Feb 28, 2013

Writing Tips

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, February 28, 2013 0 comments

I received these writing tips via email, with the credit going to George Takei (Star Wars fame). Not sure how true that is, but I couldn't resist sharing:

1.      Avoid Alliteration. Always.
2.      Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
3.      Avoid clichés like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
4.      Employ the vernacular.
5.      Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
6.      Parenthetical remarks however relevant) are unnecessary.
7.      It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
8.      Contractions aren’t necessary.
9.      Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
10.  One should never generalize.
11.  Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
12.  Comparisons are as bad as clichés.
13.  Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
14.  Profanity sucks.
15.  Be more or less specific.
16.  Understatement is always best.
17.  Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
18.  One word sentences? Eliminate.
19.  Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
20.  The passive voice is to be avoided.
21.  Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
22.  Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
23.  Who needs rhetorical questions?

Feb 25, 2013

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, February 25, 2013 0 comments
This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don't consider it rejected. Consider that you've addressed it 'to the editor who can appreciate my work' and it has simply come back stamped 'Not at this address'. Just keep looking for the right address.
~ Barbara Kingsolver ~

Feb 21, 2013

What I Read in 2012

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, February 21, 2013 0 comments
'Read more than I did in 2011' (77 books) was the goal I set myself at the start of 2012. I didn't quite get there. As you can see from my reading list for 2012 I made it to 71, so not far off. Maybe 2013 will be a better reading year (actually, I hope it is a better reading and writing year).

Anything worth mentioning from my reading list in 2012? I think the Stieg Larsson Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy turned out to be above my expectations, the 50 Shades trilogy not so much. Carola Dunn's Daisy Dalrymple series was a wonderful find. Other new-to-me authors I'll be continuing to read are Jenn McKinlay and Kate Collins.

The most fun, though, was Eragon, not only because I enjoyed the story, but I had to borrow it from Heckle. I snuck into his room and took it from his bookshelf. I've had to promise him I'll ask permission before I borrow a book next time *grin*. Luckily he's thrilled to be 'lending' books to his Mum so I now have the second in the Inheritance Cycle on my bedside table.

Here's my list from 2012:
  1. Born to Die - Lisa Jackson
  2. Happy Accidents - Jane Lynch
  3. Bridesmaid Says 'I Do' - Barb Hannay
  4. At The Billionaire's Beck and Call - Rachel Bailey
  5. Million-Dollar Amnesia Scandal - Rachel Bailey
  6. Return of the Secret Heir - Rachel Bailey
  7. Faux Finished - Peg Marberg
  8. What Happens in Charleston - Rachel Bailey
  9. Lone Star Marine - Cathie Linz
  10. The Billionaire's Housekeeper Mistress - Emma Darcy
  11. Scandal: His Majesty's Love Child - Annie West
  12. Her Last Night of Innocence - India Grey
  13. Flirting With Forty - Jane Porter
  14. The Mum She Loves to Hate - Kelly Hunter
  15. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
  16. The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larsson
  17. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest - Stieg Larsson
  18.  Savour the Moment - Nora Roberts
  19. Happy Ever After - Nora Roberts
  20. Beaglemania - Linda O Johnston
  21. Sprinkle With Murder - Jenn McKinlay
  22. Buttercream Bump Off - Jenn McKinlay
  23. Death by the Dozen - Jenn McKinlay
  24. Her Secret, His Love-Child  - Tina Duncan
  25. Cordero's Forced Bride - Kate Walker
  26. A Compromised Lady - Elizabeth Rolls
  27. Death at Wentwater Court - Carola Dunn
  28. Quid and Harmony - Allan Smith
  29. Deep Freeze - Lisa Jackson
  30. Fatal Burn - Lisa Jackson
  31. Susan Wiggs - The Ocean Between Us
  32. Hot City Nights - Sandra Marton, Sarah Mayberry & Emilie Rose
  33. Gift-Wrapped Governess - Sophia James, Annie Burrows & Marguerite Kaye
  34. Hot Blooded - Lisa Jackson
  35. Zane: The Wild One - Bronwyn Jameson
  36. Quade: The Irresistible One - Bronwyn Jameson
  37. Cold Blooded - Lisa Jackson
  38. The Night Before - Lisa Jackson
  39. The Morning After - Lisa Jackson
  40. The Billionaire's Bedside Manner - Robyn Grady
  41. At His Majesty's Conveviance - Jennifer Lewis
  42. How to Save a Marriage in a Million - Leonie Knight 
  43. Forced Wife, Royal Love-Child - Trish Morey
  44. Fifty Shades of Grey - EL James
  45. Fifty Shades Darker - EL James
  46. Fifty Shades Freed - EL James
  47. Promoted to Wife? - Paula Roe
  48. Mum's the Word - Kate Collins 
  49. Runaway Bride - Barbara Hannay
  50. The Baby Project - Susan Meier
  51. Honeymoon With the Rancher - Donna Alward
  52. Family Christmas in Riverbend - Shirley Jump 
  53. Keepsake Crimes - Laura Child
  54. The Winter Garden Mystery - Carola Dunn
  55. Murder on the Flying Scotsman - Carola Dunn
  56. Requiem for a Mezzo - Carola Dunn
  57. Blue Monday - Nicci French
  58. The Search - Nora Roberts
  59. Raisins and Almonds - Kerry Greenwood
  60. Almost Dead - Lisa Jackson
  61. If She Only Knew - Lisa Jackson
  62. A Risk Worth Taking - Zana Bell
  63. Away With the Fairies - Kerry Greenwood
  64. Eragon - Christopher Paolini
  65. Afraid to Dir - Lisa Jackson
  66. New Tork to Dallas - JD Robb
  67. Boomerang Bride - Fiona Lowe
  68. Accidently Pregnant, Conveniently Wed - Sharon Kendrick
  69. Claiming His Pregnant Wife - Kim Lawrence
  70. Meant-To-Be-Mother - Ally Blake
  71. Manna From Hades - Carola Dunn

