Cathy Smallwood on ouch… courseofmirrors on ouch… Cathy Smallwood on ouch… courseofmirrors on ouch… Cathy Smallwood on ouch…
The image of the erased canvas and Mandy Len Catron’s thoughts on falling out of love made me think of how act of letting go of a relationship is also “… an active creation of absence.” Replacing what was there with something else: a blank. a nothingness. Perhaps that’s why wide open empty spaces in nature appeal to me. Stark. Bare. Calm. The loss is transformed into a clearing.
I think I was ten or eleven when my cousin Eric broke up with his long-term girlfriend Dana. I loved Dana. She was willowy thin with poofy permed hair and a thick Tennessee accent. When we visited, she talked to my sister and me like we were her friends, though I must’ve been, at most, half her age at the time.
I remember standing in my parents’ bathroom while my mom was doing her makeup one morning, trying to understand why Eric and Dana were splitting up. “Sometimes,” my mom said, “people just fall out of love.”
I was familiar with the fickle politics of elementary school romance (when Colby dumped me because I wouldn’t kiss him behind the lockers, I’d ripped his school photo into tiny pieces and deposited them into a friend’s open palm to give back to him) but I’d never imagined an adult could love someone…
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Excellent advice, including the comments.
You can’t revise what you haven’t written…
A reminder to get the ideas out of my head and ‘written down’ even if they aren’t perfect!
The book is going to start where I first started it, in 2006. Nine years ago. I’ve looked at the first chapter so many times I have it memorized. It’s etched in stone. So even though there are sentences that don’t work, and I haven’t quite captured the feelings or mood I want, I’ve been mystified about how to change it/them.
Today my free first page critique arrived from Becca Puglisi at
I’ve never entered any kind of on-line contest, much less won one, so I was thrilled to be chosen for the July edition of Critiques 4 U.
This blog is an excellent source of ideas, inspiration, and writing advice. They (Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman) have also published three very useful reference books:
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression
The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes
The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws
These can be found at http://writershelpingwriters.net/bookstore/
But before I do any more work on refining the characters, I will have to kill a few darlings on the first page.
Thank you Becca, for giving me the courage to wield the delete key!
I have been struggling with this question since I wrote the ending to my novel in May 2010. I now have the answer, thanks to an excellent post by K.M. Weiland:
All the other possibilities I considered it turns out are actually the” inciting event,” the key event,” the “first plot point,” and something she so aptly calls “throat clearing.” I labeled it “Prologue.” All 54 pages… Turns out it’s back story, and may have to stay in my head.
No more excuses to procrastinate about editing in earnest. Thank you KM!
And which comes first?
I’ve been struggling with this question for several weeks now while editing my work in progress. Which book of writing advice should I be following?
Outlining Your Novel
Structuring Your Novel?
While I suspect this question might be yet another way of procrastinating actually working on the editing process, a did find an excellent answer to the question here:
“Proper story structure is never a choice. If we hope to write stories of worth and popularity, we should always seek to begin with structure. After that, we each have to identify and create the processes that will help us maximize both our creativity and productivity. And for most of us, the outline will be our greatest tool in building strong stories with spot-on structure.”
So the answer is outline comes first – if you’re going to have one.
I’m now on draft 15, so I can make outlines a plenty…. now what? How do I decide which scenes to keep?
Time to revisit the Mission Statement. Tomorrow’s procrastination exercise 😉
My WIP is told from alternating points of view, two male, and one female. Sometimes I wonder how believable my males are. Okay it seems, according to the “Gender Guesser.”
Based on research done in 2003, this program analyzes your writing, and using an algorithm determines whether it was written by a male or a female. I plugged in several samples, and while some were given a weak score, the male POV sections were all identified as written by a male author. Likewise for the female sections. Yay me!
If you want to try the program, here’s the link:
The idea for the search came from Chapter three in Writing Characters Who’ll Keep Readers Captivated: Nail Your Novel by Roz Morris.