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Showing posts with the label good writing

When A Character Stinks

I've sometimes abandoned reading/watching a story because of a single character. The writer/s must think this person is funny/appealing/recognizable, but for me, they're nothing but irritating. Here are three that get to me. With apologies to cozy lovers:  the amateur sleuth's zany best friend . When she constantly proposes absolutely dumb ideas, like having a seance to find out who the killer is, I'm out. Crazy buddies can be a hoot in a story, but they can also take things from slightly wacky to waaaay too unbelievable.  Other characters that stop me reading/watching are self-obsessed whiners . Even if they have good reason to be messed up, I quickly get tired of their antics. Rusty on Major Crimes is a good example, as is Anaken Skywalker in Star Wars . I never finished watching the movie that explained his background, because I couldn't stand his whiny "it's not fair" attitude. I used to read Kay Scarpetta novels, but the bitchy niece went over th

What Are You Working on Now?

 Many writers will agree that the Corona virus has been horrible but also helpful. Afraid to go out, unable to do what we once did, what can we do besides write? Since the virus hit big-time, I've published two books (one as Maggie Pill, one as myself) and worked on one that's been a couple of years in the works and is now with the copy editor for its final corrections. Hoping that will come out before the end of the year,  I teased you with the cover above. The downside to Corona for me is mental. With that and other national concerns, I've had trouble concentrating for any length of time, which means my work gets done in fits and starts. When I stop each day, I feel like the work is disjointed, but when I go back the next day and start reading, it's not. It's one of those, "it's not you, it's me" things. I'm writing the same as usual, but stress makes me feel like things aren't right. And what am I writing? A book called THE CUTEST LITTLE

Writing, My Precious

We sometimes hear writing described as precious , which, according to one definition I found, is some combination of 1. self-absorbed – the author inserting his own personality too much in the narration. 2. autobiographical – the story is about something that changed the author’s life, turned into fiction. 3. trying too hard to make the text sound nice/pretty 4. trying too hard to effect a style Last night I dumped a book after about 20 pages for reasons I can't pinpoint except to call the writing precious . I felt like the author was standing at my shoulder, asking, "Didn't I describe that character completely? Isn't she stunningly beautiful?" Every character was described in great detail before he/she ever said a word. In addition, they might just as well have worn signs that said, "LIKE ME" or "DON'T LIKE ME." The "good" characters were perfectly beautiful or incredibly handsome, and the "bad" characters had bea

Wanna-be Writers: Here's the Scoop

Oooooh, So Serious! The right way to get published? There isn't one! That's really all you need to know, but of course I'm not done. There are wrong ways , which include being in too much of a hurry and believing that your book is somehow different from the 3500 other books released each day. (Yup, I just read that figure, and while I didn't check it on Snopes, I'd say it's close with the current ease of publishing.) Still, a lot of what's out there as advice for writers is just silly . Statistics about how many words you write per day don't mean diddly. We're all different, so we work differently. Articles that insist you must maintain a blog or dun your friends and acquaintances with emails each and every month are dumb. Ask yourself who's giving the advice: a company that wants to be your email provider? An author who thinks she's the only person who ever wrote a book? A company that wants to make money from your hopes and dream