"Anyone who tells you there's a right way to write is a lying bitch." Nora Roberts
|Nora Roberts -- sitting pretty.|
How many times have I read--'show don't tell'? What does this actually mean? You can't write a whole book 'showing'. I read recently that all stories use a show/tell format -- (Manuscript Makeover by Elizabeth Lyon - you can download the pdf by clicking on the link), but this is rarely pointed out. But plucking out all that 'showing' when an editor points it out to you is very demoralising because we should know better, right?
WRITING TIPS THAT MIGHT WORK FOR ME - Keeping in mind I am a contemporary romance writer. Other genres may be different in their application. Enough of my yammering...here's my Secrets to... which are pretty basic, but they may help someone who is sweating over getting a novel finished.
- Write with the reader in mind
- Make sure you have a hook at the beginning of your story
- Dribble in backstory - no info dumps
- Something must happen on every page - what are those characters doing? CONFLICT!!
- Occasionally surprise the reader - subvert/invert the scene
- Make sure action comes before reaction
- Show, don't tell. (Had to say that)
Really, there are three main things for writers to do, isn't there?
- READ. I've got that covered big time. I've recently discovered NetGalley where a prolific reader can apply to read new books as long as they review them. I've just been sent Samantha Verant's Seven Letters From Paris. Can't wait to sink my teeth into that one...and review it.
- WRITE. Oh wow! Really! Whatever works for you. But you can't be a writer unless you write. I've found ways to increase my writing hours per day. My motivation? I want to get my novel submitted before NaNoWriMo in November. I said that last November too! Same novel!
The most useful how-to I've come across recently is the Margie Lawson DEEP EDITS system. Here is a link to a guest blog post that introduced me to her system. You can pay for several lectures and her system may help you become a NYT best-selling author. She has many secrets for you.
So my friends, if published, what is your secret?
If not, do you have anything to add to my writing 'secrets'?
As I've travelled around the blogosphere this morning I've been commenting on post after post for the Survive and Thrive bloghop. By now you will know what it's all about--well, it's self explanatory really. I haven't read a post about skin cancer yet, so I thought I'd pop one in. Just in time. Two hours to go...
Australia is often referred to as the skin cancer capital of the world and Queensland where I live, is the skin cancer capital of Australia. Simple, really. We're north, closer to the Equator. It's nearly always sunny. We have a beach culture. We didn't know what damage we were doing to ourselves with long summer holidays at the beach when we were children. Skin cancer awareness is relatively new.
I've always thought I got away with my beach-babe teenage years but it finally caught up with me. One of my freckles started turning a little browner and growing sideways. My doctor sister-in-law saw it and said to have it checked. This is where the scary part starts.
My regular doctor didn't think much of my little old freckle. But I insisted on a biopsy. It came back negative for cancer. I insisted it was removed. They did the procedure reluctantly to shut me up.
Result: Stage One melanoma!
They hadn't taken the full freckle off in the biopsy so missed the cancer part.
Now melanoma is the really, really scary one! It has four stages. Once you get past Stage One, the results aren't so good. If you're at Stage Four--goodnight!
Not pleasant having them cut a huge slice 5mls deep out of my arm, but better than the alternative. I can have plastic surgery if I want, but for now the scar is scarcely noticeable and a good reminder to me that I survived the doctor's diagnosis!
So I had another skin check with my doctor's skin specialist. All clear. I didn't believe it. He just used a magnifying thingo. Have taken myself off to a skin doctor who photographs your spots and blows them up, has a real good look and can easily track changes (ha ha). He picked up two more prospective melanomas and a couple more that will probably develop. So more surgery next week.
So if you live in a hot climate, be on the lookout. Don't listen to your doctor if you feel suspicious of a mole/freckle. Get a second or third opinion.
Thanks to Doctor Covey, sister-in-law for saving me from moving past Stage One melanoma.
Don't forget to click on the link to read more potentially life-saving posts.