Friday, June 29, 2012

Fabulously Fun Friday ~ The English Language in 15 Accents

I'm posting this mostly because of my awe at this kid's talent to speak in tons of accents. As I was listening to it I was thinking what a fascinating character this kid would make for my next book. :)

What is your favorite accent to mimic?

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

7 Ways to Intensify Crisis Scenes

Janalyn Voigt

When I first started writing, whenever I would reach a point of climax in the story, I’d break and recap in a new scene. Needless to say, none of those stories ever saw the light of publication. (Don’t try this at home.) It wasn’t until I learned to press into crisis points that I produced a story worth publishing. DawnSinger, book one of my epic fantasy trilogy, Tales of Faeraven releases on June 29th. 
Interestingly enough, when I received edits for DawnSinger, most of the notes calling for revision centered around, you guessed it, crisis scenes. I learned that it’s not enough to write my way through these scenes. I had to birth them in a process of labor as gripping and demanding as childbirth.
Here’s how:
  1. Intensify: Consider the possibilities. What could happen that would raise the stakes?
  2. Visualize: Close your eyes and let yourself “see” the action unfold. What does your character see, hear, smell, taste, feel and understand? How can you grip the reader?
  3. Clarify: Is there any information you’ve forgotten to provide because you take it for granted? If you've kept backstory to a minimum, you especially need to make this check. 
  4. Clean up Dialogue: It's easy to overdo use of action in place of dialogue tags. Can you give dialogue a better flow by cutting out extra beats not needed to identify a speaker?  Less is more.
  5. Remove Purple Prose: There are places in a story for lyricism, but if it impedes the flow of your crisis scene, cut it. 
  6. Adjust its Length: Decide how much “territory” your crisis scene needs based on its importance to the overall story. Is it too long or short? Sometimes you can combine scenes for more punch.
  7. Read for Pacing: Does your scene move at the appropriate pace for its subject matter and place in the story? 
Facing up to crisis scenes is both terrifying and exhilarating, like tightrope walking without a net or riding a bucking bronco. It takes “true grit,” because the person looking down the literary “gun barrel” at you is yourself.  But when you do it, your story will come alive like never before.
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Monday, June 25, 2012

How To Write More... and More Often

I mentioned in an earlier post that my goal for 2012 is to write four books. I should amend that to say, my goal is to write four more books before the year is out. I've already finished and released three (two independently, and one to my publisher).

I would love to be in a position where I could churn out upwards of eight titles a year. That way, I could reduce the time I expected to spend on my planned writing down to seven years, instead of seventy.

There was a time, in the not too distant past, where I hoped to write one book a year. That was my goal. That was until I did the math, and realized that I'd have to live past a hundred just to write the stories that had come to my mind in the last seven years. That's not counting whatever other stories might present themselves between now and then.

In short, I had to learn to write faster. I'd like to say I've succeeded, and I suppose on one level I have. I am writing more, faster than ever, but I haven't yet reached the full range of what I think I could acheive. But there are some things I've learned along the way that I thought might benefit others who are deluged with so many stories and so little time. What can a writer do to write more and more often?

1. Get Busy

I don't necessarily mean busy writing, though that's certainly true. I mean busy in general. Get busy with life, with doing things--especially things that matter. This is a bit counterintuitive, but it works.
 "If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it." Lucille Ball
Surprisingly, this holds true. The busier you are, the more you are able to find time to get stuff done that's important. Nothing wastes time like having time to waste.

On any typical week, I am working on three or four novels at a time, writing a weekly Bible study, teaching two to four co-op classes, working full time, working a part time job on the weekends, and mentoring someone in writing who speaks English as a second language. That's in addition to any editing or book cover designing I might do for other writers. We also homeschool our three children. Being busy has taught me to prioritize my time, rather than spending it frivolously.

Along with that, it is equally important to:

2. Kill The Hobgoblins...

Those little things we waste time on that steal time. Things like watching TV (especially fluff TV. I'm all for a good story. It can be quite stimulating. But reality television? Really?), playing video games (I'm still a sucker for Minesweeper and Mahjong Tiles), surfing the internet, or frittering away time on social networking sites. This doesn't mean I don't support using social networking sites for marketing and creative support - I do. But it's also easy to blow through an hour or two with nothing to show for it.

