Why should I care?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

There's been a lot going on around Casa Staring lately. Revisions being made, to-do's being checked off the never-ending list, vet appointments...

The kitten of mass destruction is healthy, don't you worry. He's currently under the bed, refusing to speak to anyone about what happened during his physical. Poor Zaphod!

And I've also been judging some writing contests. It's a great way to learn about the craft of writing when you see writers do it well and not so well.

No, I'm not naming names (or titles). And I'm not going to get up on a soapbox and say that heroes who play the accordion while channelling the spirits of dead aliens aren't intriguing (and that's just off the top of my head, feel free to use it if you want to), I just want to point out one thing:

When you tell your story, let a reader know why she/he should care.

I'm not trying to be facetious or mean-spirited here. It's just that, sometimes, a writer gets so involved with putting those words on the page, she/he can forget to add those little glimpses into a character's psyche that reveal what makes them special.

You know, like the villain who hates lime Jell-O. Or the heroine who brings dental floss to a gunfight. Or something a little deeper than the water left on the counter at a public restroom.

It's kind of like why I'm happily watching this season of Glee despite the lack of plot. All the characters are quirky, fun and have their fair share of teen angst struggles, and I care about what happens to them. Would I feel the same way if Season 1 never happened? I'm not sure.

How about you? What's a must-have for you to keep reading past page one?

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:00 AM 0 comments

Do you ever wonder...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I opened a document from a client today that bled on screen.

Seriously. Someone was doing the "track changes" dance to an extended remix that wouldn't end. Luckily the original words weren't mine, so I didn't feel sorry for the little darlings that didn't make it to the next round.

But then I started thinking, what if the tracked changes gremlins could talk? What secrets would they share? Would they have opinions on what was changed and what was left alone? Would they experience edit envy and want to make those changes themselves?

Here's what my track changes creature looks like. And yes, she's a gargoyle, not a gremlin.

You should see how she reacts to dangling modifiers. Scary.

Yeah, I've been working on revisions, can you tell?

And speaking of working on revisions and scary things, I'm attending a writing conference on my own this month. Solo. Just me, my laptop and a room full of friends I haven't met yet.

I'll be at the Lone Star Conference put on by the Northwest Houston chapter of Romance Writers of America on October 16!

I'm very excited because Randy Ingermanson will be running a workshop on the Snowflake Method of book plotting (which will make my brain explode, I'm sure) plus there are three great agents taking pitches (Christine Wittholn, Naomi Hackenberg and Amy Boggs) and lots of other stuff I'm too excited to remember.

Now what I do have to remember is to not get nervous, meet some awesome people and learn a whole bunch.

Are you going? Maybe we can sit together at lunch!

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:44 PM 2 comments