#A-Z Challenge: B is for Boring, boring, boring….

melanievlogan:

The first sentence of this post is so true.  Who wants to read something that is drab and lifeless or makes one prefer to watch paint dry?  Certainly not me.  I have come across books and even some movies where I was left wondering why the creators bothered with displaying their work to the public.  Was it just to have something to add to a resume or some kind of dare?  I tend to think it was the former.

Anywho, the tips in this post are great reminders on things to ensure when writing.

Originally posted on Alison Williams Writing:

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For the A-Z challenge, I am posting writing and editing tips to help you improve and enhance your writing.

B is for Boring, boring, boring….

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Your job as a writer is to entertain, inform and engage your reader. If this isn’t your goal, then you may be in the wrong job. You don’t want to bore your reader or they’ll simply close your book and go and find another one on Amazon (there are millions to choose from after all). So how do you avoid sending your reader to sleep?

  • Increase the pace. You can do this by using a variety of sentence and paragraph lengths. Short sentences will add drama, suspense and pace, moving your reader forward with your character.
  • Get rid of passive voice. Passive voice can be too wordy and can put a distance between your reader and your words.
  • Include drama, conflict and events. You’re writing…

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Daddy’s Basement

Image: Amanda Dykes

Image: Amanda Dykes

Hi Alvin,

I hope you and your family are doing well.  I didn’t get a chance to speak with you after the funeral.  I was hoping that maybe we could sit down and talk.  Make amends.  Heal old wounds.  It’s not too late – for us anyway.

I’m writing to let you know that I’ve begun to go through Daddy’s things.  There were a lot of old boxes in the basement that I thought were junk, but looking more closely, I think it explains a lot.

I found some letters Mama and Daddy wrote each other while he was in the Korean war.  This was before they got married, and in fact, I think it explains why they did. 

Mama had been sexually abused by her cousin for years.  She kept it quiet until she couldn’t.  She told grand-mommy and it got to poppy and the rest of the family. She was either called a liar or told to just put it out of her mind.  Daddy wanted to come home to “deal” with it, but Mama told him to just focus on getting himself home in one piece.   He sent money so she could move, but Mama made excuses about why she couldn’t.  I think she was just afraid.

There was also a part in some of the letters where Daddy alluded to being abused too.  Something about his father cut his toes off and his mother sewed them back on with the needle and thread she used for clothing.  I thought at first that he was just trying to make Mama laugh or help her to not feel alone.  But the more I read, there were awful things that happened to him.  Like his father burning him with a cattle brand. 

Remember when we were little, you asked Daddy why he had that big ‘W’ on his shoulder?  That look on his face could have killed.  He tried to dismiss it as him and his brother playing around.  Well, now we know the truth.  I guess all the times he lashed out at us, he was just repeating what his father did to him.

Anyway, I didn’t want to write to bring you down or anything.  Just that I think I understand now that our parents were hurt individuals who turned to each other for solace, later finding out that they really were nothing to each other.  Remember how Mama and Daddy were around each other?  They never really seemed to like each other.  I don’t think I ever saw them hug or kiss.  It was obvious that they didn’t love each other, and I think that only intensified the pain they already were enduring, trying to forgot their pasts.

Alvin, I think you and I were supposed to be the remedy for their pain.  A way to make up for everything they went through by being better parents than their own.  Instead they repeated patterns turning their childhood horrors into generational curses.  But now that we know, we can free ourselves.  There’s no reason for us to continue to hold on to the old burdens. Mama and Daddy are gone.  Nothing we can do to correct anything there.  But we have a chance.  Are you willing to try?

I’ve included my business card.  I’m hoping that we can talk.  I miss you, brother.  And I love you.  Please remember that.

Always,

Paul

 

Is Taking a Writing Class Really Worth Your Time?

melanievlogan:

Over the last couple of months, I have contemplated whether to take a writing course.  In fact, one of the online webinars I attended in February recommended that anyone serious about their writing should take courses and even seek an MFA (Masters in Fine Arts).  Hearing this gave me pause.  I’ve already obtained a bachelors and a masters in other fields, and like most people, I’m still striving to pay them off.