Also, are there things you are doing that other people can do just as easily? One of the best moves I ever made was teaching my daughter how to drive the lawn tractor (in fact, she's doing it right now). I told her that I wanted her to learn to drive the tractor before learning to drive my car (quite true, too). It helps that she's fourteen and not four. Just sayin'.

3. Keep Your Tools Handy

I have copies of my WIP both on my computer at home, and on the computer at work. If I have a break, say, during lunch, I can work on my novel at my desk while eating my sandwich. Most of my first novel was written this way. Make sure you have your boss's or company's permission first, though. Losing your job might free up more time, but it won't help you stay busy.

Taking a notebook with me wherever I go has turned out to be quite effective in helping me write more. Even though it's in long hand, I still can work on something if I'm in a waiting room, stuck in traffic, on a lunch break, or waiting to pick up my kids from scouting, guitar, or swim practice.

I've also found it useful to keep a notepad by my bedside. I've come up with some of my best ideas just waking up. Yes, sometimes even in the middle of the night. The only place where I haven't quite figured out how to write is in the shower. A lot of my ideas go down the drain as soon as I step out.

4. Break Out The Whips and Chains...

If you haven't heard of National November Writing Month yet, it's worth looking into. It took me three tries before I was able to complete a NaNo novel. Three weeks later, I finished the book. Seven weeks from start to finish. Not bad. I can do better, I think, but still not bad. NaNoWriMo is useful for teaching me to set goals and deadlines, and whipping me into shape. I doubt it's something I could do every month (especially since that wouldn't be in November. It'd be like, NaDeWriMo and NaJaWriMo... okay, I'll stop), but it's a useful discipline, nonetheless.

Writer John Ortberg defines discipline as, "Any activity I can do by direct effort that will help me do what I cannot now do by direct effort." (The Life You've Always Wanted, p 51). That's where NaNoWriMo comes into play. It teaches me to focus my efforts and energy into cranking out words despite all the hobgoblins that would rather steal my time.

Another useful tool is Dr. Wicked's Write or Die. You can use either the web version, or buy the app for $10 (he sometimes has a sale during November). This is a little quirky and kinda fun, but it does teach you to concentrate on what you're doing, rather than getting distracted by whatever happens to be going on outside the window.

All this comes down to setting reasonable goals and striving to stick to them. Even if you can't keep it up long term (and I'm notorious for this!), at least you'll accomplish more in the short run.

5. Tie Half Your Brain Behind Your Back

By this, I mean specifically the left side. The logical, critical, linear, math-oriented side. It's too easy to fall into critiquing your work rather than creating it. You can edit at another time. Like when you're done. Your primary job, first and foremost, is to finish the book. Even before you start, your job is to finish the book. Free up your creative side by turning off your critical side.

That being said, I find it helpful to sorta slide into wherever I left off the previous day (or night) by looking over the paragraphs and pages I worked on, tweaking them a bit until I can pick up the narrative. But that's the only reason to do it at this time. Don't worry about editing! Seriously. Mispelings, typ0's, poor grammar, whatEVER. Don't worry 'bout it till later. The mechanics can usually be fixed.

True, it's vital to learn good editing skills (and the best way to learn them is to edit someone else's material, such as on critique forums). In fact, the better you become at the mechanics of writing, the smoother your work will get. But don't get bogged down into editing your work when you should be creating it.

6.  Write More Than One Book At A Time

I have four I'm currently working on. The advantage this gives me is in this: if I get tired or burned out or stuck on one, I can switch to another. Just so long as I'm making progress on something. Whenever any idea creeps into my head for a new story (such as from a dream or in the shower), I write it down as soon as possible and save it on my hard drive under the Considered Titles folder. Sometimes those ideas just sit there and wilt away to nothing. Other ideas show more signs of life, and I keep returning to them to add a bit to the concept here or there. There've been a few I've pulled out even recently and started working on - especially when facing a recent month of burn out.

7. Plan Ahead

Some of the books I write require a great deal of research ahead of time. The old slogan, "Write what you know," is useful, but don't let it limit you. If you want to write something you don't know, learn it first. Research.

