Blogging from A to Z ~The Letter G

Saturday April 7, 2018 ~ The Letter G  

 

This month, I write about being a writer, alphabetically.

I’ve written nonfiction, short stories, and poetry. My media has included everything from keyboard to fountain pen to crayon.  And yes, I’m working on a novel.

Please join me each day as I explore this craft and career of playing with words as I participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2018.

 

The Letter G

Grammar

I know, we’ve all heard it before – grammar matters.  Even if we’re intentionally breaking a few syntax rules, we’re supposed to know which ones we’re ignoring and why we’re doing it.  That’s what they say.

Except for the fact that real people, and therefore our characters, don’t speak perfect English.  Have you ever read a book and every conversation sounded stilted?  No contractions, and perfect linguistics but not an ounce of actual believable conversation?  Sometimes grammar checking apps or sites will do that to you.  Occasionally, you may find that an editor’s red pen improves the language, but ruins the intended voice.

Which is why it’s important to know your grammar, and why you broke the rules. Because then you can clarify with whoever “fixed” that critical paragraph and get them to put it back.  Only when it’s truly crucial, please.

 

Genre

Genre matters, too, if you’re writing commercial fiction.  The publisher needs to know how to sell you book and what format will sell the best. The bookseller must recognize where to shelve your book.  And the marketer (you!) want to market your novel most effectively.  So, genre matters.

Just now, the top selling Genres on Amazon are Science Fiction, Romance, and Fantasy.  Please please don’t change what your’e writing to match what you think is going to move. Write what you’re passionate about! Those with experience tell us not to follow the trends, because, well, they change. And they change faster than it takes the average author to finish a novel.

So, if you’re writing commercial fiction, know your genres.  Use that knowledge in your elevator pitch. If they ask what you’re writing, you can mention the genres you like to write. And, yes, ever writer should have a 30 second description of what they’re writing and why it is great.   Don’t worry, the more you do it, the easier it gets. After all, you’re creating something incredible enough that you hope other people will pay money for it. Be confident! And  know your Genre.

Gratitude

I mentioned the other day that I have a tricked out desk with nice music and a beverage of my choice and a laptop with a fruit on the cover.  How lucky I am to be able to close the door to my space and write when I must. How  fortunate I can jump in my car and head for a different environment to encourage my muse.  How charmed is my life that I can think about traveling to retreats or conferences, that I can sign up for seminars and classes, that I can purchase helpful apps and chocolate.  How very cool that I have time (never enough, but more than so many other people) to follow my passion and string together words for others to read.

I begin and end each day reflecting on my good fortune.  I get to pursue something I love. I have the resources to do so comfortably.  Sometimes people read the words I throw out there.  I am grateful.

 

Monday, the letter H  …

 

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Blogging from A to Z ~The Letter D

Wednesday April 4, 2018 ~

The Letter D  

 

This month, I write about being a writer, alphabetically.

I’ve written nonfiction, short stories, and poetry. My media has included everything from keyboard to fountain pen to crayon.  And yes, I’m working on a novel.

 

Please join me each day as I explore this craft and career of playing with words as I participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2018.

 

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which means it’s also Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. I’m giving Blogging from A to Z precedence, so today’s post doesn’t really examine April Showers or explore May Flowers. Still, go take a look at IWSG And while you’re there, congratulate Shannon Lawrence, on the launch of Blue Sludge Blues and her new position as Newsletter Editor at IWSG. You can find Shannon here.

 

The Letter D

 

Dictionary

Creative use of grammar and spelling and vocabulary can be fun.  Remember though, editors and (most likely) your readers can tell.  They can tell the difference between intentional creative wordplay and just  poor wordcraft. Maybe that’ll make a difference in getting published or selling the next book.  Possibly it’ll just annoy your readers.  Use a spellchecker, verify the meaning of words if you’re not certain, and see that your subjects and predicates match properly.

 

Doubt

Yes, yes you can do this!  Doubt chips away at self-conficence and will erode all your plans.  Put doubt away, don’t let it ruin your process. Afraid you don’t have the chops for this writing thing?  Take a look at some of the offerings on free e-pub sites, or read some fan fiction. Both are great places to take a peek at all different writing skill levels. And I can just about guarantee you’ll find at least one piece that will boost your ego.

 

Daily

We’ve all got busy lives, full plates, varied commitments. Remember that 8:00 am class back in your school days? The one you only made it to half the time because, well, 8:00 am. Plus it wasn’t really required for your major. Remember barely phoning it in until two days before the final when you tried to fill your brain with enough to get through the final?  Did you get your own best possible results?  Small bites daily will build your story efficiently. And with less mental anguish than an interminable session that leaves you with blurred vision and a word-count hangover.  Exception: NaNoWriMo, if that’s your thing.

 

Discipline

If you’re serious about this, then you should treat it as such.  Make a regular commitment – even if it isn’t every single day.  Put it on your calendar, set a reminder if you need to. Not only will you get more words down, but your mind will get in the habit of being creative on a regular basis.  Yup, the more regularly you write, the less writer’s block you’ll suffer.  Most of the time.

Tomorrow, the letter E …

 

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