Here you will find everything to do with writing, whether it is my writing or what I'm learning from reading books on writing.  Reading, vocabulary, and grammar are the tools of the trade. The very best people to learn from are the ones who are seasoned writers who teach writing. You would be wise to enlist them as your mentors, as I have.

Not my favorite part of writing but it is a necessary step in writing any book, whatever the subject. Of course, we all like to think that every word that we write is the perfect word the first time we write it. Who needs editing? But the truth is, sometimes we need to dig a little deeper before we find what we are looking for to get the story we want.

I'm currently reading an interesting book (one of several, as usual), "Reading Like a Writer" by Francine Prose. Under her chapter on 'Words' she dissects a paragraph from Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man Is Hard to Find."

One of the books I'm currently writing, "A Madness Most Discreet" is a big step away from the Children's and Juvenile Fiction (JFic) books I've been writing. It is definitely a novel written for adults since there are a few love scenes and more adult issues that are not appropriate for children. So, since I have so many stories in me and want to write and publish not only my children's books but also whatever inspiration I get to write adult books, the question I've had to ask myself is, should I be writing my adult novels under a different name?

I've been looking at some of the books I own where the author writes not only adult books but children's books as well. Apparently, for most, there is no issue with writing both. After all, why limit your creativity if you happen to write stories that appeal to children and stories that appeal to adults, also?

In this chapter, Priscilla Long noted how when a panel of authors with differing backgrounds and genres were brought together they all stressed the same habits that every writer should adopt - write 1000 words a day and write using a structure. Now, personally, I would suggest, if you are a writer and this is your profession, not a hobby, you must write far more than 1000 words a day. I recently wrote a short story to see just how long 1000 words were and how long it took me to write. If I had continued writing it at one sitting, it wouldn't have taken more than 20-30 minutes or so. I think we can spend a little more time than that. Again, I'm talking to the professionals out there.

The second suggestion, using a structure, was something that I'm sure I do, and we probably all do, but not something we are consciously thinking about. She outlines 4 structures - Theme, Collage, Two or Three Strand, and Dramatic Story. How you choose your structure depends on the kind of story you will be telling.

When I sit down at my computer or my notebook to write, I'm not thinking 'what structure am I using?' But I'm sure, instinctively, I'm using one of the structures as outlined in Priscilla Long's book. Ms Long suggests you figure out structures by reading for structure. The only problem is, once you start reading for structure, it might be hard to go back to reading for pleasure!

What Is it? The New England Authors Expo

When Is it? Wednesday, July 29 - 4pm to 9pm

Where Is it?  Danversport Yacht Club

                      161 Elliott St. (Rte 62)

                       Danvers, MA 01923

 

I will be selling my three books in the Harborview Ballroom: The House at the Top of the Trees, and just off the press, Eddie Easel and the Case of the Missing Green, and The Miracle Dog.

This is a great event to promote local authors. The NEAE event was founded by Christopher Obert, owner of Pear Tree Publishing.

Come early, stay late!  This is a FREE event. The first 100 visitors receive a free gift bag!

Another interesting writer's handbook that I've been reading is called "On Writing Well" by William Zinsser - a guide specifically for writing non-fiction.

In one chapter, he talks about "clutter" or what I'm calling "wordy words". For example, listen to any politician speak. Any idea what they are saying? Or when you attend a company business meeting where a major layoff is about to take place (I experienced a few of these in the 1990's.) The CEO or "company henchman" tries to explain to the employees, in as many words as possible, why downsizing is for the good of the company and all of the employees. But they just never quite get around to saying it so you leave the meeting wondering what just happened...or what is about to happen.