Friday, February 26, 2010

Fun Friday

Welcome to another addition of Fun Friday. I hope these few cartoons brighten your day. As for me, I'm going to do my submarine impression and 'Go deep and quiet'. My deadline approacheth and I want this mystery sent to my customer before Monday.

Enjoy your weekend and the last weekend of the Olympics!

Memory was something you lost with age
An application was for employment
A program was a TV show
A cursor used profanity

A keyboard was a piano
A web was a spider's home
A virus was the flu
A CD was a bank account

A hard drive was a long trip on the road
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Taming of the Character

Day One: Character is born. The writer assigns a name and the character begins to breath. A line of dialogue is given. The character has a voice.

Day Two: The writer is in love with the character. Character is funny, witty, and knows just what to say at any point. Character has developed distinguishing quirks and has a welcome gift of noticing their surroundings and reactions of other characters. Character is interacting nicely with others and helping to move the plot along. The writer pats herself on the back for having the genius to create such a gem.

Day Three: The writer is getting slightly annoyed at the character. Character is insisting they need a larger part and daring to hint their story line should be the main plot.

Day Four: Character has small temper tantrum and jumps up and down. The writer is beginning to pull out small clumps of hair.

Day Five: Character is now showing up in places where they have no business being and is clearly out of control. The writer is now questioning her sanity and wondering if it's too early in the day for a cocktail.

Day Six: Having remembered who is truly in charge, the writer approaches the character holding a whip and a small chair. Character is reminded they can be replaced. Character goes to a corner and sulks. The writer shrugs and continues to write.

Day Seven: Character reappears at exactly the right time. The writer remembers why she created the character in the first place and renews their love affair. Smooth sailing.


Day Eight: New character is born.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

First Sentences

It might be the sentence that gets the most re-writing in anyone's manuscript. It certainly garners a great deal of attention. The dreaded first sentence. Experts dictate this sentence sets the mood and pace for the thousands of sentences that will follow. Grab the reader! Make it impossible for them not to keep reading!

No pressure.

Here's a small collection of what some might say are the best first sentences in literature.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
Leo Tolstoy - Anna Karenina

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
George Orwell - 1984

It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not.
Paul Auster - City of Glass

Call me Ishmael.
Herman Melville - Moby Dick

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
J.D. Salinger - Catcher in the Rye

And now...just for fun, (and to make me feel humble and small) here's my first line (at this point) in my WiP:

The housemaid's scream is as sharp as the shards of Venetian glass surrounding the corpse.
Elspeth Antonelli - Spy My Shadow

Do you have a favourite first line? How long did it take before you knew you'd written the right one for your current WiP?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My 10 Writing Rules

Yesterday, Jan Morrison, author of the delightful Crazy Jane blog asked for my top ten writing rules. This post, therefore, goes under the caveat 'be careful what you ask for...'

1. Ask 'what if'. Let your imagination fly. See what and who shows up.

2. Don't pre-judge. You may think your 'what-if' is a short story - but it could be a novel. Or a play.

3. Eat cake. Eat chocolate. Eat chocolate cake.

4. Get outside and breath fresh air. Spending all day at your keyboard does not make you a better writer. It makes you stale.

5. Don't fence yourself in with set ideas about numbers of characters. You may very well need more. Or less. If you can meld two characters into one, the likelihood is you can meld more.

6. As you sit down to write, cursing and sweating, remember: This was a choice. No one held a gun to your head - you decided you wanted to do this.

7. Read voraciously. Read all types - you'll be amazed at what you can learn.

8. Be content with your own company - because that's what it's going to be a great deal of the time. If you always happier around other people, writing may not be the path for you.

