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Head Hopping

Jami Gold, paranormal and urban fantasy author, has a great post about Head Hopping, and why it is bad. Give it a read.

If the POV is unclear or changes too frequently, the reader doesn’t form as strong of a connection to the characters.

Jami has an amazing author blog, with over 600 posts on the writing craft. Check it out when you have an afternoon to burn.

ruleswedidntknowweknew

Language Rules We Didn’t Know We Knew

So, you may seen the Twitter post making it’s way around claiming there are rules about language we didn’t know we knew. It’s from the book, The Elements of Eloquence, by Mark Forsyth.

Here is a BBC article on the viral post, and here is the paragraph in question:

Adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac. It’s an odd thing that every English speaker uses that list, but almost none of us could write it out.

Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules on Writing

Stolen from Elmore Leonard’s website directly:

  1. Never open a book with weather.
  2. Avoid prologues.
  3. Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
  4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said” . . . he admonished gravely.
  5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
  6. Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”
  7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
  8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
  9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
  10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

“My most important rule is one that sums up the ten. If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”

Podcast: How to Critique

I sat down with J Bryan Jones to join his Coffee House Writer’s Group Podcast to discuss how to critique in a critique group.

It was a fantastic experience. J’s amazing and we ended up chatting for another hour afterwards on fantasy and science fiction, which could have filled another podcast easily.

(We had to stop recording for a moment because I couldn’t get Ernest Hemingway’s name to escape my brain. Super embarrassing for a writer type person. See if you can spot the cut.)

Mentioned in the Podcast:

beggarscrossing

Beggar’s Crossing

beggarscrossingBeggar’s Crossing has been released by the Coffee House Writer’s Group, featuring fourteen short stories centering on a mysterious Arizona ghost town known only as Beggar’s Crossing.

You can find my first published short story “Tassels and Twins,” along with one of my writer buddy’s (Cory Rasmussen, with “The Space Between the Wind”).

It’s available at Amazon or wherever fine marmosets are sold.