Back to the Manuscript Revision

My WIP (work in progress) binder is open, back on the desk, pen in hand, (well, obviously not quite) ready to continue revision.

I posted the first two paragraphs on  Christine Fairchild’s blog & await teaching  on what & how to correct/improve.  When I read it after posting it, the writing presented a great opp for Christine to teach me—and others—how to improve!  Ahem.

I look forward to an on-line class given by Christine Fairchild, August 11 through 17th—instruction on how to make dialogue pop.

Eleven days in July full of family fun—daughter (not telling her age) and granddaughter (age 9) from Juneau Alaska, and Granddaughter (age 19) from Austin, Texas. Today, this old house echoes silence—as the occupant level has shifted—back to two folks (not telling our age either) and one chocolate lab.

Writers in our local (Seattle) GSRWA are gearing up to attend one or both writer’s conferences this month, the first is next week, the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference July 22-25, and the other the RWA National Conference July 28-30. Wishing you all safe travels, inspirational & educational workshops, meetings with editors and agents, and a harvest  yielding benefits to your writing careers. And a host of new friends.

Y’all know I would attend with you if I had a fairy godmother! Instead, I’ll send wings. Bon Voyage!

Writing Style Sheets/Punctuation & Formats

Yesterday, writing took a back seat to a task that filled in the blanks regarding some issues of punctuation, grammar and style for writing.  Instinctively, during reading or writing, the words either sounded correct, or not, but the grammar and punctuation of my school days did not resurface to explain why.

Once I climbed aboard the good ship 1st Turning Point, education began firing into my brain from the patient but powerful hands of the captains, Jacquie Rogers and Ann Charles.

One of the first requests from 1st Turning Point Captains came in the form of a question, “Are you familiar with style sheets?”

My answer? “No, but I am willing to learn.” Uh oh!

The journey began–walking through several huge style sheets from the web, picking out what might be useful. When I couldn’t find the answers in those behemoth style sheets, I climbed into two books that had heretofore been shelf decorations in my office … Grammatically Correct by Anne Stilman, and The Elements of Style, 4th Edition, by Strunk & White.

There is much teamwork by the crew still to be done, to shorten it for practical use as a tool by writers who are scheduled to submit articles on self promotion (500 to 1000 words) on the 1st Turning Point website.  When the style sheet can be held up to the light and is flawless (smile) I will share the URL with you, or put it up on my web page for you to check and see if it is something you could use to answer possible niggling questions, for example, “Now where do I put the period … inside the quotation marks or outside?”

Feel free to comment on any errors or omissions in this article! It takes a while for things to sink in. Go ahead, ‘make my day’ … teach me something!

Wishing you all a week in which you can enable calm … take a few deep breaths and stop for a moment … to feel, or to think of, or to take a quick look at  something beautiful …  while Christmas and Hanukkah, or other spiritual celebrations add to the work load of the writer.

Emerald City Writer’s Conference

This year’s ECWC (see title), a three day conference in Bellevue WA, (near Seattle) inspired me to work harder as a writer.

I tucked my first novel away, like the training wheels on my first bicycle. A second novel required research, devouring writing time.  I set it aside for a bit. Why? It will take too long to complete it.

An editor told me that I must finish a novel because there is much to be learned, not only  in the beginning, but also throughout the process of writing the ‘middle’ and ‘the end’.

A musician or painter of art cannot play or paint well at first.  Talent is not enough.  Desire grows as the artisan perfects skills, persevering, using the driving desire within –– knowing it takes teachers, instruction, practice, practice, and then more practice.

Writing a novel? The same.  Writer’s conferences are an important part of the process to help us along, and can teach, encourage, build networks, forge friendships, but most of all

… can inspire us to do the work.

Marion

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