Sunday, November 23, 2014

Writing Tips - I Don't Have Any

Like so many of us that find great joy in scribbling down a few words I find reading writing books and tips interesting.

I stay away from ever giving tips as I really don’t have any but I sure do read a lot of others. Have you ever noticed that if you don’t like one writer’s expertise on how to write you can simply turn to another, and then another if need be, until you find one that writes the way you do? Things like, write what you know, or never edit as you write a first draft come to mind. I remember reading somewhere that if we write only what we knew there might not be so many murder mysteries for sale. Hemmingway re-read and edited each morning before he started writing again for the day, seems like it worked for him.

So where am I going with this? The one thing that all writing experts seem to agree on – writers need to write. Pretty simple, writers sit down and get to work, might do it many different ways and at different times but they all write. Me, I dream about writing, and think about writing, and sometimes I get around to writing.

Snow Clouds Roll in over Guernsey Lake
Guess it’s time to sit down and write.

Wish I had a poem for the winter sky last evening.




Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Western Bestseller

I still read many traditional westerns each year. Seems like not too many of us still do, although there seems to be enough of a niche market for old time shoot-um-up westerns.     

Today’s westerns, at least after perusing the Amazon bestselling lists, seem to lean more to modern time stories set in the west, usually more mystery than conflict of characters.  Historical, Romance and Young Adult westerns all seem to still be popular and in some demand today. None are bad areas and all seem to sell.

Oddly it seems when westerns are listed in categories of mystery or romance they are more acceptable to the mainstream – just my thoughts.

Now I am going to set down and start writing my, all new, young adult, mysterious historical western – hope it will become a best seller. Tentative title, with tongue firmly planted in cheek. 
She Disappeared in the Mountains, Just Like Her Grandma –Aliens?
Early Snow in Wyoming - Anywhere from an Inch to a Few Feet.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Readin', Shootin', and Spittin'

Reading two recent mysteries I was surprised by how, unlike real life, the dialog sounded. I remembered reading this tip, and jotting it down, somewhere, a few years ago. I couldn’t remember it all, but the internet is such a great resource to find needed information.

“If you are using dialogue–say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.”  John Steinbeck

Great advice and so simple. This is also a great tip if you are self-editing, read it aloud. If it sounds funny and it’s not supposed to might be time to – revise.

Some western writers have a great passion for dropping the ‘g’ at the end of words. I think it sounds all right most of the time but am not sure it is always needed.   Ridin’, eatin’, drinkin’, fightin’, shootin’, can get to be too much for me as a reader. Read it aloud, does it sound natural or forced?