The Green-Eyed Monster: How to Squash Envy by Finding #Hope and #Happiness in Others’ #Success

As much as we hate to admit it, we’ve all been jealous a time or two when friends, relatives, or complete strangers acquire or achieve something we most desire. Envy can turn into disappointment or rage, especially if we’ve worked long and hard (with little or no results) while the other party triumphs quickly with little effort.  It can be difficult to smile and congratulate someone else knowing deep down we wish it was us.

But it can be us!

At the age of eighteen, I worked my first grown-up job. Among a group of ten or twelve office workers, one older lady stood out to me.   She didn’t say much.  But when she did, it was brief and profound.

One of my co-workers didn’t receive the promotion she’d hoped.  Disappointment is an understatement for her reaction to the news.  But, the older lady told her, Continue reading “The Green-Eyed Monster: How to Squash Envy by Finding #Hope and #Happiness in Others’ #Success”

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To #Show Don’t Tell or Not to Show Don’t #Tell, That is the Question

In the course of honing my writing skills, I have come across a number of posts and articles on “show don’t tell” like this. Most support the idea, but there are some that don’t. For someone new to writing or trying to improve, this can send a confusing signal – like it did me. But in researching and trying some exercises, I have a better understanding on each and their purpose in a story.

I finally got a chance to dig into my second draft. Going back over a couple of chapters, I could clearly see that I was doing a lot of telling with little showing. What I wrote got

Continue reading “To #Show Don’t Tell or Not to Show Don’t #Tell, That is the Question”

7 #Lessons I Wish Someone Had Taught Me Before I Started #Writing

Great post!  And I concur about the rush of excitement jumping into the writing world. In addition to what you’ve mentioned, I’ve gotten sidetracked and overwhelmed with the business side of writing to the point that I lost focus on the main ingredient – writing the story.  I’m back on track and have joined a new critique group.  The sky’s the limit! 🙂

Sacha Black

lessons learntWhen I first started writing, I was worse than a kid in a toy store. I wanted it ALL…NOW. I was desperate to be ‘good’ at writing. I didn’t want to just ‘be’ a writer, I wanted to Stephen King that shit.

I was deluded. Not because of my dream, but because I was unconsciously incompetent!

I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Which frankly, at that point, was less than fuck all. So I set about rampaging my way through everything that had even the faintest whiff of ‘writing tips’ attached to it.

The problem was, I got overwhelmed, saturated with conflicting advice and utterly bewildered as to which direction to go in. I didn’t know what to learn or how to learn it.

I realised there was no avoiding the fact it really does just take time to develop your writing muscle. However… along the way, I also picked up some pretty nifty tricks that…

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To Show Don’t Tell or Not to Show Don’t Tell, That is the Question

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In the course of honing my writing skills, I have come across a number of posts and articles on “show don’t tell” like this and this.  Most support the idea, but there are some that don’t.  For someone new to writing or trying to improve, this can send a confusing signal – like it did me.  But in researching and trying some exercises, I have a better understanding on each and their purpose in a story.

I finally got a chance to dig into my second draft. Going back over a couple of chapters, I could clearly see that I was doing a lot of telling with little showing.  What I wrote got the point across, however, there were spots that didn’t have that pop.  So I worked on a few “show don’t tell” exercises and applied them to my work.  It helped a great deal.

Now I’m not saying that everything I write has to show, but I do see why it is important.  In the same token, there are times when telling will suffice.  How I’ve been able to differentiate between when to use one or the other is to ask myself about the focus of the scene/story.  Do I need to let the reader see and feel through the character’s actions (showing) or do I need to give a factoid (telling) for it all to make sense and still be interesting.

Also, the use of descriptive words doesn’t necessarily make something more showing than telling.  Sometimes this only makes the story more lengthy and bores the reader to sleep.  Instead it’s better to consider the focus and how the reader needs to be drawn in. All in all, I believe it is good to have a balance between showing and telling because they both can help develop the story.

What are your thoughts on “show don’t tell”?

 

 

#A-Z Challenge: B is for Boring, boring, boring….

The first sentence of this post is so true.  Who wants to read something that is drab and lifeless or makes one prefer to watch paint dry?  Certainly not me.  I have come across books and even some movies where I was left wondering why the creators bothered with displaying their work to the public.  Was it just to have something to add to a resume or some kind of dare?  I tend to think it was the former.

Anywho, the tips in this post are great reminders on things to ensure when writing.

Alison Williams Writing

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For the A-Z challenge, I am posting writing and editing tips to help you improve and enhance your writing.

B is for Boring, boring, boring….

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Your job as a writer is to entertain, inform and engage your reader. If this isn’t your goal, then you may be in the wrong job. You don’t want to bore your reader or they’ll simply close your book and go and find another one on Amazon (there are millions to choose from after all). So how do you avoid sending your reader to sleep?

  • Increase the pace. You can do this by using a variety of sentence and paragraph lengths. Short sentences will add drama, suspense and pace, moving your reader forward with your character.
  • Get rid of passive voice. Passive voice can be too wordy and can put a distance between your reader and your words.
  • Include drama, conflict and events. You’re writing…

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Is Taking a Writing Class Really Worth Your Time?

Over the last couple of months, I have contemplated whether to take a writing course.  In fact, one of the online webinars I attended in February recommended that anyone serious about their writing should take courses and even seek an MFA (Masters in Fine Arts).  Hearing this gave me pause.  I’ve already obtained a bachelors and a masters in other fields, and like most people, I’m still striving to pay them off.

After reading this post, the points made were quite valid.  So, for me, I don’t think I’ll go for the MFA, but I will take a class or two if it’s something that sparks my interest or can help me improve on a weakness.

Novelty Revisions

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Writers learn to refine their skills in a lot of different ways, and the most successful writers take the time to try a healthy variety of options before deciding which ones work the best for their personality and style. Taking classes in writing, whether as a high school or college student or on your own time somewhere else, is one method some writers find refreshing and helpful.

Some writers. Not all.

Those who teach writing have probably started an ongoing list of pros, and it’s true there are benefits to learning how to write while sitting beside a diverse group of writers at all experience levels. There are downsides, however, that might make you reconsider signing up for an optional writing course in the near future.

Consider these factors when deciding whether or not to sign up for a writing course near you. 

Individual Critiques Are Minimal

There are…

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