Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Passive Voice

Finished 38, started 39; 67,609 word count

Writing tip: the subject needs to act, not be acted upon.

He was briefly stalled by two guards at the door to the tent.

At the door to the tent, two guards briefly stalled him.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Point of View

finished Chapter 37, started 38; 66,157 word count

Writing Tip: The point of view character must be clear to the reader at the beginning of each scene. I started a scene with:

Fenworth sat on a rock and contemplated a column he’d just sculpted from the salt-saturated sandstone.

Then realized I was not supposed to be in Fenworth's POV. (I avoid his POV at all costs. Can you imagine being trapped in his roving thought process?)
Hollee is my POV character for most of Fenworth's scenes, but she is in the other room, cooking.
So how did I fix it. With a paragraph that began:

Hollee peeked around the corner to see her wizard.

Simple. And POV purist will be satisfied.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

run, runt, run

Finished Ch. 36; 64,178 word count

Writing Tip: Sometimes the same word of a similar word sneaks into a sentence. I ran into that in this chapter.
I had:
Verrin Schope asked the innkeeper to put several tables together so his party could sit together.
Oops! Rewrite:

Verrin Schope asked the innkeeper to join several tables so his party could sit together.
This wasn't in today's writing but it is something that can happen:
The runt kept running back and forth in the dog run.
Even though runt isn't related to running and run, it still has too much similarity to be allowed.

Friday, December 25, 2009

“Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, your heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To yourself, respect.” —Oren Arnold

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Where'd he go?

Working on Chapter 36; 63,499

Writing Tip: I do this all the time, especially since I have quite a few characters to work with. Someone who should be with the group is never mentioned. I get to the end and think, "Where'd he go?" It can happen with an object, too. The villain is carrying a large pouch of ill-gotten loot. One minute he is at the bottom of a cliff that he must scale, soon he is at the top. How did he transport that big burden? I carefully described how he had to search for handholds and how hot it was and when he nearly slipped. But where was that bag?


Finished 35, started 36, 62,455 word count

Writing Tip: Reread. If I lose momentum, it helps a lot if I go back and read several chapters previous to the one that is giving me trouble. This is not a waste of time. I always edit, tweaking words and sentences and catching typos, etc while I read.
BTW, the name of the book has officially changed to Valley of Dragons.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Moving on?

started chapter 35; 60,233 word count

Writing Tip: I can say that I started Chapter 35 because I put 35 in the middle of the page, hit enter and put Title, hit enter twice and moved to the left side of the page and put ho-hum.
Today was a busy day with a clinic appt. and shopping. And I fiddled with fixing up a few earlier chapters with a word here and a sentence there.
But I am ready to do 35 as evidenced by the page I set up. I almost always put ho-hum as a place setter because I definitely do not want anything ho-hum in my work and almost anything I write to replace the ho-hum will be better. I've set myself up for success.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

First words in a scene

Finished Chapter 34; 60,228 word count Yippee! Broke 60K!

Writing Tip: I started the scene as Hollee admires the cave Fenworth had found for a special purpose. Can't tell you what the special purpose is. Anyway, I re-read that paragraph, and decided I need to back up one step to when Fenworth, Librettowit, and Hollee are "whirling" to their destination. Whirling is a wizard form of transportation. The chapter began much stronger by just backing up one step. We are often told to begin in the middle of action. If you want to talk fancy it's in medias res. Hollee was in the middle of spinning around and around to see the whole cave, but it was much more interesting to begin in the middle of being transported. Think carefully when you begin a chapter or a scene. You want to make a good first impression.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Writing down a sound.

Chapter 34: 59,090 word count

Writing Tip:
A friend sent me this site today. Great place for all kinds of sounds:

Sometimes its good to listen to a sound in order to do it justice in your manuscript.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Finished Chapter 33; 58,240 word count

On Thursday I found out that DragonLight has won the new Clive Staples Award. Pretty cool, eh? Made me feel extra guilty about being stuck in the doldrums and not writing.
You know, God is so good to me. He is faithful, even when I am not.

Writing Tip: A villain has been captured and Paladin is questioning him. Well, the reader would not want to hear all this information that has been explained in chapters before. So a third party, Bealomondore, is watching the interrogation, and I wrote about what he is thinking and only summarize a bit of what the reader already knows. Ta-duh. No boring the reader. It is very, very bad to bore the reader.