Writing Prompt #16

Whether or not you follow the Outlander crazy sweeping the nation, one of the popular sub-genres of romance novels are the highlander genre. There is something abut the mystery and the Scottish brogue that can send women’s hearts fluttering.

But what if your hero wasn’t a lad. What if the heroine was a lass?

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Editing: Adjectives

Every writer has his/her crutches. Don’t believe me? Go back and read some of your earliest writing. (You just cringed at the thought, didn’t you?)

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Since I’m in the middle of painful edits, I’m going to be totally transparent about my biggest crutch/Achilles heel/bane of my existence.

adjectives

-words that modify nouns & pronouns; a descriptive word-

Why is this a problem? Because adjectives can WEAKEN your writing. Use too many and they work against each other to take away from the imagery you’re creating and pull your reader from the story. A big no-no.

ex. The ugly, long, dirty, dingy, yellow curtains kept the cheerful, blinding, hot sun out of the gloomy, chilly, dusty room.

Say it out loud. It’s an awkward mouthful that overwhelms rather than painting a clear image. Here is a much better example.

ex. The dirty, yellow curtains kept the sun out of the cold room.

The adjective “dirty” tells us the curtains are dingy and ugly, it also tells us the room is dusty. The fact that there are curtains on the window shows us that the room is probably gloomy. The sun doesn’t need descriptors to tell us that its hot, blinding, or cheerful. These are things we infer just from knowing the sun is shining behind the curtains. All those extra adjectives simply cluttered our sentence.

I’ve learned that adjectives are like a king-sized Hershey bar sitting on my counter, luring me closer, begging me to eat all of it at once. I know that if I do, I’ll probably gain 5 poiunds as well as really irritate my 9-year-old son for whom I bought the treat. Simply put, it’s a really bad idea. Using too many adjectives leads to lazy writing, which makes your manuscript “heavy” in the metaphorical sense. *sigh* My MS and I are going on a diet.

Editing funny comic

I’m walking away from that candy bar and getting back to my editing. There’s always more adjectives to delete. In the mean time, leave a comment sharing your worst crutch. I’d love to know I’m not the only one out there who’s willing to expose my imperfections!

2015-2016 Author photo

Sabrina A. Fish is the author of three Shine novellas, Lost Haven, Road to Nowhere and The Gilded Cage. Owner of a thriving Oklahoma trophy company, she collects interesting names to use in her writing from lists of award recipients. She’s been married to a wonderful man for 10 years and has been mommy to a beautiful little boy for 9 of those. You can learn more about Sabrina at www.SabrinaAFish.com or find her on Twitter @SabrinaAFish, and Instagram @SabrinaAFish, on Goodreads, and Facebook /AuthorSabrinaAFish

Just Do it – Become a Writer

Anne

I’ve always wanted to write – to be a writer.

Eighteen months ago I resigned from my job as a Structural Biologist in Cambridge, to move to the North of England and study for an MA in Creative Writing. This felt like a huge life-changing decision, as I sold my house, packed up my worldly goods and set out, together with my three cats, on the long drive north. My friends thought I was insane, although the word they used was ‘brave’.

3 cats

What made me do it?

I needed a change; a new challenge.

When I joined the company I worked for, it was a small start-up biotech and I was one of the first employees. I’d left a secure job for the excitement of being involved at the beginning, but none of us knew whether we would still be employed after the six months of seed funding ran out. The work was demanding and varied, with new deadlines every day. Fifteen years later, the company was successful and secure, but the pace had slowed, and the demands of the job were different. I began to get restless.

I took singing lessons, art lessons, developed interests in long distance running and open water swimming, but none of these things satisfied me.

I’d been writing for a while, had managed to have a few short stories and poems published, and my first novel had been accepted by a small US publishing company (It was fantasy romance). After careful consideration of my options, I applied for, and was accepted at Lancaster University to study for a full-time campus MA.

I decided to live in Windermere, in the English Lake District, mainly because I thought the  cats would like it, but also because of its literary history – William Wordsworth, John Ruskin, Beatrix Potter all lived here – and found a house on top of a hill.

house

The year of the MA was absolutely inspiring. I met a group of exciting fellow writers from all over the world, was taught by brilliant lecturers, who were also poets, novelists and short story writers, and had the time to explore different forms of writing.

During the course I completed a science fiction novel, set in a dystopian future, had my second fantasy novel accepted for publication and wrote a variety of short stories. I learned to edit and give constructive criticism to my colleagues. It was a fantastic year, and I have never regretted my decision.

My new challenge is to make my writing pay (or to find another job, and my boss told me I’d never work again at my age) in a time of rapidly evolving markets and technology.

If I was presumptuous enough to give advice to anyone, I’d tell them to go for it. Think of ways you can make your dream work. Move towards it, slowly if necessary. I realized, looking back, that that was what I had been doing for years, with the short stories, the writing courses, the local workshop groups and the first attempt at a novel.

Just Do It.

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I’m the blonde one with the unsteady mortarboard.

Anne Cleasby lives in the English Lake District and writes fantasy romance under the pseudonym Annalisa Carr

She can be found at http://www.annalisacarr.com

 

Call for Sign-Ups! Call for Sign-Ups!

Calling all bloggers! Calling all bloggers!

It’s official! Write. Blog. Connect. is jumping back into the blogging world and is calling for bloggers to join our team!

Currently, we want all types of bloggers with all types of blogs. WBC isn’t only for novel writers, but for any type of writer and style of writing. We are not only looking for fiction, non-fiction, and genre fiction writers, but want blogs written about parenting, step parenting, adoption, homeschooling, crafting, photography, natural and farm living, finance (business and personal), health and fitness, food and cooking, and pet blogs too!

Below are the guidelines, so please read before signing up! Thank you for being apart of what we hope is a wonderful and fun place for writers and readers!!!

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We are always looking for unique and relevant content that would be beneficial to our mission and inspiring to our writers and readers.

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