We have the advantage of the internet now, with tools such as YouTube, Google Earth, Wikipedia, and so on and so forth. Almost anything can be learned or studied or picked up. Of course, Reagan's old adage, "Trust, but verify," applies especially to the internet, but that's where becoming a good researcher and fact-checker comes into play.

One of my upcoming titles takes place in Russia. I know very little about Russia at the moment. Therefore, one of my tasks is to read material on Russian history and study its climate, culture, and so forth to get the details right.

I'm also a believer in outlining. I don't outline everything, and I don't always follow the outlines I do write, but I've found them to be useful tools on laying out the plot of a novel. I try to outline the entire novel in a single sitting if I can, and then flesh it out later. Sometimes it changes. Usually, it expands. But that's all right. The whole point is to give me a sense of where I'm going with the story, so I don't get bogged down or worse--forget.

8. And, of course, READ

Reading is one of the most useful activities you can do. Read voraciously. Learn to devour books. I go to the library at least once a week. Reading keeps the well full, giving me plenty of words, ideas, and other thoughts to draw from. Read in the genre you write in. Read in other genres. Read as often as you can. If you can't write, read.

And that's about all I can muster on the subject. Today, at least.
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Fabulously Fun Friday: Bad Influences

Keep in mind--every single one of these characters, each bad example they set, were written by an author somewhere.

We writers have power. We have influence.

Kinda scary when you think about it . . . 

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Series Vs. Stand Alone

What would you rather read? A book in a series, or a stand-alone novel?
What would you rather write? A book in a series, or a stand-alone novel?

When I started writing in earnest about seven years ago (this is the time when I finally started, wrote, and finished my first novel), I didn't really ask myself this question. The book I wrote was a simple stand alone novel that held the potential for other books in a series. The next work I attempted did the same.

But then came along a story that required six novels to tell the whole thing. No problem! I thought. I've never attempted a series before, but seriously, how hard can it be?

I'm now approximately 1/3 of the way into the third novel in that series, and I've got fans breathing down my neck demanding to know when it will be completed.

But wait! It gets better. Not satisfied to write one sequential series, I chose to start another. This one, begun as a NaNoWriMo project, just sort of naturally lent itself to a trilogy. I left the readers hanging with my lead character in prison and his partner wanting to break him out. And if that wasn't enough, I started a third sequential series... a fantasy series that will be told over four books. Left a nice, juicy hook at the end of that one, too.

And then came a new idea - a dystopian teen series that will be told over NINE separate novels, with titles ripped from William Butler Yeats' poem The Second Coming. But let's not just let this one stay on my laptop. Oh no. Let's post the whole thing ONLINE as I write it - that way my readers can nag me for the next chapter until it's done. Oh yeah. That was good thinking there.

Did I mention that I'm actively writing the sequel to the first stand alone novel I wrote seven years ago, and that I've come up with upwards of four additional novels after that? Did I also mention that my editors picked up the sequel I wrote to the second novel I finished, and now I'm planning out the third of what could be a five or six book series?

Somewhere around the 40,000 word mark of this dystopian teen thing I'm writing, it occurred to me that I ought to step back and have a look at the commitments I've made - especially with people clamoring for a third installment in a series that I began two years ago. That's when I discovered - to my eternal chagrin - that I have successfully put myself on the hook for no less than thirty-nine novels, just to complete the series that I've started since 2005. I've finished seven of them.

If I managed to write four novels a year (probably a bit more realistic than my hoped-for six novels a year), it will take me EIGHT MORE YEARS to finish just the books I have committed myself to writing. And if I dare work on anything else instead (such as some of the twenty or so other novel ideas cooking around in my noggin), then I could be looking at twice that time. I have to wonder whether or not my readers will have the patience to wait that long - or whether I'll have the endurance to finish.

Novelist Catherine Aird once said, “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.” 

Or, as Jesus once said, “Which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” (Luke 14:28-30 NASB)

Toward the end of his sixth Dark Tower novel, Stephen King shares a letter he received from one of his readers: she was a cancer patient with perhaps less than a year to live, and she wanted to know  how the series would end, because she didn't think she'd live long enough to find out. His response after citing this letter? "I feel like such a sh-t!" (sorry if that offends. His words, not mine). Given that it took him twenty two years to wrap up the original series (and yes, he's written a sequel to it since then), I sorta doubt she made it.

