Monday, August 29, 2011

Over Kill

Happy Monday!  Welcome to all my new followers (many from the Writer's Platform Building Campaign), and welcome back to all my regular followers.  I hope you all made it safely through the rain and wind from Irene.

Last night we were at loose ends and decided to watch FOOLPROOF.  (Those of you who like LEVERAGE will really enjoy this movie.)  It is about a group of friends who plan heists, plotting every detail, but never carry them out.  One day, their plans get stolen and used. They are contacted to create new plans for a new break-in in order to recover the stolen plans.

I really enjoyed the movie, but I noticed something I see much too often.  There were a few scenes where the camera pointed out something important to the viewer, then showed it again.  I understand they wanted to be certain the viewer understood the significance, but for me once was enough.  Twice was over kill.

Which brings me to writing.  I have been guilty of this in my writing, not trusting my reader to understand the first time I said it, so I add it in two or three more times.  I'll put it in exposition, then repeat it in dialogue (or vice versa).  In fact, just this morning I received back chapters from a CP and she marked three sections I had done this in.  (Thanks Tammy!!!  I promise I will fix that!)

How about you?  Do you trust your reader to get the subtle clues the first time, or do you hit them over the head with it?  And, as a reader/movie viewer, which do you prefer, those subtle "Oh, their going to that!" moments or the  "Alright, already,  I got it the first time you showed me fifteen minutes ago?" ones?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Music to Inspire

I like to listen to music when I write.  Ii isn't something I must do, often opting to listen to the noises of my family as I type away.

Normally I choose movie soundtracks, loving the building crescendos, the sweeping lines, letting them surround me as I craft my world.  Lately I've been considering listening to songs with vocals.  Why?  Well, one of my favorite bands for inspiration (Nightwish) only has one instrumental album so far.  But the other reason is I want to get into the right mood.  I want to feel the denial of love, the frustration when the one you love is with another, and how better to capture these feelings than with the right song?

So, fellow authors, do you listen to music as you write?  Why, and what do you listen to?  If you don't, why not?   Share in the comments below.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Writers' Platform-Building Campaign

Rachael Harrie is running her third Platform Building Campaign.  Info can be found here.   Sign-ups are open through August 31st.  What are you waiting for???   Looking forward to seeing you there!

You Know You're a Writer When. . .

This past weekend my family and I went on a day trip to Roseland Waterpark.  (Yes-- I did the 60' water slide that goes 30 MPH.  It was awesome!  The twisty one was not as fun for me, but I would do the white one again in a heartbeat!)

Before meandering our way through wine country (stopping to get a few bottles from some of our favorites), we went to breakfast at a local diner.  As we were leaving, I caught a glimpse of a sign that made me laugh.

It read "We are not responsible for lost articles."

Now, I know it isn't really that funny, but when I turned to my husband and our friend and said, "So, if you lose an a, an, or the, they aren't responsible," it took on a totally new meaning for me, and I thought it was funny.

What signs have you reinterpreted in a different way than they are meant?  Share in the comments.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Just a reminder that WriteOnCon started yesterday and continues through tomorrow.  You can check it out here!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Blueberries and History

This weekend I was supposed to go blueberry picking with my mom, but she wasn't feeling well, so she sent my dad with me.  We had a great time picking and chatting.  I updated him on my querying, and he updated me on the progress of the '57 Chevy he is restoring and the stories he is working on.

When I started talking to my folks about my writing, my dad told me he had a story idea he was working on.  I encouraged him to pursue it (as I would any writer) and he let me look at the first rough draft.  And it was rough, just like any writer's first draft.  There were no quotations for dialogue, no tags, no new paragraphs.  I was stunned-- my dad is very good at grammar and usage, so this surprised me.  He also fell into the early writer's telling me what happened instead of showing me.  I gave him some ideas of things to try, and he worked on it for a bit, but has let it go recently as he works on his car.

In the meantime, he started jotting down memories of things from his childhood.  He let me read through it one day, and I was amazed.  My dad has various stories he tells from growing up (the one that always comes to mind is Rabbit Berries, but that's a post for another day.), but here were things I had never known about, or heard about.  Like the ration coupons, and how farmers were given more of them for gas and would trade those coupons with others for things they needed.

I also learned about some of his antics during school.  See, my dad grew up during the Second World War with a German surname.  In school we learned about the internment camps for the Japanese, but I never heard about the treatment of Americans whose families were from Germany, until I read this.  My dad went through horrible bullying, and all because of his name.  He made it through, but it made an impression on him.

As we picked berries, I asked about his memoirs, and he said he hadn't really done anything with them, and asked me why I was asking about it.  I told him I really enjoyed reading them as it brought the past to life for me, giving me a connection I hadn't had before.  I also thought it was cool the things I learned about my dad that he's never really talked about much.

I hope that he really does keep jotting down things as he remembers them, giving at least the rest of my family a glimpse into the past.

What have you learned from your parents history?

Monday, August 8, 2011


I'm not sure if it was because of the number of casualties, or because I have family and friends in the military, or a combination of the two, but hearing of the deaths of 30 soldiers this weekend really struck me.

I offer my condolences to their families in this time of deep sorrow.  May you find comfort in the memories of your loved ones.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Saturday was my 20th High School Reunion.  I had a blast seeing all the people I haven't seen in so many years.  It was great to catch up and see what everyone is up to.  I am looking forward to staying in better contact, too!

Sunday we had our weekly writing chat.  It was really great.  I love when my CP's all find the same thing that I need to fix.  It really shows me where I went astray.  I also like listening to the brainstorming that comes when we talk about our comments on the chapters.  It is so interesting how one persons comments can lead to a totally cool idea for my WIP.

I am making good progress on The Lost Princess, even if there are some things I need to go back and tweak in the first three chapters.  I have worked my way up to chapter 18 on my second draft, and hope to have the entire draft finished before the end of August (within my goal timeline!).

In other news, congratulations to Graeme!  Yesterday, he announced on his blog that he has a contract with MuseItUp Publishing.  Way to go Graeme!!!!

So, how was your weekend?  What's new with you?  Share in the comments!