Monday, February 28, 2011

What’s It All About, Alfie?

What's it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie?

Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind?

At the Most Basic Level Do Critics Even Understand Fiction?

Do they really have any idea what they are talking about?

Sometimes I think critics and teachers just don’t get it. It’s like they know every part of the human body but they have no idea what a human being is.

I read a blog this morning that was talking about plot. A famous writer was said to have weak plots but that his stories were about his plots. The characters just followed the plot. It didn’t make much difference who the characters were. This tendency made the writer a dull writer. Of course, this writer was one of the best selling authors of his time.

The critic went on to say that even people who talk a lot about plot are really interested in what everyone else is interested in with regard to fiction and that is characters. Oh, my.

Fiction is about what people are interested in, what entertains them and what they feel rewarded by reading.

People read fiction and given authors for specific reasons. The authors offer something they like and want to read. That’s what’s important.

People could be reading an author because of the plot, or the characterization, or the descriptions, or the humor, or the satire, or the author’s unique point-of-view or even the author’s quirky voice. There might even be a combination of these elements. The important thing is that there is something readers like and if the author delivers that ‘something’ then that author can be successful.

The key to success here is knowing your audience. Knowing what the audience likes best in your writing and then delivering that ‘something’ better with each new book.

Authors who get this concept, like Janet Evanovich, Lilian Jackson Braun, Louis L’Amour, Nevada Barr, Nora Roberts and many others, develop followings. These authors know what their readers like and want and they deliver it.

That’s what it’s about, Alfie. Creating something enough readers will love and then getting better and better at delivering that ‘something’.

By the way: this is something the critics can’t stand! Somehow critics want everything to be based on rules and logic and what people should want. This is fine and well for critics writing for other critics but a writer would be wise to overlook much of this critical noise and concentrate on creating a product people want to buy.

World Premier Tonight at 12:01 A.M.

Just a Few Hours for the Early Bird Release of Two Greatly Anticipated Love Inspired Books!

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Only Available a eHarlequin for the next 30 days.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

How to Write a 500-Page “Page-Turner”!

A Perfect Reason to Read a Longer Romance!

A Hope Undaunted”
Winds of Change Series #1
By: Julie Lessman
Paperback: 505 pages
Publisher: Revell
(September 1, 2010)

I love short romances! The Harlequin Medical Romance line is just about perfect in my opinion. The very idea of reading a romance that’s over 500 pages long is daunting!

So it’s amazing that, “A Hope Undaunted,” by Julie Lessman, at over 500 pages, is the fourth such book by the author that I’ve read!

I can’t believe it myself. But then I can’t help myself. The first book in the series, “A Passion Most Pure” was so good, it won all kind of awards – including “Best Book of the Year” in its category. Each additional book in the series has been a real ‘page-turner’.

The author keeps the pages turning by simply being interesting. Every few pages something interesting is happening. There are six children in the O’Connor family and they all have stories. “A Hope Undaunted” is Kate’s story. She is daughter number four, the youngest, and spoiled rotten. Given her birth position, she would almost have to be.

Julie Lessman draws very real characters you immediately identify with. You quickly become emotionally involved with people in the book even when you don’t like a rather unsympathetic character.

While “A Hope Undaunted” is book one of the “Winds of Change Series”, it is also book four in the full series. This makes it hard to review in that I have read the other books and I fully appreciate everything the author accomplishes in the book. I think it is clearly a great, 5-star’ book but I can’t be sure someone who has not read the other books will rate it that high. (I really suggest you read the whole series but surely “A Hope Undaunted” is at least a wonderful 4-star read if read alone.)

The story takes place in 1929 as the economy is falling apart and the stock market crashes. The heroine, Kate O’Connor, is being punished for being too wild. She has to work the summer in a volunteer job to help orphans. These were the very last days of the orphan trains to the Midwest. (There’s a lot of interesting history in the book).

The assistant director of the charity is the hero, Luke McGee, who was Kate’s childhood nemesis. She can’t believe that he grew up to be so tall and handsome. Luke is a lawyer now. Kate also wants to be a lawyer and the book points out how there was a special women's law school back then in which girls could attend after high school and become lawyers in just four years without going to college.

Kate is going to attend that school if the family can afford to send her after the stock market crash! Very interesting. The whole book is interesting and totally captivating. I like it the best of the four books so far.

