Writing Description: Then and Now

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Hemingway is famous for his short, straightforward sentences that get rid of unnecessary descriptive words for a more concise, minimalistic style of writing.August Wainright

In Death in the Afternoon, Hemingway wrote, “If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of the iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.”

This was a grand departure from the great literature that preceded it, like that of Dickens, Hugo or other romantic novelists. While Hemingway was a pioneer in this more terse, modern style, his opinions are by no means universally accepted. I have done some research and given some thought to the divergence of opinion on the uses and styles of description in modern writing and what brought about the changes. Continue reading “Writing Description: Then and Now”

4 Reasons not to Push that Publish Button

stop don't push that publish button hand-944306_960_720.jpgSo you’ve written your first book. Or maybe this is not your first, so you feel even more confident. You’ve put your heart and soul into it. It took so long and now you think it’s ready. You’ve even had a few family members and friends read it and they tell you it’s great. You’ve heard about how easy it is to publish on KDP, CreateSpace – even Smashwords.

It’s November and you really want to hit that holiday market. After all, that’s the time the most people buy books for gifts. The timing is perfect and you’re itching to push that publish button.

Whoa! Hold on a minute. Do you really want to take that risk? Continue reading “4 Reasons not to Push that Publish Button”

Guidelines for a Writing Critique Group

critique group feedbackThere are many formats in which critique groups can operate. Much of how they are run depends on the size of the group, whether they meet face to face or online, and the level of writing expertise among their members. As each group forms, the way it operates will evolve. It will vary with the aims and needs of its members.

For three years I have been a member of a small group that meets monthly at our local library. Over time we have lost and gained members. That has resulted in some changes in the way the group operates. In the last month, more shifts have happened and the old core members decided the time had come to formalize, to some degree, what we expect from the group and its members. Continue reading “Guidelines for a Writing Critique Group”

Rediscovering the Joy of Reading

rediscovering books woman-309201_960_720In my most recent post, I wrote about my frustration with promotion and marketing and how it had taken a big bite out of the joy of writing. I gave myself permission to ignore that aspect of my life for the time being.

While that decision gave me a sense of relief, it did not, as I expected, allow me to plunge myself blissfully into those activities I had given up. Routines are difficult to break and I found myself staring at my keyboard, playing solitaire, and generally wasting time or frittering it away with activities that gave me none of the pleasure I had looked forward to. Continue reading “Rediscovering the Joy of Reading”