BlogYes, I am another day behind schedule. We’ve had rather moist days, which included Monday and the rest of the week. I wanted to get online and talk about how weather can hit our writing, but needed to stay off the keyboard.

Many thoughts ran through my head: could I write upside down and would my computer work in the wind and rain? Local news and CNN kept me informed and I shut down. Sleep? If you can sleep with both ears open for odd sounds, one eye, which did not close, hearing the wind howl, branches of trees screeching, and flashlights from heaven, in the form of lightning bolts, bringing daylight into your whole room, my hat is off to you.

This brought me to relate weather with writing. We all need some calm downtime to gather our thoughts, remove our worries, and make these distortions the smaller size instead of escalating. Storms are scary, even frightening, yet have you ever noticed your writing sizzle during these times. It’s like, get that hesitation, that fear, that feeling of isolation into your character. If your setting is in a bleak area and a storm is on the horizon, you have the experience of your storm to give to your character’s storm. You give yourself to the situation and do not hesitate. You now know what the wind sounds like and how it feels to see lightning streak across the room.

Storms can create havoc in your writing. You get to SHOW your hesitancy and can apply this to a character. Your anxieties do not hide, and you transfer these to your characters. You notice your breathing becoming short and heavy. Your hearing sharpens for any unfamiliar noise. Is it a panic attack or just plain nerves? I’d go for the nerve bit. However, if your character needs an attack of sorts, go for it. Weather can make us do strange things, and let your character do the same.

Clouds are once again gathering and the tree limbs nodding a little faster. So, a short MOIST MONDAY is in progress.

Chaotic Writing. Fantastic Writing. Safe Writing.

p.s. May all the victims of the recent and still to come storms be remembered




The Crirtique Girls Are Back

Two friends

Yes, we are back and ready to tackle a few more critique items. We’ve been together for so long, we think alike and wanted to read what other ideas we can incorporate into our critique process. This will give us more points to ponder and a lot more ideas to argue back and forth. This is what happens when you get a great critique partner. You never want to give up the trust and ‘idea’ bopping with each other. So, what’s next?

Let’s look at setting. Does the story give enough description to paint a picture for the reader. Do you feel transported to the time and place? Did the characters convince you of the era and did they behave in a manner consistence with the era? Or, was there so much description, you, as the reader, forgot the story?

Characterization is another point to check. Do the people seem real? Are the facts accurate and consistent? Did you get a sense of family, friends, job and worries? Did you feel the emotions and values of each character? Did you have to read many flashbacks to bring you to the present? Did the protagonist grow? Let your critique partner know about these areas.

Dialogue can present problems if the conversations do not seem real. Do you see the personalities of the characters by the words they use? Can you feel the conflict and attitudes in their choice of words? What about power or sexual, political or social areas of their lives by the words they fling at each other.

POV – Oh yes, you know these abbreviations – Point of View. This gives the reader the knowledge of who is writing the story. Can you see when the POV changes or more added? Most novels are written in third person POV. A lot of short stories and memoirs are in the first person. Whichever one you use, STAY in that POV.

As a reader, do I get the feeling you are telling me a story? I don’t feel any sounds, hear any sights and never can I smell what time of year this is, taste any of the traditional foods or get arms wrapped around me in a spontaneous gesture. Show me, the reader, the feelings I should get from the characters. And, watch out for adverbs and adjectives full of inflation. I need to read your story and see what brought this on, how the character acts and makes, me the reader, feel and why.

One last area – spelling and grammar. Forget those “!” points. This is telling. If you need to scream – just do it. If the character gets excited, have this character jump up and down, run in circles and play in non-territorial areas.

Turn your characters loose on the pages and let them roam, skip, jump, dance, laugh, love and not always at the most convenient times. Let them run across the pages so fast, your fingers cannot keep pace. Enjoy your writing. Enjoy your story. AND, do not forget your critique ladies will be back and check. When we last talked, we felt this might be a good home for us to keep.

We know our names, but how about you blog readers creating new names for us? Until next time, happy reading and great critiquing. (Oops, got a couple of gerunds in on the last try.)