Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dwelling on Dreams at Christmas?

I’m watching the Harry Potter movies with my kids this week. In The Sorcerer’s Stone, Dumbledore tells Harry, “It does not do to dwell on dreams, Harry, and forget to live.”

This line really resonates with me. Writing is a bit like looking into the Magic Mirror. Dumbledore tells us that “it shows us nothing more than the deepest and most desperate desires of our hearts”. When I write, I’m diving into a fantasy world of my own creation and if that isn’t a desperate desire, I don’t know what is!

When I’m in this fantasy world, the real world fades away. I know it’s hard for people who love me, especially during the holidays. I get a lot of “what’s wrong, Mom?” Nothing’s wrong. I’m just not really present. I’m in my fantasy world, building characters or pulling at plot threads, trying to make a novel work.

I’d hoped to submit my YA novel before the end of 2013, but I’m feeling that this month, it doesn’t do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. My kids are growing up faster than I want them to. My husband has some time off. It’s the holidays. I guess it’s time to stay in the real world for a couple of days!

Yes, I’ll probably sneak a bit of writing in at night, but during the day I want to dwell on those around me and revel in the joy that is Christmas! I hope you all do the same!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Strike Out Against 'Nearly'

I’m reading a book right now and the author has a penchant for the word ‘nearly’. It’s nearly driving me crazy! It bugs me so much that I’ve nearly gone and checked four of my manuscripts to search for the word ‘nearly’!  I won’t quote directly from the book because I don’t believe in bashing authors and I like the story. It’s a decent book. I’m also grateful to the author because it reminds me that there is a difference between a character who hesitates and a writer who hesitates.

Here’s an extreme example of why you should strike the word ‘nearly’ from your work:

The killer nearly pulled a gun.

See what I mean? It doesn’t work. The killer pulled a gun is always going to be the better sentence.

Here’s another example:

I was crouched down low, nearly breathless…

I don’t think you can be ‘nearly breathless’. Instead try something like:
I was crouched down low, my breath coming in short, shallow bursts…

Even if you’re using it to indicate location, there will be better word choices.

We were nearly to the church when the tire blew out.

Nope.  We were less than a mile from the church when the tire blew out sounds much better.
What do you think? Do you use the word 'nearly' effectively?


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Yay! Exciting news tonight.
My novella, Valkyrie's Kiss, will be released by Evernight Publishing in January 2014! More details coming soon!