There is so much more

Writing is definitely something that consumes me. I love it, every aspect of it. For me putting words to pager (or screen) is exciting, fun and I can’t get enough.

There is so much more to writing than just putting words down. There is plot, characters, story arcs, scenes, grammar, sentence structure, paragraph structure, chapter structure and more to consider. There are the nuances to story telling such as how to describe even ordinary things or people, how to move the story along, bring in characters and show the reader their stories.

It can be overwhelming if you look at it all at once. There is so much to do, to think about and consider. I say bah! Just write. Use what tools and rules work best for you. I do. Then I go back and apply the rest. Such as: show don’t tell, filter word removal and more. I don’t look at the editing or revising as work, it’s a part of it. A chance for me to fine tune and perfect what I’ve written. I never make the mistake of fooling myself in believing what I wrote is perfect. There is always room for improvement.

I started this blog as a means to share what I’ve learned. In writing, editing, querying and the pursuit of being published. I also started this blog to strengthen my platform. Along the way I have met amazing and talented people who not only support my efforts, but put out amazing blog’s of their own. I am continuously learning and enjoy sharing. More importantly, I appreciate all my readers and the comments that are left for me.

I have learned to stretch my writing muscles and be open to ideas and methods I’ve never tried before. To attempt stories in different perspectives and view points. I have fun writing my blog examples and accidentally got a book out of it. It’s very important that I keep reading other people’s work published or not. For me it’s a way to see and understand how other people think. What they like and want.

My imagination is only limited by myself. One thing I’ve learned to do is to see and ‘feel out’ alternate options to a story arc. Be it major or minor. The options are endless and sometimes, the unexpected one boosts the story.

I have learned to never give up. To look forward and dare to dream. That hard work and persistance will get you to the next step.

So thank you to all that read my blog, thank you to all that leave comments and to all that write fantastic blogs for me to visit and enjoy.

My advice about writing.
Write what makes you happy. Don’t strive to write what other people are writing. Write for yourself and most importantly, write how you want to. If you like it, someone else is bound to. 

-Sheryl

Some of my favourite posts I’ve written.

That is disgusting

Isn’t it romantic?

Roller-coaster Conversations

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

 Ordinary

Tricky Little Non-Rejection

I opened my email this evening to see the mini caption “Hello Sheryl, great news for you and your manuscript.”  Heart leaped to my throat and I opened it… to find a freaking advertisement for a submission review service.  For only $29.99 they will… UGH!!  That tricky little non-rejection was worse than the real thing.

I wonder how many people think gee, for thirty bucks I can have my submission reviewed. It’s tempting I wont lie, but it’s also risky. I look at it this way, I will try on my own with all the effort I’ve put into my editing, revision and query submissions. If by the end of my list I’m sitting at the bottom with nothing but no’s, then I’ll look at reaching out to find services to assist. In all seriousness something tells me that thirty bucks wont get me much in the way of a quality revision… That something is the research I’ve done to see what these services generally cost from professionals and it’s a whole lot more than even three hundred let alone thirty.

Needless to say it was fun to think someone was interested, but alas it was a false alarm. One day, I know that one day I’ll open my email and see that glorious positive response from an agent and it wont be someone looking to cash in on potentially desperate writers hoping to make it big while swimming through the sea of no-thank-you.

I continue to research my options, it takes time to figure out what to do next and frankly rushing is never a good idea.

My advice about false alarms.
Don’t let them get you down, no matter how excited you get before the let down. Think of them instead as a lukewarm practice for the real thing. 

-Sheryl

Other posts sort of like this one.

The rejection letter

Rejecting the rejected

The many faces of Rejection

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved
Lukewarm
Seriousness

It’s a personal thing

I learned something interesting recently. It is something I was already doing, however, now I have a better understanding of how to make it work for me. I’m talking about personal items. The things I keep around me reflect who I am and what I like. This goes for anyone and everyone including characters of a story.

Personalizing the space around a character can tell you a lot about a person in a very short time. It can give a person opportunity to exhibit a bit of personality. Things that are common but can be very personalized.