9. Accept that not every word you're writing is brushed with genius. No one's is. Build a bridge and get over it.


10. Write what you would want to read.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Successful Writers' Rules for Writing

On Saturday, the Guardian newspaper ran the second of a fascinating two-part article entitled Ten Rules for Writing Fiction. Many of the rules contradicted each other - some writers exhorted the importance of writing every day, some said not so much. Some said 'read everything you can', others disagreed. There seemed to be some common threads which were:

1. Don't be afraid of being ruthless with your editing and your cutting.

2. Write the book you would want to read, no matter the genre.

3. Don't chase trends. By the time you're finished, the trend will have vanished.

4. Be persistent.

5. Believe in yourself and your writing - but always know there is room for improvement.

6. Take it seriously.

I found myself nodding in agreement with most of the article, although I disagreed with several 'rules'. One rule gave me an 'aha' moment. Several 'rules' made me giggle.

Four of my favourites:

From Neil Gaiman:


Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.

From Ian Rankin:

Be lucky.

Stay lucky.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fun Friday

Trivia is fun. Enjoy this list which I've found around the internet this week. Have a Fun Friday and a great weekend!

1. Everyone of us has a unique tongue print.

2. Playing cards were issued to British pilots in WWII so that if they were captured, the cards could be soaked in water and unfolded to reveal a map for escape. (given my time period for my books, I already knew this)

3. Many sticks of lipsticks include fish scales.

4. Roses are red, but violets are violet.

5. Charlie Chaplin once came in third in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest.

6. Dachshunds were originally bred in Germany in the 1600s to hunt dachs - German for badgers.

7. The first passenger train left the station in England, 1825.

8. The wingspan of a Boeing 747 is longer than the Wright brothers' first flight.

9. Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise.

10. An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

11. Walt Disney was afraid of mice.

12. 'Stewardesses' is the longest English word typed only with the left hand.

13. However, the average person does 56% of their typing with their left hand.

14. Killer whales are not, technically, whales. They are orcas; a relative of porpoises and dolphins.

15. Bats always turn left when exiting a cave.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I am a creature of routines. I like my day to go a certain way; this is the time for this, this is the time for that. I believe I became a routine worshiper after the arrival of my first child and routines were the only way to force some sense of order on that rather chaotic situation. To this day, my kids are used to routines. They know certain things happen at certain times. Homework. Meals. Bed. I worked my writing into my daily routine years ago.

But then came...

The Olympics.

My routines have gone into the dumper.

I'm still writing, but I'm writing at odd times. I'm spending huge amounts of time in front of the television. I'm outside, walking around in the magic. This whole event is only 17 days long - how bad can it be?

I've got a deadline in 2 weeks, that's how bad it can be.

We're taught as writers to put our characters in unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations. No one would read a book about daily life and all its humdrumery. (I know that's not a word - but it should be) Actually, yes they would. Erma Bombeck did a rather nice job of it. I digress...

I have a character who is a creature of routines and when events throw his routines out of whack he's flummoxed. But this change forces him to think outside the box and to view other characters from angles he'd never considered. It makes him grow.

I'll meet my deadline. I'll watch the Olympics. I'll find a new routine - and maybe grow a little.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Elspeth: The Scottish form of Elizabeth

I didn't have to look this up. I've had it memorized for years, because almost every time someone hears my name for the first time I get a puzzled look coming back at me, followed by a head tilt, followed by a hesitant "...Elizabeth?" The result is I'm very conscious of names. I don't like tricky names, I don't like tricky spelling. I was determined that all my children had very regular names. When I'm writing, I try to do the same favour for my characters.

As a reader, I find odd names jarring. When I come across one I have to stop and figure out how to pronounce it. This tends to make me cranky. If I can't figure it out, I'll ignore the name and just skim over it whenever it appears. In fact, when describing the character to someone else, I'll probably call them 'odd-named woman' or 'guy with name I can't pronounce'.

Names have changed over time, certainly. I have a character in my WiP who is in her 70s. The story takes place in 1935 - this means she was born in the 1860s. I picked a name that was popular in the 1860s. I do this for everything I write. I look at lists of popular baby names for the year of the character's birth; or in some cases, when I've written about teenagers in a plot taking place now, I simply ask my teenagers what the most popular names are in their school.

