Sunday, November 25, 2012

More Lessons Learned from Ginger, plus an invitation!

One things about being an author, you never stop learning.  In every other job I've held, there came a point where I knew exactly what I was doing and I went through the motions every day--day in and day out.  Oh, once in a while I learned something new, but trust me, writing is a never-ending lesson.  Plus, it's more exciting because every book brings a new cast of characters and a story I've never heard.

I guess by now, I've mentioned I'm a pantser, so my stories come directly from my characters with no plotting by me.  The best part, in my opinion: putting together a manuscript is telling myself a story, and I'm usually anxious to get to the end to see how things work out.  The worst part...I'm experiencing at the moment.  Life has gotten in the way of my muse and either I'm too distracted to listen, or my character has gone mute in a polite and caring way, so as not to add more to my plate.  I'm having a tough time with the struggle between heeding my best advice and just putting the story aside until I can give it my very best effort or forging on because I can't wait to see "whodunit.

Yep...I'm writing outside my comfort zone of western historical and piecing together a tale entitled, A Novel Murder.  I've already gotten the cover and shared it here, but I'm sure you'll excuse me if I share it again because it gives me such delight.  So far, I'm loving the tension and tad bit of humor mixed with the grim crime scenes, but I fear I'm going to have to wait until my pending eye surgery is over and I'm fully healed.  I'm happy to say my medications are finally working well together and I can at least walk without holding onto someone or something.  *smile*  Hey, turning 67 was a big awakening, and I'm sitting here looking at brochures from two crematorium businesses because it's time I got my stuff in order.   Oh, I'm not planning on checking out anytime soon, but when I go, I would like my family to at least have a clue what to do with me.   Hey...this is the age when you do things like fall and break your hip or when boy scouts start helping you cross streets.  Luckily, I don't walk, so I don't have to face that insulting moment of life.  *lol*

Anyhow, I've strayed from the title of this post, and that because I wanted to share one more "problem area" I'm trying to avoid in the writing of my current story.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to break old habits?  Well welcome to my world.  Now, after learning that if you are firmly in the POV of one person, where you should be, then you need not continue to use phrases like "she saw, she felt, she heard, or any similar phrasing that indicates what should already be apparent to the reader.  If you have "put the reader in the character's head," then the feelings, seeing, hearing and other senses are a given.  Makes sense, but watch and see how many writers haven't learned this yet.  I've been writing for over ten years and I'm just now learning this.

I think of of the hardest lessons learned for me has been omitting unnecessary instances of the word "that."  The rule of thumb...if you can read the sentence without the word and it still makes sense, then don't use it.  I'm still working on it.

A favorite for me is RUE = resist the urge to explain.  Leaving out some of the obvious is less insulting to the intelligence of the readers.  For example:  if two people are sharing a dialogue and you've put the dialogue in quotes, there is no need to add a tag beyond she said.  She said 'to him' is really not necessary.  I keep learning these things and always wonder if the readers even notice or care?  How about you?

Oh, I'd be terribly remiss if I didn't refer you all to the Books We Love page where you can see all the special editions available for the holidays.  They are ready for ereaders and you get three books for the outrageously inexpensive price of $5.99.  So, for those people whose gifts you've been puzzling over, there are genres for everyone...including mine.  If nothing else, while you're there, enter our contest.  Click on the snowglobe to go directly to the contest page.  Great prizes, and even greater reads.  :)

3 comments:

Caroline Clemmons said...

Great post, Ginger. Wishing you success and quick recovery from your eye surgery. My friends locally who've had that surgery did very well. Author Alice Duncan also recently had the same surgery. Wonderful what advances in medicine mean for us, isn't it?

Ginger Simpson said...

Thanks, Caroline. I just keep focusing on the fact that "this too shall pass." Glad you enjoyed my post and stopped by to comment.

Lorrie said...

I have to say RUE is one of my problems,too. Another is, I explain too much. It's like I'm saying, "Did you get it reader, well let me tell you again." Thank goodness my critique group catches these boo-boos.

Great post as always,Ginger.

I'm praying that you can handle the recovery process. Maybe they can feed you tranquilizers through a straw. I'm kidding of course,I know you'll do fine. Remember, my thoughts are with you.
Lots of hugs coming at you.

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