Tag Archives: advice

Avoid Herd Words, Herd Writing, Herd Thinking


Ouch! And moo! I have learned what a herd member I am!

Martin Amis, in an interview with Charlie Rose, gives advice to authors on word choice. Amis says literature is a war against clichés.

My Goal Regarding You


Not long ago, I visited http://idlelore.com/2012/09/10/stories-need-to-mean-something/. While there, I read a paragraph that resonated with me.

“It isn’t about just saying something interesting, or telling a story, it’s about involving the reader in some way. Not necessarily breaking the fourth wall, but in just speaking of something in a way that is universal—an emotional reaction to a situation; a common, every day event that we’ve all experienced; something personal or intimate. But make it real, make it hit home.”

On this blog, I have often said my writing aspiration is humble: write simple stories that others will enjoy reading and  buy.

Often, I spend hours writing, editing, re-writing on a story of less than 1,000 words. My husband marvels at the time I expend, scratching his head, wondering what takes so long. He doesn’t understand that I am distilling. I am struggling to find the right words to make it easy for my reader to “see” the environment or situation as the character sees it. I am crafting a connection, using words, between the reader and the character. I wrestle with how to hook the reader’s emotions so that the reader cares about what happens. Time will tell whether I am succeeding.

Likewise, if you are an aspiring author, then I urge you to give some thought to the premise of involving your reader in your tale. Ask yourself what techniques you use, what effort you make,  to integrate your reader into your story.

Duck! Or You’ll Get Whacked by an E.T.


Just like the submarine drug runners of yesterday’s post, I have found another off-the-wall story that should be printed in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, but instead comes from Veterans Today. The news is this: China and the US are carrying out joint naval maneuvers off the US coastline near San Francisco. The purpose? Preparing for an invasion of unfriendly space aliens.

(Source:http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/09/17/ufo-war-chinese-and-us-navy-off-san-francisco/ )

Holy cow! Call Batman! When I read it, I thought to myself, “Someone is pulling my leg.”

Then I stumbled on this video.

Ok. So what’s my point? First, let me ramble, then I’ll explain.

I thought Stars Wars (a.k.a. space based weapons/ defense systems) died with Ronald Reagan. Obviously not. Then it was the Russians who were the enemy. Recently we heard about Planet X headed our way to collide with the earth. Now we are preparing to protect ourselves from space aliens. Good thing we have big boats in the big Pacific Ocean to save us! Or are the joint maneuvers really to prep us for the greatest laser show on earth that is about to unfold in the night sky near you?

Whatever the truth is, this series of stories demonstrates the constantly changing technological information about which an author needs to be informed IF you are writing science fiction or doomsday stories. Even if your story is imaginary, it has to have a basis in truth to ring true to your reader. Good science fiction, even when set in the future, hangs on good science.

As the author of secretsun.blogspot.com says:

 I’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about where exactly Edgar Rice Burroughs came up with all of this stuff. It certainly wasn’t out of the thin air.

Quote for 9-4-2012


“I hope you make mistakes. If you make mistakes, it means you’re out there doing something.”

–Neil Gaiman

A special thank you to Lightning Droplets for introducing me to Neil Gaiman through a video clip on her web site. The video is of a commencement speech of Gaiman’s and gives budding authors–and other artists–priceless advice. Find it at the link below (May 23, 2012 post):

http://lightningdroplets.wordpress.com/