I try, simply for the sake of clarity, not to have two characters with similar sounding names - I don't want a Pam and a Dan or a Mary and a Terry. I do have two characters right now whose names start with the same letter - but they're working as a team to solve the mystery and one is known by his surname and one by his first name.

I don't name characters after people I know. I want each character to be mine, and some names have too many real-life memories attached to them. I am also hesitant to start down that rather slippery road as I know someone, sooner or later, will say "You named a character after them, but you didn't name one after me". There's also the risk that the person whose name I did use, will think the character is a portrait of them (which could be unfortunate considering I write mysteries).

Shakespeare may have been right when he had Juliet observe "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" but I can't write a character if I've given them the wrong name. It's happened.

How do you choose your characters' names? Do you care if they're odd? Have you ever gotten them wrong?

Oh, by the way, I'm not Scottish. I just have a Scottish name.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sheep with Flags

Guardian: Welcome back to the writer's brain. Hey! What's going on?

Sheep #1: Don't you like it?

Sheep#2: It's a new look for us.

Sheep #3: We were already white, all we needed to do was paint on the maple leaves.

Sheep #1: We think we're stunning.

Sheep #2: We have a future on fashion runways across the world.

Guardian: But why have you done this?

Sheep #3: Hello? Where have you been? It's the Olympics.

Guardian: But this is the writer's brain. We're supposed to be writing. A little self-discipline is called for - there are deadlines to meet and a manuscript to finish.

Sheep #1: During the Olympics? When the whole thing is happening just an hour away? Are you mad?

Sheep #2: Perhaps a vacation is in order.

Sheep #3: You do look a little peaked.

Sheep #1: Get the writer to take you downtown. Feel the crush of the crowds. See the Olympic cauldron. Go listen to some of the bands. Wave a flag. Everyone is smiling. It's electric.

Guardian: You were there?

Sheep #2: We're everywhere.

Guardian: But what about the writing? I can't desert my post.

Sheep #1: You're not deserting your post; you're taking in life. This is a once in a lifetime event, unless the writer enjoys huge success and can follow the Olympics around.

Sheep #2: We wouldn't bet our wool on it.

Sheep #3: Go forth, Guardian! We'll look after things here. The writer will write. Trust her. Just remember one thing.

Guardian: What's that?

Sheep #1: GO

Sheep #2: CANADA

Sheep #3: GO!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Getting Down to Business

I have a deadline approaching fast, so I'm having to tear myself away from watching the Olympics (GO CANADA GO), knuckle down and get to work. Luckily, I know how this mystery game will go. I've already:

  • Named all my characters and know each of their motives. (all 13 of them!)
  • Researched my setting and the time period.
  • Decided what pieces of 'evidence' need to be created to add an extra element to the game.
  • Know who's lying and who isn't.
  • Know who's the guilty party.
  • Know where to add a bit of humour. (I find it impossible not to).

As organized as this sounds, there is some wiggle room. Once I start actually writing the clues for the game, it becomes like writing a novel - strange things start to occur and characters infer things I haven't thought of. Bonus for me, and it adds interest to the game.

I know many of you don't prepare this much when you write. You have my boundless admiration. But for me, it's like colouring. I need that outline before I can feel free to pick my colours and go a little wild. Staying in the lines makes the picture clear. I'm not writing an abstract, I'm writing a mystery.

It might be funny, it might be odd, but it has to make sense.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Fun Friday

Writing Tips

I found this while hopping about the internet this week. Enjoy.

1. Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.

2. Never use no double negatives.

3. Use the semicolon properly, always where it is appropriate; and never where it is not.

4. Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it where it is not needed.

5. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.

