Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Overused Words

by Donna K. Weaver

What's an overused word? It's a word that is used so often, it loses its meaning. It's becomes a filler word, like ... like. But how do you know what words are considered overused and which ones are you overusing?

Remember, using a word a few times isn't an issue. It's using that same over many times.

A long time ago, I discovered a website called autocrit. It used to be that you could submit 500 words for evaluation. Now you have to sign up and pay a small fee.

I think it's pretty cool because you can learn a lot about your writing based upon the evaluation. Following is the report I got on an early project of mine.

After seeing this report, I became aware of areas where I tended to use the same type of phrasing or word usage over and over again. Note that it's not suggesting you never use some of these words, merely that you use them with discretion.

Are there any overused words that you use a lot?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

10 Steps to Better Writing

I learn something new at every writing event I go to. I have been to a lot of conferences and workshops, retreats and follow many writing blogs, but here's what I've learned boiled down to one sentence: To be a better writer, WRITE.

Yes, there are notebooks full of very useful notes on structure, characters, pacing and even marketing, editing and networking. I look through those notes often especially while I'm in a rut. But, you can't properly structure a unwritten story, there is no arch for a character undeveloped, and no pacing, marketing or editing prose for content unwritten.
To utilize the information in those notebooks I have to sit and write. Push through the terrible bits, even leave notes like "put cool stuff here" and "they should kiss now" then I can go back through, reworking, and polishing making it into a publishable, marketable product.

But first I must WRITE.10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Earning that Kiss

I read romance and write romance. One of my pet-peeves is when the characters kiss way (!) before they deserve to. It makes everything about the relationship seem cheap, and more like lust than love. I'm not likely to read on. I know it's a personal bias. There has however a lot of info about building satisfying relationships between characters that explains why some readers will react this way when the physical relationship zooms ahead.

At first it's all about ATTRACTION
Step 1: Eye to Body you like what you see

Step 2: Eye to Eye eye contact

Then it's about BECOMING FRIENDS
Step 3: Voice to Voice getting to know each other, flirting

Step 4: Hand to Hand first touch

Step 5: Arm to shoulder getting closer

Step 6: Arm to Waist more intimate and personal

Step 7: Face to Face - Kissing!

Step 8: Hand to Head Love

Step 9: Hand to Body Desire

Wait--aren't there supposed to be "12 Steps to Intimacy"? 
Yes, but I write clean romance, so the PG rating stops here. 

There's a lot of info about developing romantic relationships naturally. One of the blogposts I like relates the steps of intimacy to character conflict. It's on COWBELL at https://jennyhansenauthor.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/using-the-12-stages-of-physical-intimacy-to-build-tension-in-your-novel/

This goes past the PG rating so read with care.