Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Leave out the dull stuff

My most important piece of advice to all you would-be writers: when you write, try to leave out all the parts readers skip. ~~ Elmore Leonard

Leonard has it just right. No matter how well you write and how much you love a certain passage in your book or story, if it doesn't move the story forward, readers are going to skip reading it.

It takes real talent and brutal honesty to delete a passage that you love. If it doesn't work for the current story, there's no need to hang onto it.

Note: This post is short because I removed all the fluff....

Saturday, September 25, 2010

National Punctuation Day

Yesterday (9/24/10) was National Punctuation Day. Are you as thrilled by it as I am? I was so thrilled with this holiday that I didn't anticipate it until today.

Have we gone too far in naming holidays when we choose to honor Punctuation? After all, what is there to celebrate.... the appropriate use of an exclamation point!?

Why honor something that gives us so much grief. Are there parades across the country where people dress as different punctuation marks? If so, what would you be??

However you chose to celebrate Punctuation Day, I hope you had a great time...


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Challenge Yourself

Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. ~~ Ronald E. Osborn
I don't know if you're prone to it, but I fall back on tasks that come easily and must force myself to accept the challenge of the difficult. I guess that's human nature, but I know my writing will always be much better if I stretch to my limits.

Have you looked back on pieces you wrote ten years ago. You should be able to notice quite a difference. The growth in your writing should show. If it doesn't, you may not be undertaking the difficult. Challenge yourself... grow.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Creative: Abundance

from the word Abundant meaning more than enough: amply sufficient

There are more than enough catfish in this picture.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Writing... Just do it

Write in any way that works for you. Write in a tuxedo or in the shower with a raincoat or in a cave deep in the woods. ~~ John Gardner
The point is not where you write, but that you write. Many new writers ask their favorite authors about their writing routines. It's not important.

What is important is that you write whenever you can. I feel lost if I go out without paper. Now many make notes on their iPhones or Droids when out.

When the mood strikes, be prepared and .... WRITE!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Style, like the human body, is specially beautiful when the veins are not prominent and the bones cannot be counted. ~~ Tacitus

Subtlety... don't you just love it when a passage of writing sneaks up on you, when a few minutes later and you say "Ahhhhhhhh... I get it."

There, of course, is a time and place for in-your-face writing, but I like the moments best when the meaning, rather than smacking you in the face, seeps in delicately yet clearly.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rock the world with your writing

The business of the poet and novelist is to show the sorriness underlying the grandest things, and the grandeur underlying the sorriest things. ~~ Thomas Hardy
As writers, it's our job to avoid the mundane, and if we can't avoid the mundane, it's our job to transform the mundane into something interesting. It's not only our responsibility to look at our writing and determine how we can say it better, how we can make it clearer, and how we can reach the reader. It's also our responsibility to rock the world of the reader in some way large or small.

How do you ensure that you rock the reader's world?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot. ~~ D.H. Lawrence
When you have a deadline for your writing, you may have to force your way through a period when you have nothing to say. On the whole, your best writing will come when you have passion for your topic or for your story and you capitalize on that passion by, as D.H. Lawrence says it, saying it hot.

There's nothing better than writing when in the grips of your topic or story.... when you feel the story and all the emotions that go with it. Sometimes it worth it to say nothing for a while and quietly wait for that genuine passion to move you.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

In one deep sense, novels are concealed autobiographies. I don't mean that you are telling facts about yourself, but you are trying to find out what you really think or who you are. ~~ Robert Penn Warren
How much of you do you put into the novels you write? I suspect we put in more than we think we do.

Writing is personal. There's no doubt about it. Writing that touches the soul has to come from deep within the writer's heart and mind. Don't be afraid to look at what is inside of you and let it come out. It's all part of the process.