typically I’m into YA. . . Just because that’s what I write, and all my favorite authors write, but idk. It’s good to broaden my options.
Plus a lot of these books are classics. Like:
The Bell Jar 
In Cold Blood 
American Psycho 
Reading is wonderful. Writing is wonderful, too.
And the weather outside is amazing!!!!


Romance Novel Writing Prompt

Have you checked out the writing prompts on Ann Dee’s post yesterday?

Here’s another from her:

How is the other plot, the non-romance part, coming along? Remember both characters need to be involved, need some stake in this end-goal.


Place? Olive Garden

When? Not sure yet. The end of this month, the beginning of March. We’ll let you know soon.

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POV, Long long paragraphs, and stories about knitting

A few things:

  1. I love Holly Goldberg Sloan’s books. She does multiple points of view and she does it well. Usually when there are too many POV’s it can get messy and frustrating. Not so with Sloan. Try it out if you are considering taking on this type of writing style.  WRITING EXERCISE: Write a few scenes of your book in different points of view (at least three. Adults are fair game). RULES: They must be third person limited. 
  2. I have been reading The Elegance of a Hedgehog. Has anyone read it? This is an adult book (as in not for kids or teens–Carol). My neighbor told me I must must must read it right away and she assured me I wouldn’t be able to put it down. She gave it to me about a year ago and i confess, I did put it down. Many times. It’s the type of book that takes patience. And a lot of thinking. I have not been very patient or thinking this past year. But now I’m trying and I am starting to really like it. Not love it yet, we’ll see. It’s made me think about story-telling and what audience will and will not allow. Can you stop and ruminate for paragraphs and paragraphs? No. Yes. Depends. The author in this book demands her readers slow down. She demands they stop and then stop and then stop again. She demands full full full attention. And people are giving her that. Why? How? WRITING EXERCISE: Let one of your characters ruminate. What do they think about? Push it. 
  3. And finally, my seven year old is doing a story-telling festival in the next few weeks. He had to pick a book. He picked the Teeny Tiny Teacher. I wanted him to pick Extra Yarn. I love Extra Yarn. Mostly because of trucks covered in sweaters. I was thinking how we should do a storytelling festival. WRITING EXERCISE: Rewrite your novel into a tellable story. This means short, exciting, mounting tension and all. Try a few different versions. THEN tell it to some friends. Don’t say it’s your novel. Just say, have you heard? And then blah blah blah. 

Hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday. 


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