Two for the Show, Play'n in Write Field

The joys and travails of e-authors Sherry (Shara) Jones and Laura Hamby as they jump computer monitors first into the pool. Holding hands and plugging their noses, of course.

Friday, July 10, 2009


...Yep. At that stage, so I went to one of my Squidoo sites to see what I'd said about the process---curiosity and to see if I still agreed with myself. LOL!


1. I usually need a few days perspective on any WIP that needs revising, so I generally finish the rough draft and let the WIP sit for anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks before I tackle the revisions. Yep. Still agree. Happily, I took a break from my current MS, came back, opened it and discovered that thus far, I don't have much to do but add a few words here and there. Knock on wood. Don't want to jinx myself.

2. Chances are excellent that I'm not going to be finished revising, editing and aditing on the first round. What is aditing? It's when you're adding paragraphs, scenes, entire new chapters as you're editing. Oh, yeah. I'm on my, um......11ty 17th round.

3. The valuable input of a trusted critique partner shouldn't be ignored. I'd rather hear my CP tell me something stinks than hear it from an editor in a rejection letter. Hayle yeah!

4. We've heard this golden chestnut before, but it certainly bears repeating... You can't fix a blank page. You CAN fix stinkified words on a page, however. Yep, yep, yep. Stinkified words can be fixed. Amazing when your braincell re-engages and you find a way to to state something just that much better and you wonder why you didn't write it that way to begin with!

5. Revise or edit for specific things if the notion of revising/editing overwhelms you. Revise for emotional depth. Revise GMC for characters. Revise your characterization. Revise for plot holes or loose ends. Revise for overused words. Revise for passive voice (turning it to active voice). Revise for spelling. Revise per your CP's comments. Yep. Still do that.

6. Revisions may be daunting, yes. However, instead of looking at them as a chore, look at the process as a way to improve your writing. You know your transitions or ending hooks need help? Revise with the intention of sprucing those up. There are countless resources on the Internet to help with any aspect of writing you'd like to tackle.

7. Revisions are a necessary part of the writing process. There's always a better word, a more active phrase, a bit of emotional detail that can be added for greater impact. Absolutely.

8. Don't revise your WIP to death. Really. You'll polish your unique voice right out of it. (Um, bad grammar, punctuation problems and creative spelling do not constitute voice. Just saying.) Right. At some point, you (I) need to abandon the baby. It'll be fine.

9. If you're going to join a critique group or have a critique partner, you're going to need a thick skin. You don't want a critique partner who only gushes at your brilliance, you need a CP who will be honest with you. Be sure to set up the parameters of your CP relationship, however, to avoid confrontations, hurt feelings, and to be sure that you're getting the most from the experience as you can. If you join a group, same goes. It's possible for CP's and crit groups to give honest crits that may sting or hurt your pride without being cruel. Cruelty and unkindness are unnecessary. The experience should be helpful, productive and worthwhile. If it isn't, it may be time to find a new situation.

10. Revise, edit and adit with a purpose. If what you're doing isn't improving the WIP, then ask yourself why you're doing it, what purpose does it serve. Oh, yes, absolutely.

That was useful, for me anyway. Hope it's useful for you, too.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Guilty Diversions

I blogged this morning on my Chocoholic Blog about mood and using pictures to help get the words flowing. Even when I'm not in the mood to work on what I really need to be working on, it still somehow manages to surprise me that I can write OTHER stuff. LOL. Procrastination, mebbe? The thrill of doing something else when there's work to be done?

Still, I don't think the foray into a bit of guilty writing (prompts, free writing, whatever you'd like to call it) is necessarily a bad thing.

So, I thought I'd post some pix with some writing prompts---use 'em if you want to. I'm just going to write myself a note to remember to come back here and play next time I need a diversion. GGG.

What a view! Setting is important in your novel, readers like to know where they are! Even if you prefer to create fictional towns, you still have to plunk that town somewhere and be able to describe it so as to give the reader a good sense of place. So, how would you describe this picture if you were to use it for a scene in your manuscript? Remember, it's not all about sight, either!

Peek-a-boo! Where would your character come across this sight? What sort of reaction/emotion can you portray here?

What sort of scene would you set in a thunderstorm?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Procrastination Destination...

...In between writing sessions, especially when they've been tough and intense, we often find the need to empty our braincell (we have only the one braincell and we share it).

Today's Procrastination Destination is a tropical beach... (View at your own risk and discretion...If you have any. Discretion, that is.)

Oh, very nice.

We're thirsty...


Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Deep sigh of contentment...

Awwww, no longer parched...Blended, but not parched...

We're never leaving, especially...

View of choice...

Although, this'll do too...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Just Write...

...Ever get so worked up about "The Rules" that you can't write? Oh my goodness, what if you abuse a comma?! Split an infinitive?! Horrors! What's worse, what if you let your fear of grammar clog your ability to write? I have a solution.
There is something you can do about your grammar issues.

Two of my favorite online grammatical resources: Grammar Slammer and Holy Mother Grammatica.
If you still feel like you struggle with this technical aspect of writing, find yourself a critique partner who's good at grammar. (Gee, I wouldn't know ANYBODY who has a former English teacher for a crit partner who'd be willing to help her crit partner with the grammar aspects that cause ANYBODY to fret obsessively. Just sayin' is all.)

Whether you consider yourself good with grammar, somewhere in the middle, or an abysmal mess, the trick is not to let it scare you or kill your voice. Grammar is the technical part of writing, not the creative part. But it is just as important as the creative part, because if we don't observe the conventions, our work will be unreadable to others. Just as plot, setting, characterization and imagery are tools in your Writer's Tool Box, grammar is simply another tool. Don't sweat it...just write.

"Anybody's former English teacher crit partner." ----------------->

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Been so busy these last few weeks getting my ms in shape for submission, I decided to stop and have a little fun. It's harmless, it's actually fun thinking up silly titles and goofy tag lines... And yes, I believe stretching your imagination to come up with funnies for the book cover counts towards your word goal for the day. Hehe!

Have some fun, make a cover of your own HERE.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Almost May...

It's report card time. I'm reviewing my goals to date, and rather dismayed to see I'm falling short. There's a surprise. Things like getting sick (self, kids, spousal unit), laundry, outside jobs... don't necessarily get taken into consideration when it's time to hammer out some goals. Then there's the issue of "It's just not working" and "Why the heckadoodle did I try to write THIS?" that often muddy the water.

So, with May tomorrow, and 2009 almost halfway over (chew/stew on THAT for a while, huh? Mind boggling!) time to perhaps toss out all the goals to date (especially the ones that Just Aren't Gonna Happen) and start fresh. Perhaps more general goals would be good.

Some of my New, General Goals:

1. Keep on keeping the desk/workspace cleaned up.

2. Write every day, even if it's two words or two sentences.

3. Make realistic goals. (This means take into account that people get sick, things come up, Life Happens, when imposing deadlines on self.)

There. I think three is perfect.

Now, for a spot of fun...

I'm sure everyone will be delighted and thrilled to know that I would make a good 1930's husband.

You Would Make a Great 1930's Husband

You would be an ideal 1930s husband.

You're attentive, understanding, clean, and friendly.

You'd make an great husband for a woman of any era.

Would you?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Writing Prompt

The writing prompt challenge? Set a scene on the night as depicted by the picture. Free write for 10 minutes. The possibilities are endless. Just write. Share, too, if you'd like. :D Have fun.