If I had the chance to do it over again, I can honestly say I would steer away from sequential series. Especially as many as I've begun. It's fun and tempting to work with the same characters again, to write a novel that keeps readers hooked and waiting for the next one, but it's also a commitment to finish.
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Monday, June 18, 2012

The Permanence of Words, with Mary Allen

While newspaper articles usually make a difference for a day, audible recorded words may linger a bit longer, and novelists hope their work stays in print more than a few years, Mary Allen has the experience of knowing her words are cast in gold plate and concrete. The moral of this story--look for opportunies that you might not have considered and think outside the box.

 As with most authors, I would like to make a tidal wave instead of a splash in the puddle of the literary world. I soon learned that despite being called to write, I was not going to have a tidal wave before I even had a puddle.

In the early years, I turned down many writing opportunities because I felt called to fiction. Looking back with regret, I see God wanted to hone my writing as well as provide income for me. Eventually, I learned to grab whatever opportunities came my way.

When the La Porte (Indiana) Poet Laureate was established, I was already trying to write a poem a day as an exercise in imagery, composition, and rhythm. I placed a few times, and was crushed when a piece I thought particularly promising didn’t claim the title. No matter how good the piece is, if it is not appropriate to the target audience it doesn’t win. So, I took that into account and was crowned La Porte County Poet Laureate 2010. The Poet Laureate reads at the Arts in the Park program and judges the next year’s poems.

The title brought me to the attention of James Bevin an avid member of Lincoln Highway Association. He commissioned me to create a poem about the Indiana portion of the historic highway. I read books and visited sites and delivered a completed work. He was thrilled with the content, as I had mentioned several of the state’s attractions while showing how the present is connected to the past.

Mr. Bevins had shared his plans for a kiosk, one of four on the Indiana route and suggested that my poem might be used. If it was, I expected it to be on a sheet of paper beneath a layer of plexi-glass, easily changed out for something more interesting.

A year later when I arrived for the dedication ceremony, I stood with the current Mayor of La Porte, her predecessor, the Head of Chamber of Commerce, and several national, regional, as well as local members of the Lincoln Highway Association.

At the unveiling, I was amazed to see my poem “Connected” engraved on a plaque on the wooden frame of the kiosk. What I saw as a humble work, God chose to honor. This reminds me of how God’s ways are higher than our ways and His understanding higher than our understanding. It calls me to give my best to the job at hand, listening for His leading, but not making human judgments of importance or worthiness. God blesses faithfulness.

Picture 1: these men built the kiosk
Picture 2: dedication
Picture 3: Mary (gray suit) at the ceremony

Mary Allen is writer who enjoys the Midwest where she lives with her husband and a very fine German Short Hair Pointer. She loves The Word and teaching it, reading, writing or playing with words and served as La Porte County Poet Laureate from 2010-2011. She contributes to Constant Content and
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Fabulously Fun Friday: Book Trailer Blooper

The book trailer for Michael Duncan's Book of Aleth series does a good job of promoting the first two novels, Shadows and Redemption. But the filming was not without incident. First, watch the trailer, and then for a smile, check out the blooper video.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fun With Grammar - To Boldly Split Infinitives

If you are of a certain age, you were taught that splitting infinitives was against the rules and warned sternly against doing it. Except it's not a real rule and language is richer when we listen for the artistry in the language.

First, what are Infinitives?
Full infinitives are made up of two words, usually putting the word “to” in front of the bare verb:
  • to go
  • to sprinkle
  • to run
  • to split
What Is a Split Infinitive? 
A split infinitive puts an adverb between the two parts of the full infinitive. “To generously sprinkle” is a split infinitive because “generously” splits the word “to” from the word “sprinkle.”
If you want to remember what a split infinitive is, just remember what might be the most famous example: Star Trek's “to boldly go where no one has gone before.” “To boldly go” is a split infinitive. “Boldly” splits “to go.”
I like the explanation about how this started by Liz Bureman.
So what made us start the crusade against the split infinitive? Most scholars trace it back to the early 19th century, when they were inventing English grammar. Some guy named Henry Alford (who wrote the book The King's English) decided that since you can't split infinitives in Latin, you shouldn't be splitting infini­tives in English.
Because English and Latin are totally the same.
Splitting infinitives doesn't hinder comprehension, so there's really no reason to hold back. 

