Scaffolding

Scaffolding. Know what it is, and how to recognize it? If you’re a writer, you should. Now, if I were a different kind of blog, I would give a long, helpful definition of what scaffolding is. Like this.

I strongly recommend that you read the article, because seriously, I’m not planning on going into much detail in defining it. To offer a very brief summary, in my own words: Scaffolding are the words and phrases that we insert into our writing (often without realizing,)as a way of keeping the action moving and the story flowing. They are crutch words, fillers. Know what I’m saying? No? That’s why I linked to the article. Read it.

At any rate, I have been editing PAMR again, and I have some amusing stats on my own personal scaffolding. I made a list of words that I’ve noticed in various rounds of editing that I use a lot. Then, I used the Find function on Word to discover just how many I was dealing with. It’s rather entertaining.

-stare/staring: 108

-gaze: 126

-glance: 130

-heart: 108

-breath: 178

(and best of all)-unnecessary usages of the word “that”: 283

So in summary, one of these six words was used 2.731 times on every page in my story! That, my friends, is scaffolding.

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Photoshop Friday

Writers: A Field Guide

You are wandering through Internet Forest, enjoying the sunshine, the gentle breeze, when you hear the clacking sound of keys on a keyboard. Imagine your thrill. A writer is nearby! This guide is designed to help you identify the various breeds and varieties of this elusive and beautiful animal.

The Hobbiest
I begin with this breed of writer, because it is perhaps the least neurotic of the group and therefore it blends into an average crowd quite easily. This species enjoys occasional writing as a hobby. They may or may not have a blog. You can recognize them by their relaxed nature and the way they casually shrug when publication is mentioned.

The Gung Ho
Many who spend time in the Internet Forest will call this the most recognizable of writer breeds. The Gung Ho pursues publication with the ferocity of a predator. They will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Note the hunger in it’s eye, the frantic tone in it’s blog posts/tweets/Facebook status updates, and the calloused fingers–worn from endless pounding against a keyboard.

The Mystic
This breed is another of the more common species. The easiest way to recognize the Mystic by analyzing their words. The Mystic speaks of writing as a “Calling,” as if from birth, some were touched by the golden finger of the Muse, charged with telling the stories of mankind. Note the calm acceptance in their eyes, the understanding that it is only a matter of time before their destiny is fulfilled.


The Lucky S.O.Bs

These writers are easily recognizable because they actually make money. The Luckys have achieve prominence in the forest, due to their brilliant stories, their published status and, again, the fact that they actually draw a paycheck. When identifying for this breed, just look for the grins, the easy laughter, the humble acceptance of fanmail, and the joyous displays of their novel covers in the sidebar of their blogs. (*siiiiiigh*)

Come back next week for the second installment of Writers: A Field Guide. (Have a suggestion of a breed? Please let me know in the comments section.)

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(No title)

Different writer types
-gung ho (ninja? mongolian horde?)

-hobby writers (golfers)

-Torn in halfers

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Photoshop Friday

Another one from the vaults. This one is in honor of the fact that I will soon be querying again. (My short, not my novel *sigh*.)

Agent’s just not that into you.

Last night I was wrangled into going to see the movie, He’s just not that into you. Well, I’ve been out of the single scene for a while now (thank heavens,) however, as I watched the movie, I couldn’t help but think that this is perhaps a message we writers need to hear sometimes, hard as it is.

The Scenario (come on, you know you recognize this):

You find that dream agent, the one who makes your heart go pitter patter. The one who is so perfect for you that it makes you scream. You know, that one. So, you send him/her you awesome, fantastic query. WOO HOO!! The dream is on! You can’t stop thinking about him/her! You can’t stop gabbing with your writer friends (or just your own mind) about how much you want that agent!

Minutes tick by. . . then hours . . . then days. You check your email every few hours. And yet . . . nothing. You start to worry. Is there some problem? Have I done something wrong? You send your friends test emails to make sure that both your outbox and inboxes are working. And yet . . . nothing.

So you get sad. You wonder, what the heck? Why isn’t he/she contacting me? Your writer friends assure you that they had this one agent who waited four weeks to contact them, but when they did it was with a full request. You hear the stories, but they don’t make you feel much better. So, you drown out your confusion and frustration in a huge can of Dr. Pepper. (P.S. I kinda wish they made them this big. Wouldn’t it be awesome?)

But, ultimately, don’t we have to accept the one truth? Agent’s just not that into you. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it sucks. But, if we can just embrace that fact, our lives open up to the healing powers of moving on. Isn’t it a freeing feeling?

*This blog does not recommend the act of jumping from a cliff, no matter how free you feel, until you have consulted with your physician and/or spouse.

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Short but Satisfying

Today, I finished my first short story (well . . . novelette, but let’s not get too technical) since High School. Can you believe it? And I’m wondering, what have I been doing all this time???

Short Fiction is awesome! I had no idea. It’s instant gratification, people! I feel just as attached to these characters, just as involved in my world, and just as satisfied to finish as I ever have with a novel. And it took me basically FIVE DAYS*.

