Monkeys on Typewriters: Creativity vs Grammar

Ape using a typewriter
Yes, we know this is an ape, not a monkey.

Creativity walks a tightrope. If you are not creative enough, your readers will be bored. If you are too creative, your readers will be mystified.

“Oh!” says the Creative Soul. “That’s what I want. I want my reader to be mystified.”

Not this way, you don’t. I mean mystified as in “mixed up, baffled, confounded, deceived and perplexed.” None of these are particularly happy emotions, especially “deceived.”

Yes, there is a challenge in reading a piece of work that sets a puzzle you must solve in order to understand it. For many experienced readers, the joy of solving the puzzle is a great part of the pleasure of reading. Witness the popularity of Joyce’s “Ulysses.”

But… Continue reading “Monkeys on Typewriters: Creativity vs Grammar”

Pro Writing Aid Revisited – the Beta Program

ProWritingAid_-_Writing_Improvement_&_Editing_Software_-_2015-09-08_09.06.51Recently I tried to edit something I had written, only to find that Pro Writing Aid wasn’t working. I could load the document, but it wouldn’t perform the “Analyze” function. This has happened for short periods before, and I assumed it was a marketing trick – a nudge to get going and buy the real version. But this time it went on for several days. What was happening? Continue reading “Pro Writing Aid Revisited – the Beta Program”

Solving Pronoun Problems Can Benefit Your Writing in General

PRONOUNS (002)One of the most effective ways to obfuscate, distract and otherwise confuse your readers is to misuse pronouns. Here are some writing tips that will straighten out your pronoun use and add punch to your writing at the same time.

Overuse of Pronouns

I’m sure you’ve seen it:

He screamed and flailed at him, while his father desperately tried to pull him away.

Without some context, all we know is that there are three characters in this scene, all are male, and one of the younger pair is upset with the other. What is actually going on, and who is doing it, is quite opaque. And all because of a few little pronouns. Continue reading “Solving Pronoun Problems Can Benefit Your Writing in General”

Writing a Series: Pitfalls and Solutions

writing a series graphicCommon wisdom has it that, as an Indie, it’s a good idea to write a series. You price the first book as free or $.99 and set the rest at a regular price. Once readers are hooked, you can pretty well count on them to buy the others. Loyal customers and all that.  But inherent in the multi-book series, you have two main problems. Continue reading “Writing a Series: Pitfalls and Solutions”