Category Archives: Thoughts on writing, things I notice

Important things about writing, such as M-Dash, and how it works. When to use an ellipse, and much more.

Fixing the words

I wanted to do an exercise where I just wrote a paragraph. Not really thinking about the words or structure. Then I wanted to go back and tidy up the sentences.

Here’s the paragraph and then afterwards my corrections.

And so it came to pass that in a little dinner on Dover Street, during the lunch rush, on no distinguishably different day I met her. She happened to be wearing a green smock which had a large four leaf clover embroidered in the center of it. She said the oddest things and in the blink of an eye, she was gone. I couldn’t fathom what had just happened, much less describe it to anyone. She simply was there, and then wasn’t. I pondered it greatly over the next several hours, and in the end, I was certain of two things, she had been there, and I had been the only one who saw her. How this is possible I’ll can’t explain it but now know for certain that I am not imagining it. I can say this with all certainty because she dropped a book before she disappeared. I know she didn’t mean to drop it but nonetheless, there it was. Of course I went over and picked it up before anyone else had a chance to take it. After all, it was my ticket to meeting the woman who would end up saving the earth.

And so it came to pass that in a little dinner on Dover Street, during the lunch rush, on no distinguishably different day I met her.

On an indistinguishable day, at my little dinner on Dover Street, I met her.

See how the second one is the same but clean.

Now either one works, it’s author’s preference. But this example shows how you can have poetic language, or clean.

What are your thoughts?

Patois – A no go

Recently it became evident that dialogue has to be presented very differently than most new writers think it should be presented. Especially as it relates to how your character speaks.

In listening to the Writer’s Dojo podcast I really heard what was discussed. I went back to my work and realized… yup, can’t write a character’s speech in patois. Just doesn’t work.

I tried to read what I’d written. I mean, I wrote it so I should be able to read it right? Well, it was difficult to read. That means I have to go back through the entire book, all 110,000 words and fix this certain character’s speech. It’s ok, you grow… you learn… you improve.

When I edit the work I not only have to fix that, but I also have to fix my “He said/She said” issue.

Thanks guys for helping me understand a better way to present the work.

  • Karl

Where we live

From my author’s notes on Waiting

…the writer’s circle of light… it’s located in the middle of winter at the back parking lot. With winter’s subzero snowflakes floating all around you—our private little hell. That is what it is like to be a writer. We live out in the hell’s frozen back parking lot, at least that’s how I view writers, we’re the forgotten and forlorn. Sure some of us get to wander in from the cold, but not many.

Whom to listen to

Who do you listen to when seeking reviews?

I’m lucky, unlike many writers or want-to-write-ers, I have a group of people that can be well written. Not all of us are gifted in composition analysis, or rhetoricians, but we all have someone we listen to.

I was told, by a peer, that even Steven King has a group of people he passes his writings along to. I tend to want a more seasoned hand reviewing my work, and that too can be a troublesome road to travel. I think it’s better if we obtain input from people we like and respect than just a random set of fans. For instance, instead of seeking approval or input from a story I may post up here on this blogg, I would seek that input from people I interface directly with. It’s not to say that those people reading my stories don’t have critiques that are valid, they most certainly do. But what they don’t have is a knowledge of me, I don’t know them, and therefore can’t trust their input.

It is valuable to get input from other writers, friends, and family. Just make sure the input you get is from the source you want.