Writers can be especially enthusiastic about well-intentioned grammar cops changing our art. Detective fiction legend Raymond Chandler worked up a really great rant about a proofreader who changed his split infinitives.
"By the way, would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss-waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, G*d damn it, I split it so it will remain split, and when I interrupt the velvety smoothness of my more or less literate syntax with a few sudden words of barroom vernacular, this is done with the eyes wide open and the mind relaxed and attentive. The method may not be perfect, but it is all I have."
That's not to say there aren't any occasions you shouldn't use it - splitting infinitives with negations just sounds weird. "I want to not see you anymore." But by and large, modern usage has relaxed in this regard. Split away!
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Monday, June 11, 2012

Five Ways to Prevent Hectivity (read: Hectic Activity) from Putting a Damper on Your Writing

There is a lot of change happening in my life lately. My oldest is graduating; the other three are getting out of school for the summer; my parents are moving to town (yay!); there are several new faces at work; this weekend we will have a wedding and a memorial service; and... I recently regained all rights to four of my books and decided to self-publish.

I'm sure many of you are facing similar busy seasons in your life. Sometimes it is easier just to bag writing for a time and say, "I'll get back to it later." But below are several tricks to help keep up productivity.

1. Keep your priorities straight. Make sure to spend a little time with God at the beginning of your writing day. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it is amazing how much more work gets done when we take a little time to assess, ask for direction, analyze our life, and then press forward.

2. Be sure to eat healthy. If you are anything like me (I'm mostly a "food is fuel" person), you can be going through your day, get to 2pm and realize you have a screaming headache and then remember that you haven't yet taken the time to eat that day. Try to eat a good breakfast, and make yourself stop for a light lunch. It will help with productivity.

3. Author James Scott Bell first introduced me to the concept of the "fast 500." (That's what I call it, I can't remember his exact term for it.) You might have a ton of things pressing on your mind, but first things first. Hammer out 500 words on your manuscript before you launch into your tasks for the day. This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, but if you make it a priority it will go a long ways to keeping up your productivity.

4. Dragon Naturally Speaking is your friend. If you spend a lot of time commuting, like I do, give some thought to DNS. When I have a commute where I'm going to be in the car alone, I will put on my DNS mic and "talk" my story. On my 25 minute commute, I can sometimes get 1,500 words written. Granted they are bad, and need a ton of editing because DNS isn't yet perfect at picking up every word I say, but it is a starting point for me to work from later.

5. Give yourself a break! If you have a day where you simply can't get to your writing, don't sweat it. But also, don't let failure to meet your writing goals one day discourage you from getting right back at it the next.

What about you? What tricks keep you writing amidst hectivity?
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Friday, June 8, 2012

Fabulously Fun Friday: Doublespeak

From the hallowed halls of, dictionarily speaking:


A reader reports that when the patient died, the attending doctor recorded the following on the patient's chart: "Patient failed to fulfill his wellness potential."

The letter from the Air Force colonel in charge of safety said that rocket boosters weighing more than 300,000 pounds "have an explosive force upon surface impact that is sufficient to exceed the accepted overpressure threshold of physiological damage for exposed personnel." In other words, if a 300,000-pound booster rocket falls on someone, he or she is not likely to survive.

A reader reports that the Army calls them "vertically deployed anti-personnel devices." You probably call them bombs.

At McClellan Air Force base in Sacramento, California, civilian mechanics were placed on "non-duty, non-pay status." That is, they were fired.

The description on the package of Stouffer's Veal Tortellini with Tomato Sauce says it contains "exquisite egg pasta." The list of ingredients, however, includes "cooked noodle product."

The Minnesota Board of Education voted to consider requiring all students to do some "volunteer work" as a prerequisite to high school graduation.

Senator Orrin Hatch said that "capital punishment is our society's recognition of the sanctity of human life."

