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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I Love Writing More Than...

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I love writing more than eating candy and watching Netflix. More than when school ends and summer starts. More than riding a roller coaster or speaking in church. More than visiting Georgia in the spring time. More than kissing. (Okay, maybe not more than that.)

Lately, projects are piling up on the frontal lobe of my brain and demand to be written down and worked on. I just don’t have enough time in the world to get them all done. Lately I’ve been editing on my breaks, while the kids are in the bath, staying up late, just to even stay above the madness. I am sure as I improve, fitting everything in will become easier, but right now I feel like I am drowning in a pool of desire.
I just finished editing my “Diving for Love” book and will be sending it out to beta readers, and while I wait for feedback, I am preparing my “A Boy without a Home” for a professional editor. Never done that before and hope I get a good one that is well worth the money.
I wonder how everyone else fits their writing time in with heavy plates to balance. I am loving it, just wish I had more time to dive in and become better.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

4 Ways to "Show" your Writing, Not Tell It

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In college, my English teacher assigned us to write about a high school moment we would never forget. Because it was fresh on my mind, I chose my senior prom. I asked my biggest crush to go with me and bought the most fairy tale-like dress to wear. The night was filled with perfect moments, such as when I crawled through the house window to unlock the front door in my beautiful dress, catching a shrimp in my mouth at dinner, and dancing every second I could with my date.  Plenty of good material.
When the paper came back with red ink and a big, fat D, I couldn’t understand why. My teacher suggested I take it to the tutoring center, and I just stared at her with horrified eyes. Why did I need their help? I was a brilliant writer.
And then she said the three words that still haunt me as I write today.  SHOW, DON’T TELL
I decided to do an in-depth study of HOW to show vs tell my story. One of the basic things I learned was you can “tell” you are “telling” when you find a linking verb, or a passive verb in your sentence. (am, are, is, were, was, be, being, been)
Sam was happy.
Not very interesting, right? There are at least four ways (I know of) to show what is happening to the characters.
  1. Dialogue
  2. Action
  3. Internal thinking
  4. Description
Let me show you how I used the 4 key elements to show this sentence rather than tell it. Here is an example I whipped up to a show vs. tell scenario. I included the four aspects of showing throughout.
“Yes, man! We did it,” his friend yelled as Sam’s foot hit home base. Sam turned back to his teammate and bumped his chest. Three runs in a row. The red numbers on the countdown clock clicked to zero, indicating the end of the game. Sam looked up at the cheering fans and spotted his girl. My lucky charm. He picked up the bat he had dropped moments ago and swung it her way. “That one was for you, babe.”
Notice that there is a lot more writing. This is standard. Showing what your character is doing will increase your word count, but you tell me if it was worth it. Which one was more interesting to read? Sam was happy or my expanded version to show Sam was happy?
Readers want to see what the reader is experiencing, not to be told. The key to doing this well is to practice. I could go on and on of how to show vs. tell, but as a teacher and I practice what I preach. You will learn best by doing. Just remember the 4 key elements of showing vs. telling: dialogue, action, internal thinking, and description.
So let’s begin. Here are some “telling” sentences. Choose one or more and show them rather than tell them. Share your version in the comments below.  There is no “one” way of doing this, so you can’t fail.
He was mad.
The sun was bright.
We were on our way.
He had a stomach ache.
She was shy.
I am hot.
Candy made him hyper. (See this would be so much better shown )
If you need more references and examples of how to do this, I found the following website helpful. http://www.wright.edu/~david.wilson/eng3830/creativewriting101.pdf
Please share what else you have learned about showing vs telling from writing workshops or critiques in the comments below. We learn better from each other. I am not a complete expert on this topic, but I have grown by applying these 4 key elements in my writing. Happy writing!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Two weeks an author...


At our Mindgames launch, I announced some big events coming up. Currently I am planning to launch my new MG “A Boy Without a Home” in July. I have worked on that book for over four years now, and it is the first novel I’ve ever written. With that being said, I know it’s not perfect, but that’s the beauty I have found in self-publishing. I may never desire to be traditionally published again just because in the eyes of the norm, maybe I am not good enough. I am good enough to show myself that I can work hard and come up with a finished product that I am proud of.  No offence to anyone traditionally published. Good for you. But it’s not right for me right now.
So I wanted to give my readers a sneak peek at my cover for the book. It still needs a little tweaking, but Victorine Lieske has done a great job and has put everything I feel about this book in one picture.
“A Boy Without a Home” is about 11-year-old Kendall who runs away from his abusive foster home in search of freedom. He meets Lorelei, who is going through her own issues. The two are tied together symbolically through a cat necklace that mean a great deal to the both of them. When his foster mom doesn’t give up until Kendall comes home, the two put their heads together to come up with a solution.
All authors have one novel that is their baby, one they have learned and grown with as a writer, and this is mine. This is my baby. Coming to you in July.

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My Final Release of the Year!

Love From Left Field