Sometimes a little point can cast a better light on a big project that a whole essay. Below is a quote form the book that is really just an aside. It comes at the end of a chapter and is totally unexpected.

From “A Hope Undaunted”. The grandfather (Patrick) and grandmother (Marcy) have just had a big fight about a foster child Marcy ‘needs’ to alleviate her impending ‘empty nest’ angst.

* * *

"She nodded and sniffed again.

With a tight squeeze, he buried his head in her neck before pulling away with a lift of his brow. He stared at her new satin gown, then slowly fanned his hands down the sides of her waist. “And speaking of a price to pay – so you’ve taken to wearing perfume to bed, have you, Mrs. O’Connor?” He bent to caress the curve of her throat while his fingers grazed the strap of her gown. “And a new satin gown, surely not just for sleep.” With a slow sweep of his thumb, the strap slithered from her shoulder. “Oh, I’m afraid this is going to cost you, darlin’.”

He kissed her full on the mouth, and heat shivered through her. “I suppose this isn’t one of those times when I need to say no,” she whispered, her breathing ragged against his jaw.

“No, darlin’, it’s not.” And clutching her close, he fisted the satin gown and moved in to deepen the kiss, his husky words melting in her mouth. “For all the good it would do.”

WOW! And this is Christian fiction!

"Edgy" Christian fiction as the author likes to say.

I don’t think I can find another passage like the one above in the last few hundred romances I’ve read. I just loved it!!

This is what you get on every page. This is why I keep reading Lessman’s books even though they are just about three times longer than I prefer. If you actually like long books, you’ll probably be in heaven reading these!

Highest Possible Recommendation!

Book 1
Book 2

Book 3

Friday, February 25, 2011

No Hook. Lots of Telling. A First Chapter of Backstory. Simply Wonderful!

"The Village Nurse's Happy-Ever-After"

by Abigail Gordon
Harlequin Medical Romance
Miniseries: The Bluebell Cove Stories
Category: Classic Romance
Just What The Doctor Ordered!

Abilgail Gordon is a master storyteller! “The Village Nurse's Happy-Ever-After” is not only a joy to read, it’s a breath of fresh air! I loved it! The author treats readers like they have brains and don’t have ADD!

The narrative opens quietly as the characters are introduced with enough history to quickly place the reader in the center of the story. This gives the novel a richness in detail and texture usually only found in much longer books. I really enjoyed this approach.

I believe that today too many authors write every book as if it were a high suspense thriller. As Stephen Spielberg has said:

“People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end anymore. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.”

That’s exactly how I feel. If an author can truly tell a story, artificial ‘thrill’ gimmicks do not need to be used. Readers don’t demand these things; editors do. (Too bad.)

Let me give an example of how annoying these techniques can be for a reader. Suppose you work in an office, you’re one of the unmarried women there, and a dreamy hunk has transferred in from the Dallas office. All the girls want to know all about him.

Mary says, “I know all about Paul Goodall. I worked with him in Dallas. He’s single but that’s all for now. Pay close attention to me over the next three weeks and ,little by little, I’ll let slip a detail or two about him. Just be sure to hang on to my every word.”

Would you be happy with Mary? That’s what authors do with 'dribbling backstory'. This technique makes good sense from the author’s POV. But it does not add to the reader’s reading enjoyment.

Abigail Gordon wrote “The Village Nurse’s Happy-Ever-After” as if she was telling a heartwarming love story from the POV of the reader. I loved it. Not every story has to be written on the suspense/thriller paradigm.

About the story:

The heroine, Phoebe Howard, is a newly divorced mother and nurse with a baby her husband did not want. The hero is a doctor, Harry Balfour, who has come back to his old town and medical practice in Bluebell Cover, England. His wife has died in Australia where he moved to be with her five years before. Both Harry and Phoebe have apartments above the medical practice building. Of course, they meet often -- both at ‘home’ and in the office.

Because of his unhappy childhood, Harry does not want a family. Phoebe, given her ex-husband’s attitude, has no interest in men who do not want a family. How the two work this problem out is half the fun. The other half is just in the pure fun of reading this enjoyable work.

I’m delighted that “Bluebell Cove” is a miniseries. I intend to read all the “Bluebell Cove” books.

If you like Medical Romances, you’ll love this one!

“The Village Nurse's Happy-Ever-After” – A Perfect Book for Writers to Read!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Famous Quotes: VII

Who Wrote These Quotes: Me or Someone Famous?

