Here it is at last. It has been a long road to get to this point, but with the support and help of many people along every step of this process, my debut novel is now available and about to hit shelves. As my editor, Janelle, said, it really does take a village to get a book from manuscript to the finished product. She was not kidding. I am very thankful for that village.
After all that, I'm not sure if I'm excited or relieved. Maybe it's a mix of the two.
Years ago I sat on a bench by the river Seine in Paris and watched as a young girl pulled her father by the hand—and I was amazed at how powerless he was to resist. The backdrop of the setting sun over the river behind them gave the pair an other-worldly glow. The idea was born from that image and stayed with me until it evolved into the story it is today.
Enjoy. The story doesn't end here.
At last I have received my own personal copy of the anthology that contains my short story, The Little Fiddle. I wanted to thank everyone who took the trouble to purchase one for themselves. The support was surprising and also much appreciated. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. I just might keep writing.
If you want a copy of this for yourself, just click the photo above to be taken to the Amazon.ca page. or click HERE
My debut novel, Laplace's Demon is due out in March, 2020. Stay tuned!
The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” ~ Stephen King
I recently had this discussion in a writers group I attend once a month. I critiqued an interesting piece of work but found it littered with adverbs. The vast majority of them ending in -ly, as they so often do.
Ly adverbs, of course, are among the most worthless ones. There was some resistance in the group to the idea that the use of ly words constituted lazy writing, but after some thought, I think it may have dawned on them that I was right. At least, I'd like to think so.
So what's my problem with adverbs that end in -ly? Why are they so wrong? I used to use them myself-often, until my editor tore them from my manuscript, kicking and screaming. Consider this example.
"Meet me behind the house in five minutes," John whispered quietly."
OK, well how the hell else does someone whisper, if not quietly? See what I mean? Here's another.
"Why don't you come up and see me sometime?" she said seductively.
Now, this misquote from Mae West tells you how she said the words when it should be showing you how she said it. like-
"Why don't you come up and see me sometime?" she said, batting her eyelashes.
Now with the description of the action, the reader visualizes the seductive intent of her words and remains engaged with the story.
The point is, visual cues show readers what’s happening; adverbs tell them. And we want to show what’s happening whenever possible to make the writing more vivid. Don't we?
Most adverbs either tell us what we already know or use too many words to communicate an image or idea. Let’s look at an adverb that modifies an adjective
It’s a very cool evening.
Once we write that an evening is cool, does it being very cool change the perception of the evening in the reader’s mind? No. All it does is intensify the word that follows it and it does a bad job of it. Often, the word very and the word it modifies can both be replaced with one word that is more precise:
It’s a cold evening.
In this sentence, we don’t need the word very or the word cool. The word cold does the job. It’s clearer and more concise, which is the mark of strong writing.
When I first saw all the crossed-out ly words in my manuscript, I thought my editor was just trying to impose her own writing style on my beautiful work of art. However, removing them forced me to find other ways to say the same things and I soon found my writing had much more depth to it. I wouldn't admit it to her, but she made my manuscript better. Now, I’m always on the lookout for useless words in my writing. I find that seeking out adverbs is a good way to clean up my prose.
Don't just take my word for it.
“Adverbs are the tool of the lazy writer," said Mark Twain seriously.
I'm quite excited to announce my upcoming novel, LAPLACE'S DEMON. The launch date is yet to be announced but the editing is now complete, so I will post that when I have it.
I've been meaning to blog about it for some time, but I've been working on the next in the series and it takes up most of my waking hours. Besides, I tend to think in terms of word count, and I would much rather be putting that toward my writing.
That said, since word has come out that I am being published, I've had many writers ask me questions. At the suggestion of my publisher, I've decided it's time to blog about writing, to help those who are aspiring to get some recognition for their hard work. So, for this first blog entry, I am going to share the best advice I've ever gotten. I got this from someone quite famous and successful. She said, "write." I may be paraphrasing here., but that was the gist of it.
I've been part of many writer's groups, workshops, classes, critique meetings, etc and the most common situation that I have seen is the incomplete manuscript. The people with one or two chapters that they have been working on for three years but never get around to finishing.
If you want to be a writer, keep writing until you are one. Keep writing until you're good at it. Keep writing until someone wants to pay you to do it. Don't work on your cover art. Don't draw maps. Don't sketch your characters. Don't waste your word count on a complete bio of every character. Don't watch YOUTUBE videos on how to sell millions of books.
Just write. It's easier to edit a crappy draft than a blank page. Now, no two people are alike and therefore there is no one way to do things. I like to set daily word count minimums. That works best for me. Mine is 2000. Stephan King said his is 6000. Some people like to set minimum dedicated writing time. Whatever works for you. But if the way you are doing it does not result in words on a page in significant quantities in a reasonable amount of time, It's not working.
SO that's it. Short and sweet and back to writing. Thanks for checking this out. I'll blog more about the whole process soon. Leave me a message on the home page if you like and check back for updates.