What I’ve been up to.

What I'm Up To Update

Hi everyone. Life has gotten busy again! Thank goodness summer is here and now I can shift the type of busy to summer fun-busy.

I recently joined Twitter and have been figuring that out. (Yes I know I’m behind the times) If you write books and are not on twitter, get on twitter. While I have been building a following of fellow writers and literary agents, I have stumbled across Twitter contests called PitMad and SFFpit. I found PitMad one hour before it ended and SFFPit a couple weeks in advance. I hadn’t had any time to write a post about them or twitter… I wrote another book. (between reading other books while exiled from technology for hours a day.)

Good excuse right? This one’s a romance, straight up. It’s third in line for editing and revision now… I’ve never written a romance before. I tend to lean on Urban fantasy, science fiction, and magical realism. it needs a bit of descriptive beefing-up and there’s a hole in the plot that I knew would be there and needs to be fixed. I also have another story brewing that I might not be able to keep on the backburner for much longer. So far it feels like a Paranormal Romance – Urban Fantasy. I’m still fleshing out the details.

On top of that I started the “Your Daily Word Prompt” and reading and catching up on posts, I know I’ve been missing and possibly neglecting some. Sorry about that. So far so good, people seem to be enjoying the prompt, the more the merrier, people can participate via pingback or comment in the day’s’ post. I’m open to suggestions for words if you want to send me a message through the “contact me”. I’ve had a couple comments on the layout that I will address in July so feel free to let me know if you think a color or style isn’t working for you and I will take it into consideration. I’ve kept the daily word prompt separate from my regular blog so the prompt posts don’t get mixed into my regular and personal posts. They will remain scheduled and my attempt or hope is that each prompt word is new and fun.

I’m in the thick of querying agents for Prophecy Ink (Sort of on hold at the moment while I do some more research.)  I was super excited to get a request for materials today from a SFFPit pitch. I hope once I get into a groove and things in my personal life settle down I’ll get everything running smoother than it has been as far as reading posts and posting them.

Thanks for sticking it out and being awesome blog-friends.

Keep writing and creating from the heart.

-Sheryl

Don’t forget to check out, share and follow the new daily prompt I host. Today’s Prompt is: Adulation
DAILY POST PARTICPIATE

A Hairy Subject

Back to descriptions I go. I was reading something and the writer described the woman’s hair colour. I’m not going to share that because it’s not mine to share. However, I’ve come up with something similar to illuminate: Shiny as the mane of a Paso Fino.

Um no.  For a couple of reasons. One the image that comes to mind is not flattering for a human description, two not everyone knows what a Paso Fino is. It’s a horse, lovely creature but not the best colour comparison out there for an attractive woman.  I get it everyone wants to be super creative, but sometimes I think the over used ‘black as ebony’ or ‘golden as the summer sun’ get a little cliché, overused, or boring if you will.

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with just using the actual hair colour and if you need to make it more interesting pick a hairstyle or make it move.  I went to Wikipedia to pilfer these terms for natural hair colour.

Black 
Natural black 
Deepest brunette
Dark brown
Medium brown 
Lightest brown 
Natural brown 
Light brown 
Chestnut brown 
Light chestnut-brown 
Auburn 
Copper 
Red 
Titian hair (Brown orange/red)
Strawberry blonde 
Dark blonde 
Golden blonde 
Medium blonde 
Light blonde 
Very light blonde 
Grey 
White 

Maybe it’s just me but I find keeping the physical descriptions basic, understandable and relate-able a much better method of visualization than getting grotesquely over creative. I do like to incorporate the description of the person to the environment around them.

Let’s see if I can come up with some examples of over doing it to describe someone’s hair.

Her hair shimmered like the setting sun on the surface of a dark springtime puddle.
I kinda want to stomp on her face for fun…

The strands of hair moved across her neck in the gentle breeze like a field of golden wheat on a summer day. 
She is not an expanse of pre-processed bread ingredient.

His short hair shone in the moonlight like a newly picked soft yellow booger. 
Mmm well, I did that just to be gross, because I can.  😉

See what I mean? The subject matter used to describe can make or break the image. Okay how about I try again.

The light of the setting sun reflected on her dark blonde hair; framing her face in a kaleidoscope of radiant warmth.
Who fingers through that hair now?

Her golden blonde hair brushed softly across her neck from the gentle summer breeze.
Fewer crops and more jaw drops.

His short light blond hair shone in the bright moonlight.
A touch more romantic and a whole lot less gross.

Perhaps it is just me and I prefer a simple approach to how I’m going to imagine a person’s appearance. I do sometimes find too many specifics and flowery over description can trip me up when I’m reading.

For example:

She slowly ran her slender elegant fingers through her long satiny tresses that glittered in the sun like a veil of rubies and garnets. She flicked the alluring molten locks of crimson fire to rest gently behind her shapely curved ivory shoulder, like scorching flames licking a shapely sculpture of fragile porcelain.”

That’s an automatic eye roll for me. The poor woman is burning up in flames. I would much prefer a word-savvy description like this:

“Her slender fingers ran through her long dark red hair slowly. She flicked the Cabernet coloured tresses to rest behind her pale smooth shoulder.”

I would appreciate the small colour reference detail that wasn’t over the top with flowery descriptions.  A simple approach works best IMO.  It’s okay to say someone has dark brown hair without referencing dark chocolate or dark coffee. I don’t mind some creative colour descriptions in moderation and as long they fit the character and situation without giving an odd mental image. There are always exceptions and sometimes a little extra visual reference is good. But not if it’s over the top and over done I can be poetic without being cheesy. If I read

My advice about describing hair colour.
Keep the imagery appropriate and flattering. It’s not a good idea to pester the reader with too much. The only time I might suggest going overboard on a description of hair colour, is if it’s like the bright summer blue of a freshly washed Smurfs back-side. 

-Sheryl

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