Feb 18, 2013

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, February 18, 2013 1 comments

I think I am starving for publication: I love to get published; it maddens me not to get published. I feel at times like getting every publisher in the world by the scruff of the neck, forcing his jaws open, and cramming the mss down his throat -- 'God-damn you, here it is - I will and must be published.'

You know what it means - you're a writer and you understand it. It's not just 'the satisfaction of being published.' Great God! It's the satisfaction of getting it out, or having that, so far as you're concerned, gone through with it! That good or ill, for better or for worse, it's over, done with, finished, out of your life forever and that, come what may, you can at least, as far as this thing is concerned, get the merciful damned easement of oblivionn and forgetfulness.

~ Tom Wolfe ~

Feb 14, 2013

#likecanberra - Botanic Gardens

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, February 14, 2013 2 comments
The National Botanic Gardens have very quickly become a favourite place for my family to visit. There is so much to experience from misty rainforests to hot and dry rocky outcrops. The plant life is fabulous (of course) but there is an abundance of wildlife as well. The circuit walk is the perfect distance for the kids and there's a lot for them to experience as well - the kids discovery walk, plus weather stations showing the comparisons between the current temperatures and humidity in the rainforest and drier vegetations and lots of places to just run *grin*.

The only disappointment is the parking meters. They help subsidise the gardens (happy to support that) but when I put in enough coins for 1hr, the meter only gave us 45 mins.

It's a shame about the meters, because we'd love to be able to stay longer.

Feb 11, 2013

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, February 11, 2013 0 comments

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.
~ Ingrid Bergman ~

Feb 7, 2013

Contest Ups and Downs

Posted by AJ Blythe at Thursday, February 07, 2013 3 comments
Last week I talked about finalling in the Selling Synopsis contest. This week I'm very, very excited to say that my synopsis won!! Writing a synopsis isn't easy, so to realise I've finally managed to nail the process is a relief.

Luckily my synopsis win took away the sting of not making it past round 1 of the Emerald - category. I seemed to have polarised the judges again with quite varied scores. But that is the nature of contests, it all depends on who reads the entry - much like when you submit it's all in the eyes of the beholder.

Contests are more than a way to get anonymous feedback on your writing, it really does prepare you for the big scary world of submissions. Just gotta nail 'right desk, right time'.

Is that how everyone else sees contests? Or do you get torn everytime an entry comes back with a low score or harsh comment?

Feb 4, 2013

Motivational Monday

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, February 04, 2013 0 comments
If you start with a bang, you won't end with a whimper.

~ T.S. Eliot ~


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