According to the tax bill signed by President Reagan on December 22, 1987, Don Tyson and his sister-in-law Barbara run a "family farm." Their "farm" has 25,000 employees and grosses $1.7 billion a year. But as a "family farm" they get tax breaks that save them $135 million a year.

Scott L. Pickard, spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Public Works, calls them "ground-mounted confirmatory route markers." You probably call them road signs, but then you don't work in a government agency.

Share your best finds here!
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Getting Your Hooks Into Readers

Any writer who's been at their craft a while knows the importance of an opening hook--that little piece of dialogue, action, or tension that raises a question in the readers' minds, enticing them to read just a bit more. It's vital to grab the readers' attention from the first line, and deliver enough on the hook's promise to keep them reading into the next chapter.

But a full-length novel asks for a commitment of time from the reader--let alone a series (I have a bad habit of writing series). How then, to keep the reader engaged over the long haul from chapter one to the dénouement?

Once again, hooks come into play. The trick this
time is not so much to hook the readers with the first line so much as it is to hook them again with the last line of the chapter. Which chapter? All of them. Every chapter should end with something that makes the readers want to turn the page and find out what happens next.

And, of course, that's the last thing you want to tell them on the next page. Admittedly, this is hard to do with limited first person point of view, but for sake of argument, let's say you're crafting a novel in third person with multiple viewpoints. Your first chapter introduces the primary character and essential conflict, and leaves the reader with a question at the end. Chapters two and three can then be used to introduce additional characters and conflicts with their own embedded hooks. By chapter four, you may want to revisit the first character again and answer the question raised in chapter one, but if you've done your work well, you'll now have a series of questions in chapters two and three that will keep the readers engaged and turning the pages.

Layering hooks and subplots thus forms the essential structure of the effective novel, that combination of conflict/crisis/resolution that leads to additional conflict right up until the final, epic climax where all conflicts are resolved...

...unless, of course, you're writing a sequential series. In that case, you can end the book with a hook that'll keep the readers clamoring for the next installment. Just be prepared to deliver on it (or face the wrath of some impatient readers!).
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Monday, June 4, 2012

Law of Physics--er, Writing

"He eyed her from head to toe."

"She hit him."

"He smirked."

"She thought he called her a name."

Sounds like a scene in a novel, doesn't it? In truth, these lines are derived from different novels in which the author presented an unanswered action.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
This, the third of Sir Isaac Newton's laws of physics, should be the first law of writing. Whenever a character does something, unless he's alone in the scene (and sometimes even then), there should be some sort of reaction.

The examples I've given were derived from novels I've read where the author left me hanging after an action was portrayed. The first one, especially, yanked me out of the story: "He eyed her from head to toe." Since we were in her POV, we should've seen her reaction (even if we weren't in her POV). Believe me, a woman reacts to being scoped, and how this one reacted could've solidified her characterization. The author missed an opportunity.

The next one, "She hit him," surprised me because she hit him hard in the legs with a metal object. At the very least, he should've said "ouch." He should've jumped up and down, holding one injured shin, then the other. He should've exclaimed something--anything--that would indicate pain. Should have, but didn't.

Pay attention to what you're writing. Picture your scene and the natural reactions your characters should have to the stimulus presented--in a natural sequence. I emphasize the sequence, because I've also seen something similar to this:
She whacked him on the back with the board she toted. She didn't mean to, she just wasn't paying attention. When would she ever learn? She was so careless, such a klutz. Even her mother said so. What would her mother say if she saw her today? Nothing good, no doubt.
"Ouch," he said.
Oversimplified of course, but it happens when writers aren't paying attention to what they put on the page. It may seem odd that an author wouldn't realize what she's writing, but if she's overanxious about getting to her next point or presenting a vital character quirk or whatever goal is on her mind, she's blinded to what she has written.

Many writing rule can be broken. Let me present a couple that shouldn't be:
  1. Every action has a reaction.
  2. Pay attention to what you're doing.
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Friday, June 1, 2012

Felicia Day: Semantic Satiation and other cool stuff

As a fan of Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog and The Guild, I'm also a fan of geek goddess Felicia Day. One of her five faves for this video was a term new to me: Semantic Satiation. It's funny (as is the rest of the video).

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