(1) A good character name is one a reader feels comfortqable with.
Nora Roberts or Vince Mooney 

(2) Bring all your intelligence to bear on your beginning.
Elizabeth Bowen or Vince Mooney

(3) Marines make such good heroes because they are heroes.
Maureen Child or Vince Mooney

(4) First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!
Ray Bradbury or Vince Mooney

(5) My problem with Writing Groups is that when you adjust for conflicting advice, the combined wisdom of the Group is less than any one of its members.
Fern Michaels or Vince Mooney

 (6) My husband was my critique partner long before I ever took up writing.
Jackie Collins or Vince Mooney

(7) When a man publishes a book, there are so many stupid things said that he declares he'll never do it again. The praise is almost always worse than the criticism.
Sherwood Anderson or Vince Mooney

 (8) If a guy will jump out of an air plane into a forest fire to save someone he doesn’t know, he has the makings of someone worthy of my heroines.
Cheryl Wyatt or Vince Mooney

 (9) Character gives us qualities, but it is in actions - what we do - that we are happy or the reverse....All human happiness and misery take the form of action.
Aristotle or Vince Mooney

 (10) I don’t have a problem with writer’s block. I just tell the hero that if he doesn’t come up with something fast, I’ll kill him.
Sheila Connolly or Vince Mooney

(11) Characters, like ham actors, are always trying to make changes to the script. They just won’t let God play God.
Janis Reams Hudson or Vince Mooney

(12) Nora Roberts makes too much money. I think they should redistribute some of her sales to other authors.
P. J. O’Rourke or Vince Mooney

 (13) I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly.
Egar Rice Burroughs or Vince Mooney

(14) The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple. Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home.
John Campbell or Vince Mooney

(15) I’ve been mistaken so often for other authors that I just autograph my books with my last name.
Joy Fielding or Vince Mooney

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Coming March First! Two Greatly Anticipated Love Inspired Books!

Early Bird Releases – 30 Days Before Available in the Stores!

It seems like forever between Tippens Books! Missy’s voice is so heartwarming that you can feel the love on every page!

First Book in a New Series! Can the author continue her amazing success of three 4 ½ star books in a row!

Remember: You don’t have to wait! Get these books March first at eHarlequin. Both eBooks and printed books available.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Famous Quotes: VI

Who Wrote These Quotes: Me or Someone Famous?

(1) Writers don’t know any more than anyone else but because some people think they do, some writers also think they do.
P. G. Wodehouse or Vince Mooney

(2) In good writing, words become one with things.
Ralph Waldo Emerson or Vince Mooney

(3) Reading writing books is like reading diet books. You can make yourself think you’re doing something useful while at the same time you know you are not doing what you should be doing.
Carrie Fisher or Vince Mooney

(4) A story is told as much by silence as by speech.
Susan Griffin or Vince Mooney

(5) Some writers use urgency like it was an ice cream cone about to melt. It makes you eat faster but it doesn’t make it any more enjoyable.
Robert Parker or Vince Mooney

(6) People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end anymore. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.
Steven Spielberg or Vince Mooney

(7) Writers are not writing books. They are creating value.
Adam Smith or Vince Mooney

(8) Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.
Plato or Vince Mooney

(9) If writers were rewarded for effort some of the worse writers would be making the most money. In fact, some of them are.
Edmond Wilson or Vince Mooney

(10) You can’t learn writing by writing hours on end any more than you can learn the piano by banging on the piano hours on end. You have to be taught and you have to be able to learn.
L. Frank Baum or Vince Mooney

(11) If you tell me, it’s an essay. If you show me, it’s a story.
Barbara Greene or Vince Mooney

(12) Writing, writing, writing, won’t make you a writer any more than cooking, cooking, cooking, will make you a chef.
Diane Mott Davidson or Vince Mooney

(13) There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.
Ursula K. LeGuin or Vince Mooney

(14) I treat words like dominoes with each positioned exactly to fall on the next without a miss for the entire book.
Lilian Jackson Braun or Vince Mooney

(15) A writer’s brain is like a magician’s hat. If you’re going to get anything out of it, you have to put something in it first.
Louis L’Amour or Vince Mooney

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Make a Paradigm Shift & Freshen Up Your Creative Approach to Writing


Sometimes it is best for creative people to break out of the paradigms they are using to structure their thought patterns. Writers have many models available to simplify complex problems. 