Let me repeat: five days!

Not only that, but I feel all of the giddy “OMG, this is the best story ever” feelings with a completed draft on my hands. I can’t wait to polish this baby till it shines. And then, submit! I’m very excited.

So to all you out there who are feeling the stagnation/frustration that can burden one writing a novel, I say, write a short story!!

*Disclaimer: I feel it perhaps important to mention that I have had this idea for an entire year. Every once in a while I would scribble down a few thoughts about it in my Moleskine, and I actually started it two separate times, though I never got more than a few pages. So yes, it’s not exactly as swift as five days, but you get my point. :)

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1001 Quasi-Legitimate Ways that I Avoid Editing

Okay, there won’t really be 1001 reasons. Not in this post anyway, but let me assure you, in my head . . . oh yes. This will be just a random sampling.

Also, when I say “quasi-legitimate” I mean all the obvious (and genuinely legitimate) ones aside, like family, sleep, food, moving, etc. These are the ones that get me when I finally carve out a moment of time to work on edits.

Watch the subtle digression.

#236
I’m writing this cool new short story!

#56
I have an awesome idea for a new novel! I just need to sketch some details out in my notebook.

#644
Gotta catch up on those writer friend’s blogs . . .

#89
And don’t forget the Agent blogs. (Note: the hearts are intentionally sappy/fangirlish.)

#363
And the writing forums.


#715

Hmm . . . I’m just going to quickly Google: *fill in the blank with legitimate, writing related thing, like books, authors, agents, publishers, etc.*

#920
This is an interesting, writing related article . . .

#116
I’m going to take this quiz: Do you have what it takes to be published??


#967

*sigh* Neil Gaiman is so dreamy.

WAIT!!! IT’S ONE IN THE MORNING??? Where did my night go? I was going to get so much done on my edits! *headdesk*

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A Good Reason for going AWOL


Dispatch: Spent one week in Ohio without the slightest contact to the writing community. However, there was good reason. After ten years in college, seven of which I was there with him, Hubby graduated from Ohio State’s Optometry School. Watched with many tears as he received his doctoral hood. Worth missing out on all of the clever blogs of writer friends. However, back now. Reporting for duty.

P.S. So yeah, I’m married to a Doctor now. (Word.)

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I’m Re-Gifting!

I really do feel bad about being SO absent online. Probably in a disproportionate rate to the amount that I am actually missed . . .

But at any rate, I’ll spare you all another hum drum post, in which I apologize profusely for never posting. Instead, I’ve decided to re-gift a few of my favorite Photoshop Fridays! Thrilled??? I knew you would be. Well enjoy! 😀

Getting in touch with your Inner Superhero (and Supervillain!)

We always hear that every writer is different. That every writer has strengths and weaknesses that make their experience different. I pondered on this the other day. I was analyzing my own strengths and weaknesses (well, mostly my weaknesses, but still.) In my mind, I kept seeing them as superpowers, and myself as a Writing Superhero! What kind of superhero? I’ll tell you

I am Super Realistic Assessment of My Own Writing Girl! Smashing through the barrier of self doubt and the false precipice of self delusion, SRAMOW has a pretty good understanding of her own writing level. This keeps her strong when things get tough and grounded, even when she’s super excited about her WiP.(This is a lame super power, you say? I agree, but it’s really hard to do the hero/strengths part without sounding like you’re bragging. So, lets move on.)

I am also a writing Supervillain. Yes, here she is. Adjectivica! The ruthless villain who has a burning hatred for English Grammar. Her powers of prose range from a delicate lilac hue to the deadly purple! Adjectivica also loves to slaughter innocent sentences, leaving them in fragments all over the place. Her weapons of choice are adjectives, but she has a penchant for lethal gerunds. Look at all the good, faithful defenders of Grammar that fall dead at her feet! Beware Adjectivica!

And lastly, I have a picture of She-Ra, Princess of Power. Not because I dare to compare myself to her, but, well look at her, she’s awesome!

So, what do you think? What is your writing super power? Do you have a fatal flaw? What kind of hero are you? Give yourself a character and introduce yourself in the comment section! Or, better yet, if you want to photoshop a picture of your Superhero, sent it to me and I’ll post it here on my blog!

Up, up, and AWAY!!!!!!!

SUPER UPDATES:
Here are a few fearless heroes who have joined my super awesome writing squad!

(In her own words) Candice is: Lady Hindenburg. “Because I think big, make great plans, takeoff really well, cruise along at high altitude, then I get to the end, loose steam and crash and burn in a blaze of glory. In other words, I’m great at beginning, not so much at endings. **Notice the look of fearless determination on my face as I prepare to meet impending doom.”

NOTE ON JUNE 9th: My offer still stands to post any more super heroes/villains that you send me. :)

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Gah!

No Photoshop Friday today. :( Sorry all. I’ll make it up to you. I swear. You know I’m good for it. . .

. . . kinda.

Okay, okay, I’m a lousy, dead beat blogger. Forgive me.

-Renee

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