Monday, March 21, 2016

Insights Into the Catholic Writer Chick's Little Brain?

When it comes to matters of the Faith, here's a good start:

If you're a Catholic who's wondering why church doesn't seem important, relevant, or purposeful...

If you're a non-Catholic who's wondering what real Church teaching is all about...
If you're starving for some good old-fashioned truth-telling...

Check this guy out. He's been fighting the good fight for a long, LONG time.

And he's especially encouraging and/or strengthening to listen to during Lent and Holy Week, a Holy Week I am afraid will be anything BUT Holy in the confines of the church that is, unfortunately, our local parish.

Take a listen or two and learn good stuff.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

...And the Tweaks Continue

...Have sent CALLIE'S ANGEL out to both my critique partner and a beta reader. 
Now the nervewracking part begins. Or at least the FIRST nervewracking part. 
You know. The one BEFORE you send it out to the Gatekeepers.

I've already gone from, "Man, this is a great story" to "Who in hell is going to want to read this?" 

Writers will recognize this syndrome instantly. And they will also recognize how fast it happens. (!)

Usually, if the writer has done her job somewhat right...she'll swing back toward "Man, this is a great story" again. At least she can get as far as, "OK, not bad. Maybe even good."

Then the comments will come back, and she'll need chocolate.

Hopefully, that will coincide with when the CWC can actually HAVE chocolate again...AFTER Lent is over.

One more week...(ayeeee)



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Callie's Angel...Almost Ready to Fly!

Well, the graphic on the side may have been  a little "off" that CALLIE'S ANGEL, my first new work in YEARS, may not come in at the original projected word count of 90K. (!) It's at 79,770 or so right now, pending revisions--but the first draft is DONE. THE END has been typed, which means first draft is now on the screen, ready for tweaking.

The hard part now is sitting back and NOT being in a hurry to get it submitted anywhere, because there will be changes that an author only discerns and is able to make AFTER the initial smoke clears and you get a better idea what you've created, where it's lacking, or where it needs cutting down.

Still, it's a hoot and a half to have something, finally, ALL NEW in the hopper, just ready to be polished into pristine shape and sent out there, hopefully to snag a contract with some kind of REAL money attached to it.

I, like all writers, live in perpetual hope.

More to come!



Monday, March 14, 2016

....And No One Can Write Romantic Comedy, Either.

I know that writing "funny" is anything but easy. I've done it at times, but being a full-time comedic writer? That's a grind and a half for many reasons. So I "get" that people may not know how to write comedy that's truly laugh-out-loud funny.
But when you're writing rom-com, there's still a romance to consider, too. And the writers I've encountered over the past several days--with a few notable exceptions that can be counted on the fingers of one hand--can't do that, either.

What is it about romance now that eludes so many writers? 
Don't get me wrong: it's not like I'm encountering sex scene after sex scene masquerading as "romance." (You only get that nonsense in places like RWA. And, yes, you can quote me on that.) I'm talking about a romantic deficit that seems to think that one kiss is a relationship...or one flirtation...or one bickering "conflict." 
In other words, yeah, I'm seeing a lot of beginner mistakes in these stories. 
But it's kind of sad that they're not the same kind of beginner mistakes that I, and so many of my now-published colleagues, made in our early attempts to write love stories, either.

We tended to err on the side of "they're getting along way too famously way too fast."
Now, I'm seeing "romances" that deal with relationships that are toxic...
...that are decaying right there on the page...
...or that don't have a spark of excitement ANYWHERE. Not even erotic excitement. Which also isn't "romance," but at least is something a writer can work with as a jumping-off point.

In other words, if the state of romantic fiction is reflected by the entries I've been reading over the past few days...we need help.

I got to the point where I started muttering, "People, people, people. For heaven's sake. Turn on the Hallmark Channel once in a awhile, will you?"

Hey, it may not be highbrow...but at least it's got the emotion in the right places.
It's a start.
In the meantime, there are contest entrants out there who are gonna get their hearts broken by this particular judge--but that,  unfortunately, can't be helped.
If you don't WRITE what the category is about, I'm not going to pretend you DID.
I did give extensive feedback on most of these stories. Which'll probably put them at least a leg ahead in the game when they go onto paper the next time.
I hope!

In the meantime, I can only prescribe rom-com movies. Enough of those, and you'll internalize the genre, and maybe next'll actually write it. 


Tuesday, March 01, 2016

"Alright" Is Not A Word. No. Really. It Isn't.

Judging a creative writing contest...and wondering how it is that so many people really, really, REALLY don't know how to use English. No, I'm not talking esoteric words here, either. I'm talking the non-word "alright." Which is not correct. Has never been correct. And, frankly, which I've seen so many times already today that my teeth are already on edge.

So my dental work. Use a dictionary. Use a Grammarian. Use something that lets you know what ARE, and ARE NOT, real English words. 

And if you have a dictionary that says "alright" is an ALL RIGHT alternative usage...burn it.

You'll be doing us all a favor.

More from your happy happy happy judge, anon.