Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chocolate for Dinner? Why That Sounds Sublime.

I'm being interviewed over at the lovely Jill Kemerer's today. Stop by if you have time.

WINNER!!! Robyn Campbell, you are the winner of A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman. :-) I need your addy, please.

Thanks Tori for the Versatile blogger award! I can't play the game now, but maybe soon. Thank you!

























I also have a thanks going out to Linda Rohrbrough, a fellow agency-mate who makes wonderful writer clocks. I met her at the conference and she kindly sent me one.

What are your plans for today? Any special items on the menu?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

You Say Potato

And I say Pah-tah-to. (heeheee, not really!)

Better is niggling at me as I start a new WIP.

What does it mean when I'm told to get better? Better at craft? Better at storytelling? Who determines what better is?

I believe there is something intangible to a great story. A few posts back I wrote how I met with an editor and he encouraged me to keep getting better. Which I absolutely want to do.

The thing about better is that...well...."One man's trash is another man's treasure."

So what I think is better, someone else might think is no good.

How do you decide or know if you're "better"? How do you gauge the worth of a book?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ummmm.....I Heard You the First Time

As you all know, I just finished my line edits a few weeks ago. One thing that immediately jumped out at me was the same word scrawled on page after page.

Rep

As in, repetitive.

Now, this is a manuscript I finished the rough draft of in 2007. This thing has been through the ringer. I've edited and revised it a million times.

But I was still being repetitive.

Thank goodness for editors!

What a great reminder for me when I start my next story. I see repetitiveness in books already and sometimes it can be annoying. Repetition is not necessarily using the same words or repeating a sentence. For example, I read a book recently which was a good story with some sweet romance, but I felt like every chapter was reiterating the inner conflicts of the main characters.

The reader doesn't need to be told over and over why the hero and heroine can't be together. I find myself doing this in my own writing. Using the character's internal narrative to remind the reader what the conflicts are. I don't think it's effective. The reader will remember. Use external conflict to heighten the inner conflict, but repeating the inner conflict is not necessarily a hook.

Will I take my own advice? I'm trying!

Do you find yourself repeating the conflicts in your stories? What about telling the reader what you want them to know, rather than using scenes? Any advice for someone like me who feels like the queen of repetition at the moment?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

From the Mouth of an Editor

Get Better.

I'd had all my appointments on Friday so Saturday afternoon, I wandered into the appointment room at the ACFW conference thinking that it would be smart to see if there were any more openings.

There was one, a mentoring appointment with longtime editor, Andy Meisenheimer. I decided to do it though my plan of what to talk with him about was pretty sketchy.

Appointment time came. I popped into the room, shook his hand, sat down (maybe not in that order but I can't remember now) and then frankly told him I wasn't sure what to be mentored on but it seemed like a good idea. I asked him for whatever advice he thought a new author should have.

The poor guy seemed startled at first but he recovered and gave me some of the best advice I've ever heard.

Get Better.

I highly recommend a mentoring appointment if you ever go to a conference. Meisenheimer was knowledgeable, encouraging and I just overall really enjoyed talking to him. I left the meeting with a lot to chew on.

Are you striving to "Get Better"? Do you ever think some authors get stuck in mediocre writing? How do you spur yourself to get better?