6. No sentence fragments.

7. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

8. Avoid commas, that are not necessary.

9. When you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.

10. A writer must not shift your point of view.

11. Do not overuse exclamation marks!!! (In fact, avoid them whenever possible!!!)

12. And do not start a sentence with a conjunction.

13. Place pronouns as closely as possible, especially in long sentences, as of ten or more words, to their antecedents.

14. Hyphenate only between syllables and avoid un-necessary hyphens.

15. Write all adverbial forms correct.

16. Don't use contractions.

17. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.

18. It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms.

19. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.

20. Steer clear of incorrect verb forms that have snuck into the language.

21. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors.

22. Avoid modernisms that sound flaky.

23. Avoid barbarisms: they impact too forcefully.

24. Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.

25. Everyone should be careful to use singular pronouns with singular nouns in their writing.

26. If we've told you once, we've told you a thousand times: avoid hyperbole.

27. Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.

28. Do not string a large number of prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

29. Always pick on the the correct idiom.

30. "Avoid overuse of 'quotation' 'marks.'"

31. Never use more words than are necessary to get your point across: be concise.

32. Awayz check you're spelling. (Your spellchecker would only pick up one of the two errors here.)

33. Always be avoided by the passive voice.

34. Every sentence a verb.

35. Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague: seek viable alternatives.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Forgotten Words

Yesterday's post was pictures, not words, so today's post is all about words. Forgotten words. Enjoy!

uzzle-pye: More spectacle than food, this must have been a medieval crowd-pleaser. The crust was temporarily filled with such contents as dried beans, to support the lid while it baked, and later emptied. Small live birds, such as blackbirds - which in larger feasts may have numbered 'four and twenty' - were then tethered inside the dish without being harmed. At the appropriate moment, the birds were released, prompting the famous line, "When the pie was opened, the birds began to sing."

blash: 300 year old onomatopoeia created from blow and one of several water-related terms such as dash in order to mimic the sound of a downpour with gusting winds.

gardyloo: Spirited warning cry that once preceded the emptying of slops or a bucketful of wastewater from an upstairs window into the street below. A corruption of the French expression gard de l'eau, which translates roughly into 'look out for the water,' this expression would have been frequently heard in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. "Loo" is still used in Great Britain to refer to a toilet.

bladderskate: An indiscreet talker, derived partially from blaedre, the Anglo-Saxon term for the human bladder. This word is the origin for the modern terms of 'blabbermouth' and 'blithering idiot'.

sillyebubbe: This was a popular English beverage from the 1500s to the 1800s. Originally, it was made by milking a cow directly into spiced cider or wine, which curdled the milk and created a frothy concoction. It was thought to be very effective at warding off colds, and drunk by bridegrooms for its calming effects. By the 1700s this word had come to be used as a term to describe a conversation or writing that lacked substance.

All these wonderful words and meanings were found in Jeffrey Kacirk's "Forgotten English".

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pictures, Not Words

I'm busy writing today so instead of words, I thought I'd give you pictures of various scenes that resonate with me. Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Here's where I'd be living if I had my way. Thatched roof. Cottage garden. Looking out my window at England.

However, when my detective is home in Provence, this is a view of his village, Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.

This is the scenery my characters walk through in my WiP taking place in England. The view hasn't changed much in the last 75 years.

But right now, the place I live now is 2 days away from hosting the Olympics. Here's the view every night in Vancouver's downtown harbour.

Last night in Richmond, which is part of Metro Vancouver. The torch. The flame. Olympic-sized magic.

All images found at Google images.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

To Tell The Truth

We're all taught telling the truth is the best path. Truth is good, etc. The reality of day to day life is different. We all lie. We just justify it in different ways. "If I told her the truth, I would hurt her feelings," or "It's not a big lie," or any number of other ways. It's a long accepted fact that very few people want an honest answer to the question "Does this outfit make me look fat?" if that answer would be a resounding "yes".