One approach to writing a novel has been described as a dichotomy between ‘character-driven’ stories and ‘plot-driven’ stories. I am sure this model is useful but it is just an intellectual construct. There are many other ways to look at the same situation.

I think the character-driven/plot-driven dichotomy is the wrong model. At least it is for me. I see both plot and character as being ‘pulled’ and not ‘pushed’ to the end of the story.

Think of plot and character as strings that can’t be pushed but can be pulled. Shift the paradigm.

I start with story. I want to create a story that, when it’s over, the readers will feel elated and believe that it was a great story. It does not make any difference to me what factors played the biggest part in the dynamics of the outcome. It could have been the plot or it could have been the characters.

Once I have a great story, I can go to ‘central casting’ and hire the best characters for the part. I can do this because I am the boss, the producer, and the needs of the story come first. (Not prima donna characters.) When I know what the story is and how it should end, then everything else follows. Like gravity, everything that happens in the book falls naturally downwards towards the conclusion. In this sense the story is pulled to its conclusion.

I might want to create a story about a washed-up boxer who makes a comeback and has people cheering at the end when he wins his last fight. Characters and plot are both free to rearrange themselves in whatever configuration that best meets the needs of the story.

In story telling, the story should come first. Create a great story. Make sure it has a strong Moral Premise. Then let characters and plot fall together to form the best story outcome.

Try this new model or paradigm. See if it helps. You can always go back to the old ways.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Famous Quotes: Quiz V

Who Wrote These Quotes: Me or Someone Famous?

(1) Writing experts say there are no new plots. So? There are no new musical notes and no new letters in the alphabet. Creativity thrives on limitations.
Stephen Spielberg or Vince Mooney

(2) It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
Robert Benchley or Vince Mooney

(3) Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will.
Goethe or Vince Mooney

(4) Talent will only get a writer just so far; yea, like the last little distance over the finish line.
Fred Allen or Vince Mooney

(5) Trying to hear a writer’s voice is like expecting an echo to speak first.
Nora Roberts or Vince Mooney

(6) A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
G.K. Chesterton or Vince Mooney

(7) The elephant in the room with every writers group is talent.
Linda Howard or Vince Mooney

(8) Writing books, like anatomy books, can tell you where everything goes but they can never breathe life into their subjects.
A. J. Cronin or Vince Mooney

(9) Every writing analogy hides the truth in interesting ways.
William F. Buckley or Vince Mooney

(10) My problem is not finding time to write; it’s finding time to do everything else.
Janet Evanovich or Vince Mooney

(11) Writing like life is not reducible to rules.
Barbara Samuels or Vince Mooney

(12) We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
Ernest Hemingway or Vince Mooney

(13) My words don’t have magic in them; they don’t even have words in them. Everything comes out of the mind of the reader.
Mary Renault or Vince Mooney

(14) The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people who can write know anything.
Walter Bagehot or Vince Mooney

(15) If there is a special Hell for writers it would be in the forced contemplation of their own works.
John Dos Passos or Vince Mooney

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

20 Marketing Advantages of Writing Shorter Books

What Length Book Is It Best to Write?

I know, the obvious answer is to write books to the exact length that they need to be to best meet the needs of the story. No more. No less. This  observation is only from the writer’s point of view.

From the publisher’s point of view there is probably a page length that produces the maximum profit at each given price point.

My question is from the marketing point of view. Especially from the point of view of an individual author and the choices she makes about book length.

As a marketing person, I would prefer to promote an author who writes five or six short books a year (160 to 190 pages) than an author who only writes one long book (400 plus pages) every one to two years.

Now this is only from a marketing view. An author who writes one long book every two years might be making a lot more money. I’m sure this will depend on sales and contract provisions. But let’s assume that both authors make the same amount of money on a per page basis. (Quite an assumption I know.)

Consider these marketing advantages of publishing frequent shorter books.

1. having more books published a year will generate more interest in the author.

2. more books generate more book reviews which generate publicity.

3. more books create more opportunities for current book signings. (The best thing about a book signing is the free PR you can get in the media with the book signing announcements. Perhaps 10 people come to your book signing while over 100,000 may see and read about your book signing which should include the title and your author tag. You do have an author tag, don’t you?)

4. a lower price for your book makes it easier to attract new readers. (Who would you be more likely to try: a new author with a $3.99 book or one with a $14.99 book?)

