Tag: Writing (Page 1 of 9)

Readers: Tell Me What You Think

I’ve been writing the New Druids series for a few years now. In all this time I’ve been remiss in asking a simple question: what do you, the reader, think? I don’t ask this lightly. I have always written for the reader. For each paragraph, I strive to see it through the eyes of the person reading it.

I’ve never asked what you think of the series. I should have. So, if you have the time, I would welcome any feedback. Be critical. What did you think of Duilleog? Did it resonate with you? What didn’t you like? 

Leave a comment below or simply contact me.

 

Show Don’t Tell

In the world of writing one phrase is used more often than any other when one author is giving advice on how to write: Show, Don’t Tell.

There are so many posts and blogs about this topic that it staggers the mind. And look, I just added to the pile! I digress. Somone just posted a question on how to “show, don’t tell” on Reddit. I rolled my eyes. Why? A ten second Google effort would answer the question, but clearly, this Redditor is looking for Karma. Nonetheless, I clicked and went to the post. Why? I wanted to see what humorous comments I would find. One of those comments had a link. I hovered, wondering if this was going to be a risky click, and clicked.

I was taken to perhaps the best description of Show Don’t Tell I have ever read. Here’s the link (not risky at all, trust me): Nuts and Bolts: “Thought” Verbs.  Still not sure you want to click it? What if I told you the essay on that page was written by Chuck Palahniuk, author of the novel Fight Club? I’ll wait here until you get back.

Back? See? What did I tell you? Brilliant.

By the way, if that has you excited about writing I encourage you to go read Passive vs Active Voice articles. And if that excites you, then I challenge you to go through anything you’ve written and delete the word “that” out of your sentences. Try it. It will improve your writing quite noticeably. Sometimes you can’t remove it. Like in this paragraph.

All-in-all a wonderful essay by Mr. Palahniuk. So happy I read this just before I started the second draft of Freamhaigh.

Ciao.

Change Is A Good Thing

“Strange fascinations fascinate me
Ah, changes are takin’
The pace I’m goin’ through.”

David Bowie from “Changes”

So, I announced my retirement from the Royal Canadian Navy. I am changing my life, once again. I am transitioning to a civilian life but still working for the RCN. I couldn’t be happier. Change is merely a transition.

I have also transitioned as an author. It’s a subtle thing but the more you write the better you get and at points you can look back and wonder how you managed to get to the next plateau. I read posts from new authors, each struggling to find their way, and remember with a shudder going through those same pains and tribulations. I’m on a new plateau at the moment and it’s a wonderful view.

Then I look up and see all the other plateaus above me. It’s such a climb. But it’s worth it. The view gets better.

Musing: I’m not sure how many people see an author and think “that person is an artist.” Do they instead only think of musicians, painters, and sculptors as artists? Well, I think of myself as an artist. I always have, whether I was writing software or writing novels. Or even playing on my piano.

Writing is such a joy and expression of creativity. I marvel at the wonder of putting words together that illicit a stirring of emotion. You can write a sentence a hundred ways, much like you can paint a flower a hundred ways. It is writing that sentence until it is just right that brings joy to a writer. At least for me. Words are power. This civilisation of ours is a thin veneer of laws and beliefs that protect us from the underlying chaos. Some words make us stronger while others try to tear us down. Choose your words carefully. Try and make the world a better place.

“Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
There’s gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time.”

David Bowie from “Changes”.

Quick Update

So I have stopped my review request campaign. Turns out that this is rather rude. It’s like telemarketing. Luckily, one of the first people I sent an email to is an author who has a rather acerbic wit. She led me to her website that deals with authors who would spam others. It had excellent advice and I am in the process of implementing the advice.

On a more positive note, I have now included a widget on my website. It’s on the right-hand side and it is a graphic from Pacemaker that shows how many words I have written in my novel Stoc. I need to write about 50,000 words to finish the novel. I finished Part One yesterday at around 48,000 words. That will bring the novel to around 100K words which is the right number of words for my novels, I think. 120K words is a little too much.

Anyway, now you can track my progress!

Ciao.

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