Category Archives: Observations
by Karen McCullough
Here are five questions to ask yourself when you’re editing your own dialogue:
1. Is it boring?
What’s boring? How about this:
“Hi, Helen,” Joe said. “How are you doing today?”
“I’m just fine,” Helen replied. “How are you?”
“Great. How’s your daughter?” Joe continued.
“She’s fine, too. How’s your sister?”
Are you snoozing yet?
In my Spam folder this morning, I found a desperate plea from a Mrs. Julian in the UK, who’s dying and wants to share her vast wealth with me. You see, as she explained, she has no children, and she has cancer of the lug.
Of course I immediately wrote back and expressed how sorry I felt for her and anyone who has that tragic disease.
I haven’t heard back from her yet. But since I was so sympathetic, I’m sure she’ll get right back to me with instructions on how to make a deposit in her bank for shipping expenses, transfer fees, or whatever it is to get my money.
And I’ll be sure to do that. Cancer of the lug is a horrible disease and she deserves all the sympathy she can get.
Have you wondered if you should attend a writers conference? How do you pitch to an agent or publisher’s rep? If you’ve ever considered signing up for a conference and pitching session, you’ll want to attend our next meeting.
One of our members, Ken Barnett, has just returned from the Las Vegas Writers Conference where he pitched to several agents. He’ll share his experiences, and, he has some exciting secrets and news to share.
So for you, and also to share my excitement, The House on Serpent Lake finished at #5, and all the top ten winners earn nice icons/banners to proudly post on their websites. It wasn’t exactly a horror novel, nor a romance; instead, it was a combination of the two with heavy tones of reincarnation.
Now that this contest is over, I need to get back to my novel and actually work on it. Now that we’ve begun the new year, it’s time to do something constructive instead of thinking and planning. Time to get it done.
I’m still holding workshops in the Redlands, CA area. On the third Thursday of each month, I discuss publishing – commercial, online, and self-publishing, and offer pros & cons of each. For the first Thursdays, I’m starting a critique group. And I’ll be presenting two workshops at the Ovitt Family Library in Ontario this April. So I’m still busy, always busy, but I love it, love being around writers, love the air of excitement we seem to garner when we discuss our hopes and dreams. As one good writer friend says, “Writing is a fantastic journey,” and I couldn’t agree more.
Harlequin WorldWide Mysteries will be sending their paperback version of With Full Malice to their mystery subscribers at any time, but for those of you who are not on their list and would like to read it, it’s currently on a bargain price of only $.99 for a few more days. SO if you’ve ever wanted to read it, how’s the time.
Thanks, y’all. Until next time,
As Gen Mgr, I’m getting ready for the meeting Thursday about L. Cooper Press and what if offers. If you’re thinking of self-publishing your novel, and you’re in the Redlands, CA area, stop by IHOP off I-10 & Alabama around 8:30pm. We’d love to meet you. We’ll talk about the pros & cons of general publishing – querying an agent; online publishers, and self-publishers.
The differences between US readers and those in the UK are astonishing. Of all the novels I’ve written, Beyond the Quiet was my favorite until I wrote Serpent Lake, but of course they’re two completely different genres.
Readers in the US either love BtQ or hate it, and according to the reviews, most seem to hate it. But the UK reviews are much better, so when I feel down and need encouragement, I read them instead:
BACKSTORY: Relevant Information or an Inconsequential Event?
Write What You Know: Sage Advice or Hogwash?
Feel free to drop by and comment. We’d love to hear from you.
Brenda Hill, Gen Mgr