Below are two examples of the same post. The first one is an example of bad writing. Although the first is shorter, it is written in broad generalities with no hint of personality or flair. These kind of general statements are so flat, boring and negative that the reader can barely tolerate to consume them. It is generic. Anyone could have written the first one. A good writer does not want to sound generic. Style is often referred to as the voice of the writer. Some experts will tell you that the reader is not suppose to aware of the writer. This is not true. As we read we do come to know the writer. We even begin to visualize them and their surroundings.
One of the more serious mistakes that I see new writers make is what I call ‘Delayed Character Description.’
If the writer does not specify how a character looks, dresses and talks early in the piece, then the reader will release their own imagination and begin to formulate a picture in their minds. I’d opine that this image formulates quickly, as most people like to attach a face and body to a character.
I’ve heard many people refer to an outline as the foundation of a house, but after reading Writing Cycle and Joyously Prolific, I think a better analogy would be a MAP–a map of events or plot turns. (Yes, I like that much better. A map just sounds more exciting and colorful than a stationary dais. A map suggest action, movement, change and even the possibility of side roads.)
I just received an email from the Chattahoochee Valley Writer’s Contest. In part, it reads:
…Thank you for entering our contest this year. You can enter the 2012 contest starting now through September 1, 2012. Contest results will be announced at the beginning of the CVWC Conference on Saturday, September 29, 2012….
with a $15 fee, of course.
The only trouble with this is that I DID NOT enter this year or last year, but 3 years ago. Whahah!
Do I need any more proof that my name and any story that I may or may not enter will be shuffled off to the LOSERS LIST—probably, unread????
Why don’t they just say: Sorry Sucker, but send more money. We like money. We don’t like you.
Ah, reality is a bummer, ain’t it????
I know that many of you are eager to be published, but watch out. MOO: Don’t enter any writing contests unless you know somebody who knows somebody. The literary world works the same way the rest of the world works. Not what you know, but who you know.
Well, I’m down to formatting for my next upload to Smashwords and seriously thinking about artwork for the cover. Dusty work there. Not much to get excited about. My upload will be a 5 story release for an affordable 99 cents.
I’m having trouble with the title. Every time I conjure a good one and do an internet search some #@&* dweeb has already taken it. Last title I had, some cupcake company was using it. Can you believe that? (FiveBites.com.) Lesson One: Get your title locked down before artwork. (Duh-huh) Gads, I’m going to have to get really creative. What a burden. Now, I’m thinking about… oh, no, better not say. Someone might steal it to sell rubber gaskets or something.
Titles have never been my thing, yet I realize how important they are. It’s the first wink to the book lover.
Something unusual happens: Cinderella wants to go to the palace ball, where Prince Charming will choose a wife. (Pretty good opportunity for a scrub girl.)
Several obstacles are put in Cinderella’s way. She battles to overcome these evils: mean stepmom, ugly sisters, 12:00 curfew, and forgetting to give Prince Charming her cell phone number. (Win some, lose some.) Just when all seems lost and hopeless, our heroine overcomes the last and grand obstacle–shoe shopping. One final and all important lesson–a moral–is attached to the end of the story: Always remain a sweetheart, no matter what injustices you suffer, and you will be granted everlasting love–or, at least, exactly what you deserve for being a dope.
Cinderella comes out the other side of the ARC a big winner, having defeated all evil. Because she was good in the first place, only her financial situation is changed. Most character evolve after experiencing the ARC.
Just discovered! (Okay, I’m a little slow. I’ve had my Kindle for months and I’ve just learned a new trick.)
Kindle allows bookmarks, highlights and notes. At first I found this mildly interesting, but since these ‘Clippings’–as they called them–are stored in chronological order, I said, ‘So what? Who cares when I stored it? That’s fairly useless from a reference standpoint.’
But now, I’ve discovered that I can download My Clippings via a USB port to a text program, edit and sort.
Now, when I come across a quote, a word–used in a sentence–or a fact that I want to remember, I can manipulate it on my own computer without having to retype anything. Internal dictionary provided.
Groovy! I’m mad with power.