5. with more books you could have a greater selection of popular themes on the market quicker. This will give you more ‘hooks’ to pull new readers into your reading world. Some fans buy books by themes. (I love ‘Runaway Bride’ theme books.)

6. your books will ‘read’ faster and thus be more likely to be completed. If a new reader gives up on your book, that reader is much less likely to buy another one of your books. (This is especially true if your books are long and expensive.)

7. you’ll have more books on the bookstore shelves at any given time and this will help your point of purchase (POP) sales,

8. with more published books sooner, you’ll have more opportunities to sell from your backlist. The more books in your backlist, the more valuable your personal marketing efforts become. (For example: blog interviews.)

9. more new books coming out will generate more blog tours.

10. more frequent publicity creates the impression that you are a more popular author. It’s like being the resultant that is always full of customers.

11. a lower cost to buy your own books makes it possible to give more away as prizes on blogs. (How many books can you afford to give away at a cost of $3.00 each compared to one that costs $9.00 each?)

12. having a lot of books validates that a lot of people like your books otherwise why would the publisher keep printing them?

13. more books generate more opportunities to win awards. Winning awards generates publicity and a powerful reason why a new reader should give you a try. (I’ve bought books because they won awards.)

14. a prolific writer projects an image of someone who has something to say or has many stories to tell.

15. writing a lot of books moves you up on the desirability list of feature speakers at writing events. (You can give great speeches or have at least joined Toastmasters, haven’t you?)

16. the more books you have published the more chance you have of having one of them looked at for a screenplay.

17. the more books you have to sell, the more interested and accommodating a bookstore will be in hosting your book signings.

18. readers like to find new authors (to them) who have many books in print. If they like the author, they know there are many more books immediately available to read.

19. writing many books makes your research efforts all that more useable.

20. you are more likely to be an extra motivated writer because there is an excitement in starting a book and finishing a book. Since the 'sagging middles' are not as long, you’ll have a lot more magic writing moments a year!

What If You Don't Write Long Books?

No problem if you are as successful as you want to be. Otherwise I would suggest that you write a short book between long books. I think this could well make your long books better.

Don’t let the Blizzards get you down!

AlphaSmart:   Yes
           Smart:   No

"At Some Point You Just Have to Say NO to Snow!"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Two Plots Authors Should Avoid

Some Plots Are Just Better Left Unwritten!

If a plot is very hard to make credible and very likely to annoy a reader, why take the risk of writing it? Why write a plot that is very likely to turn a 5-star effort into a 3-star result? I don’t know why but authors do it.

Plot #1

This is a plot built on a misunderstanding that could be easily cleared-up in five minutes. The author has to exert a great deal of ingenuity to keep the question from coming up (and being resolved) for the length of a novel while the reader is kept in a state of exasperation ever ready to shout out: “just tell him” or “just talk it out”. Even when well written these stories do not provide a very good ‘reading experience’.

Plot #2

This a a plot where there are more than two crucial coincidences. A coincidence, even the most improbable, is fully acceptable as the initiating incident of the story. A second coincidence that is closely related to the first one can be acceptable with sufficient foreshadowing. However, when there are three or four and even more subsequent coincidences, even in a heartwarming story, the joy of the book is substantially diminished.

A particularly bad coincidence is the one that happens at the end of the book for the sole purpose of making the ending more emotional. This happens after the story climax. This type of gratuitous coincidence actually devalues the hard work the author has done up to that point. Readers enjoy having their heartstrings plucked; they just don’t want to see the author’s hands doing it!

There are enough plots to have a good career without ever using these weak sisters. I beseech authors to think twice before adopting a plot that is not likely to produce an above average reading experience.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Famous Quotes: Quiz IV

Who Wrote These Quotes: Me or Someone Famous?

