Sunday, June 29, 2014

Kill those redundancies!

Sunday house and manuscript cleaning in progress... Hope you all have a good one. After chasing adverbs last week, I am now searching for redundancies. Which brings us to the question: What IS superfluous? In some instances this will be in the eye of the beholder. Because if I feel I need to tell you about a poppy-seed covered sofa and you tell me you want to know if there's something more important stuff going on in the room we have a dilemma. Trust me - eventually you will be sorry you didn't know about the poppy-seeds! And that's it: Whatever comes up has to play a role - however tiny it is. Every detail we waste more than a word on has to make sense later on. If it doesn't it gets snipped out (I usually put these snippets in an extra file - can't throw stuff out, one never knows if it's needed later on ;) ). The joys of revising. All the things conjured during creative outbursts - or pained hovering over the keyboard - have to pass the test. And if they don't live up to their promise, it's - next! We have to learn to let go. My heart is bleeding...
Luckily there are redundant phrases - and those I have no trouble backstabbing! Look out for them here: http://grammar.about.com/od/words/a/redundancies.htm

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Keep it short and simple, sassy!

I exceeded my ten lines yesterday and apologize - for all it's worth, someone might have found it useful
? But there are already enough writer's blogs filled with hours worth of insights and advice, so I'll try to stick with my "give them the quick inspiration or hint and let them get back to work" type of message. Hope that's ok with everybody? If you need a longer break you can always turn to one of the blogs I follow myself - or just get a cup of coffee!
If that isn't enough to full your break let me know and I shall conjure more words for you. Alas I'm not sure I can expel all the wise Gods and Goddesses of writing which already roam the digital world. I'm better at trying to make you smile - or fall off your chair trashing about hysterical. Either because it's so hysterical - I believe my life is, well I am - or so utterly boring.
I shall not come to pick you up either way. Someone would call it procrastinating again.
Uhah - ten! So I send you out of my burrow with this:
Relate?!

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Gods of writing watch over me! Grammer Tools and such...

Since I have a tendency to sentences that start somewhere in Houston, take a turn in LA, circle around in Nashville and end up somewhere in the Highlands wondering how they got there and where they actually wanted to go, I tested a few writing-police-tools.
Most of them can be tested online in a free version which usually does the job - if your willing to snip your text in little fragments and repeat the process over and over.
Which I'm not.
I tried, but I got confused where I was before and corrected the corrections of a corrections. That's the fun with some of these programs: They never give up making suggestions. So even if you've already followed suggestions like a newborn lamb, if you return, you will discover that the same text accepted a moment ago, now sports fresh sins conjured in writer heaven!
And beware! If you stick too close to them you will loose your darn (I intended to use very here, but Mark Twain insists I use this instead) own language. I tried that for fun in testing modes and after five programs and some doubles because of amnesia, I wondered who wrote that piece of sh.t. That was probably the most boring, back stabbing condensed robot gobble I have ever come across!
So look in on those suggestions, some are wise and kick-start braincells banging against the wall, but do NOT follow them as the general rule - especially when it comes to Dialogue!
The up-beat version doesn't come free - of course, but after tons of comparing I have acquired ProWritingAid www.prowritingaid.com. Not only covers the free version more than some others in their paid one - it's cheaper too! And last but not least it has a word add-on as well.
I find that especially useful as I tend to transfer files from my writing tool to word to check on formatting and follow up on the green squiggly lines (who usually tell me that it's a fragment - so what, it's mine! - or about the sentence that is lost in a department store in Paris and would like to be picked up and told about the meaning of it's existence. Sometimes I remember.)
Now I can run a variety of reports and apply changes the voices in my head agree with.
You can take your pick from:
I used a paragraph of the "Little Prince" here and was happy...
The sticky one drives me completely nuts, but as a regular routine I run Overused Words, Cliches and Redundancies, Repeated words and Phrases and as a last check-up the Grammar. If it's not yet time for tea, I sometimes follow up with the nouns too. Did you need to ask? Of course the sentence length report is the first - just so I can be proud of my fresh clipped ones just corrected in word (and that darn thing tells me it's still to long. Hello? It's not over two paragraphs anymore!!)
A good internet connection is a must - my old machine isn't so fast itself - but yes, I can recommend this. What is even better: There live REAL people inside ProWritingAid! I had some technical issues and spent an entire day with one of their guys - first trying to solve over e-mail and then he hijacked my screen. For some reason he appeared to run out of patience and wanted to take matters in his own hands after six hours of trial and error - well mostly error. After that I refrained from calling him for a virtual date on my desktop that night.
Anyway, before you stumble nose over toe into the other well known programm - compare yourself!
Oh - and PWA is a sweet guy, but can't substitute real critters ;)

­

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A blonde writer's moment... Well, I'm not Stephen King.

lol just twitter-shortened social-media-network to s-m-network - guess I could be in trouble now! And no, I don't write the 31 shades of grey! Just saying. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Janet Reid, Literary Agent: Query question: character names for M, Alex

Janet Reid, Literary Agent: Query question: character names for M, Alex



I have to consult with my characters about that. Three will object and the third is out for mischief anyway. Oh - and one just asked if it's ok his Mom named him after a river - or should he drown? I mean I kill that bugger it it hurts my novel...

Did you miss me? I did!

Ok. Here we go. Two manuscripts later - hovering in a state between perceived draft 137 - I return to this blog, chewed on, spit out and dragged through the mud.
I have just done an ecclesiastic research on writer's blogs: Do these people have 36 hour days?! The incredible long - and smart - posts would take a chunk out of my "hey, I am writing, don't disturb me procrastinating time"!
Well, I shall try to spit out my ten sentences (maybe more) every day now if I don't get lost in writer's hell or get sucked into my computer aka virtual world. Shandoreen is where I spend most of my waking - and sleeping - hours right now and basically it's wonderful!
Why? Because you don't need to write a Query-letter, book-proposal or need to find an agent to get in!
And no - it is NOT procrastinating to spend eternities on the net to research either one of these three and get stuck between confusing and opposing demands on "How-to-do" pages. Alas the last time I hoped on this research train juggling the "what to avoid when writing" I almost stopped for good. Guess I better go back to doing it my way - and celebrate today's thirteen lines with some sparkling.
Darn. Should edit.