Personal things that can strongly suggest a personality or like/dislike
Keychains (Big opportunity here)
Photographs/Calendars
Jewellery
Clothes (Like a sports team or band concert shirt)
Tidy or untidy desktop
Scuffed shoes
Personalized pens
Nail polish/hair colour
Tattoos
Purse/handbag/wallet
Books
Handheld electronic devices
Ringtones on cellphone
Music
Car
Computer desktop wallpaper

Not going over the top, I’ll have Cal interact with three different people.

Cal walked into the office stopping at Ralph’s desk. Cal was the new guy here and paying attention was paramount. Ralph nodded at him pointing at the obvious phone to his ear. Cal smiled and surveyed his desk. Ralph’s Mexico calendar had the days crossed off with a big circle on the twentieth. A stress ball and an Acapulco coffee mug sat among stacks of files. He set the receiver down.
“How can I help you? Detective Thorn.” Ralph said his name like a question.
Cal smiled sweetly at the tired man. They had met three times already, though his apathetic attitude spoke volumes.
“Two more weeks before you go scuba diving in Mexico Ralph, I’m envious. Do you have the evidence report on Cowen that was sent to the Judge for me?” 
He had it, the question was would he give it to him right away.
“It can’t come soon enough Detective.” Ralph rifled through the stacks on his desk. “Well soak it up and do nothing important, only fun. You deserve a little R and R.”
“Oh, I plan on it, Detective.” Ralph smiled handing him the file.
“Thanks, Ralph I appreciate how fast you got this for me.”
“No problem.”

Someone like Ralph is unhappy about work, tired and looks forward to his yearly jaunt to Acapulco enough that Cal’s small talk about his trip would go a long way. Now compared to someone with a clean and tidy personal memento free workspace.

Cal approached Nancy next knocking on her open door and waiting for her permission to enter. “Detective Thorn.” She nodded at him to sit as she straightened her keyboard and put her pen back in the holder. “To what do I owe this pleasure?”
“I got a call this morning that Baylor Cowen got out on bail.”
“Most unfortunate.” She laced her fingers placing her hands before her on the desktop. “The judge is not on our side it seems.”
“What is it going to take to get her under investigation? The evidence was solid.”
“So was your fist Detective. A black eye and a greased palm were enough to get him out.” She tutted once. “That being said I cannot fault you, I would have enjoyed seeing that man go down. If you want to look into the Judge and her decisions, I’ll see it approved. Have Nunez start combing the records.” Her curt nod was his dismissal and he stood and left. ‘No nonsense Nancy’ he had been warned on his first day at the precinct to be straight up with her about everything.

The no-nonsense Nancy would not appreciate small talk and would respond better to matter of fact straight to the point conversation.

Cal stopped at the evidence room before leaving. Trish was biting the end of her Party-Harty pen and the faded club stamp was still visible on her wrist. She sat up straighter when she saw him.
“Good morning Trish.” She blushed furiously at his use of her name.
“Good morning Detective you’re here early.”
“How’s that new club you said you were going to on Saturday?”
“Oh Club Hyperbole? It was a blast, great music, glow in the dark shots and lots of hot guys.”
“Glow in the dark sounds fun.” He gave her a charming smile and leaned on the tall counter. “I have to go see a witness this morning.”
“Lucky witness.”
“Would you happen to have an original printout of the evidence from the Crowen Case? Before it was submitted to the Judge or Crowen’s Lawyers?”
“I sure hope so.” She took out her key-chain with a clear pink mini martini glass dangling from it. She unlocked the cabinet and rifled through.
“Lucky you too.” She photocopied it and handed him the copy.
He took it with a wink. “Thanks, Trish.”
“For you? Any time Detective.” She watched him walk away.

Flirty objects on or around a person might suggest they are open to or respond best to flirting or personal remarks. My only caution with this type of interaction would be to be aware of personality. While Cal is a detective and likely to see these clues, Sasha would not necessarily be so in tune. Not everyone is a sleuth or intuitive, and not everyone has the personality to pull each interaction off without coming across as smarmy or as an opportunist.

This is also a good way to give the reader a better insight to the protagonist through the eyes of another character say if they visit their home.

My advice about personal items.
I wouldn’t say to use them for everyone all the time, just if you need a snapshot into someone minor or when introducing someone new. Instead of the standard head to toe description with a telling of who they are and how they fit in, try showing who they are in a first impression style.

-Sheryl

Other posts

The FAB pencil

Labor of love

Who’s who in the grand scheme of things

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

Hyperbole
Record
Volume