After reading this post, the points made were quite valid.  So, for me, I don’t think I’ll go for the MFA, but I will take a class or two if it’s something that sparks my interest or can help me improve on a weakness.

Originally posted on Novelty Revisions:

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Writers learn to refine their skills in a lot of different ways, and the most successful writers take the time to try a healthy variety of options before deciding which ones work the best for their personality and style. Taking classes in writing, whether as a high school or college student or on your own time somewhere else, is one method some writers find refreshing and helpful.

Some writers. Not all.

Those who teach writing have probably started an ongoing list of pros, and it’s true there are benefits to learning how to write while sitting beside a diverse group of writers at all experience levels. There are downsides, however, that might make you reconsider signing up for an optional writing course in the near future.

Consider these factors when deciding whether or not to sign up for a writing course near you. 

Individual Critiques Are Minimal

There are…

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Breaking Bad 39 – The Appreciation Edition

melanievlogan:

Just wanted to follow-up on this post.  A lot has happened.  Many things accomplished.  More goals and dreams to realize.  But what I can say for the last 365+ days is that there has been a prevalent theme – don’t take life or people for granted because it can all change or be gone in the blink of an eye. With that said I thank God for all His blessings and for all the wonderful people He’s allowed to cross my path including the followers and readers of this blog.

 

Originally posted on Musings by Melanie V. Logan:

JaneGenova_SpeechwriterIf you’ve come to this post looking for a review or commentary on the AMC hit, Breaking Bad, sorry to disappoint you.  It’s not that kinda post.  Instead, it’s my light-hearted rant on the final days of being thirty-something. ;-)

First let me say that I thank God for my life.  From birth to now, there have been health problems, family crisis, and all other kinds of life issues and circumstances that could have taken me out.  He spared me, and I’m grateful.  It’s one of the reasons that I’m dedicating year 40 to making the most of this life.

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The Writing Muscle

melanievlogan:

Looking at the title of this post and the tips listed, I couldn’t help but think about physical exercise.  Working the upper and lower body for a good tone, and cardio to strengthen the heart.  But for writing, working out different areas to improve upon skill.

Originally posted on matiaheslep:

Think of your current writing skill. Would you say it is weak, untrained? Would you say that it could stand strong on it’s own but could always seek further improvement?

Think of your writing skill as a muscle. You can work out in many different ways to earn many different results and gain strength. Skip leg day and you will be a disproportionate human.

Here are a few ways to work your writing muscle:

1. Read

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Read the good, the bad and the ugly. Absorb it and try to read in such a way that you shine light on what the author was aiming to capture. Digest all writing techniques used and learn from it or try to discern where they went wrong.

As a reader, you gain a bystander’s insight in the situation. This will help you improve your own writing technique in little ways so that when…

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The Ultimate Sacrifice

Easter-Sunday-Jesus-Christ-1What must it feel like to know that your life will soon come to an end?  To know that you’ve done as much as you could to inform those around you of a future hope and the ability to live forever – only to be mocked, beaten, or treated like a criminal.  How would one feel to be a part of a group of friends who say they have your back only to find that you are betrayed, doubted, or left all alone?  Would most of us continue the journey or abandon the plan?  But yet, He continued on – making the ultimate sacrifice for us out of love.  And for that I am thankful.

Writing A Synopsis

melanievlogan:

This post is very timely for me.  Not long ago, I was summarizing the plot of one of my stories to my husband over a plate of lasagne and veggies.  In between chewing and swallowing, I laid out the plot while my husband’s eyes and interest grew.  Then later that night, I sat down in front of my computer to lay out the synopsis and drew a complete blank.  And when I did type something, it sounded bland.  A complete contrast from the hype earlier in the evening.  So to give my work justice, the tips in this post will be very helpful.

Originally posted on Dust 2 Diamonds:

Summarizing your story at dinner to entertain friends is easy.

You make it sound exciting. But when you sit down to write a synopsis, you get brain-freeze.

No worries. For a quick, exciting synopsis, answer these 9 Questions: Learn more.

Kelly and Nancy

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