(1) I was writing before I could read. I’d fill notebooks with scribbles and my mother would pretend to read them to me.
Charles Dickens or Vince Mooney

(2) Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.
Hannah Arendt or Vince Mooney

(3) Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.
Francis Bacon or Vince Mooney

(4) Readers want fiction to read like nonfiction and nonfiction to read like fiction.
Tom Clancy or Vince Mooney

(5) Be obscure clearly.
E.B. White or Vince Mooney

(6) I don’t tell readers what my characters are feeling, I don’t even show what my characters are feeling, I made the reader feel what my characters are feeling. It’s all about feelings and the ‘reading experience’. “
Stephen King or Vince Mooney

(7) A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer.
Karl Kraus or Vince Mooney

(8) There’s no such thing as ‘character-driven’ or ‘plot-driven’; all stories must be pulled to the climax by the power of anticipation.
Donald Maass or Vince Mooney

(9) Most editors are failed writers - but so are most writers.
T.S. Eliot or Vince Mooney

(10) I would feel a lot better if writing rules were written by successful writers.
Robert Benchley or Vince Mooney

(11) A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
Thomas Mann or Vince Mooney

(12) A ‘sagging middle’ is a symptom of not knowing how to reward a reader for reading.
James Scott Bell or Vince Mooney

(13) The best style is the style you don't notice.
Somerset Maugham or Vince Mooney

(14) The amazing thing is not how many manuscript rejections there are; it’s how many books actually get published.
Max Perkins or Vince Mooney

(15) A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
G.K. Chesterton or Vince Mooney


Friday, February 4, 2011

It Just Keeps Snowing…

Bunting a 95 mph snowball.

I Know it Always Stops Raining, but does it always Stop Snowing?
There is a road out there somewhere.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Famous Quotes Quiz III

Who Wrote these Quotes: Me or Someone Famous?


(1) I don’t create worlds. I edit reality.
Robert Heinlein or Vince Mooney

(2) Writers who write for other writers will always be short of readers.
E.B. White or Vince Mooney

(3) An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate.
Chateaubriand or Vince Mooney

(4) You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
Ray Bradbury or Vince Mooney

(5) People are like words. They change their meaning depending on those around them.
William James or Vince Mooney

(6) The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.
Anaïs Nin or Vince Mooney

(7) It’s more important to be interesting than original.
Mark Twain or Vince Mooney

(8) The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
Sylvia Plath or Vince Mooney

(9) Writers like to think they are independent yet they often follow rules like lemmings.
Tony Hillerman or Vince Mooney

(10) I try to leave out the parts that people skip.
Elmore Leonard or Vince Mooney

(11) It’s never been about the first sentence; it’s about the opening situation. Think situations; not sentences.
E.B. White or Vince Mooney

(12) I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter.
James Michener or Vince Mooney

(13) I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.
Peter De Vries or Vince Mooney

(14) A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote.
Mignon McLaughlin or Vince Mooney

(15) A novel can only exist in the mind of a reader and every rendition is different.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi or Vince Mooney

It’s Not About the First Sentence!

News Flash!

Readers are not enamored with first sentences! I can’t ever remember buying a book because of the first sentence. Neither have I ever stopped reading a book because the first sentence didn’t come up to contest quality.

Editors, agents, and contest judges like to use first sentences to gauge the quality of a writer. Everyone knows this and that makes the first sentence very important to this select group of people. This is too bad.

What is really important is the opening situation. The exact wording is not that important. Writing is about situations and not sentences. A writer’s major creative energy should be invested in crafting the most compelling, interesting, and rewarding situations possible.

Situations are bigger than scenes. A situation can span many scenes.

A great first sentence is wonderful but it has to go somewhere. Make that somewhere worth going to and you won’t need a circus barker calling attention to it. You’ll need a traffic cop to control the rush.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Famous Quotes Quiz II

There is a street out there. This is a lot of snow for Tulsa.
 Who Wrote These Quotes:
Me or Someone Famous
(1) Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down.
Robert Frost or Vince Mooney

(2) As far as I’m concerned, “Writer’s Block” is an address in Manhattan.
Nora Ephron or Vince Mooney

(3)Writers like saints need to be a little touched.
Thomas Mann or Vince Mooney

(4) If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.
Anais Nin or Vince Mooney

(5) I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.
Robert Frost or Vince Mooney

(6) Back-story, like back-talk, should be undertaken with trepanation.
Sol Stein or Vince Mooney

(7) There is nothing as boring as a writer writing what he knows.
Robert Silverberg or Vince Mooney

(8) Your first chapter sells your book. Your last chapter sells your next book.
Mickey Spillane or Vince Mooney

(9) Writing is a performance art with the reader doing the performance.
Woody Allen or Vince Mooney

(10) Every time my characters give me problems, I think of God. Then I pray for God.
Andrew Greeley or Vince Mooney

The Answers Can Be Found in the Pages Section HERE.