My characters lie all the time. Some lie because of their own agendas. Some lie because of societal pressures. Some just like to lie for fun. Often, they lie because they're afraid.

There's also the issue of self-honesty. How often do we lie to ourselves? Some people are able to take a step back and view themselves honestly, even when they know the answers might not be the most flattering. They accept their motives weren't the purest. Others can't do this. They have to see themselves as good, regardless of what their actions may say.

My characters suffer from the same dilemma. Some see a true reflection in the mirror and others' view is distorted. I think this makes them all a bit more human and, hopefully, a bit more relatable to readers.

No one is pure evil (well, some are). No one is pure good. No one tells the truth all the time. Anyone in a relationship knows a few little white lies makes certain days go smoother. Even people with the best possible intentions can roll in the mud once in a while.

It's been my experience that when someone says "I did it for the best" usually means they've done something questionable. Maybe it was for the best. Maybe it was for their best.

Are your characters truth-tellers all the time? Maybe they should lie. Just a little.

There are only two ways of telling the complete truth - anonymously and posthumously. ~Thomas Sowell

It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.
~Henry Louis Mencken

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
~Winston Churchill

Monday, February 8, 2010


This morning was a highly emotional time for me; I saw the Olympic flame come through my small town on its way to Vancouver for the Olympics this Friday.

I've got a personal connection to the Olympics, many years back I had friends with the Canadian gymnastics team and was actually hoping to be an Olympian myself (that however, never occurred, thanks to boycotts - and who knows if I'd have made the team).

I was watching the crowd around me this morning and saw a number of different reactions to the sight of the flame. Some people pointed and cheered. Many started running along side it (but not too close, obviously, security was tight). Everyone was smiling and waving flags. Some, like me, had tears in their eyes.


Let your characters experience strong emotions. Each character's reaction will be unique. Try to remember (as I'm certainly trying) to let them experience joy as well as sorrow. Peace, as well as turbulence. Love as well as hate. Some might get quiet, some might bow their heads, some might shiver. But let them have the full range of emotions.

Actions, sometimes, speak louder than words.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fun Friday

Happy Friday!

Welcome to the second installment of Fun Friday. I hope you enjoy these jokes I've discovered
while surfing the net this week. Have a wonderful weekend.

Q: How many agents does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Agent #1: Sorry, we're not accepting screw in light bulbs anymore. Bayonets only, and we only get them from the store.

Agent #2: We considered your light bulb but it's a bit too modern. Have you tried turning it into a candle?

Agent #3: Loved your light bulb. Great light. Lots of illumination. Unfortunately, the agency's decided to remain in the dark indefinitely.
I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?" She answered, "If I tell you, it will defeat the purpose."

Three men: an editor, a photographer, and a journalist are covering a political convention in Miami. They decide to walk up and down the beach during their lunch hour. Halfway up the beach, they stumbled upon a lamp. As they rub the lamp a genie appears and says "Normally I would grant you three wishes, but since there are three of you, I will grant you each one wish."

The photographer went first. "I would like to spend the rest of my life living in a huge house in St. Thomas with no money worries." The genie granted him his wish and sent him on off to St. Thomas.

The journalist went next. "I would like to spend the rest of my life living on a huge yacht cruising the Mediterranean,with no money worries." The genie granted him his wish and sent him off.

Last, but not least, it was the editor's turn. "And what would your wish be?" asked the genie.

"I want them both back after lunch," replied the editor, "the deadline for tomorrow's newspaper is in ten hours.


Writer's block is when your imaginary friends won't talk to you.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


The Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies are next Friday and foreign journalists are flooding into Vancouver. How can we spot them? Many of them are walking around sweating in their fur-lined parkas. It's not cold here; in fact, it's so warm snow is being trucked in from BC's interior to help 'snow up' on of our local city mountains where some of the aerial ski-ing is to take place. Cherry trees are beginning to blossom. I've got flowers coming up in my garden.

But apparently, the Canadian stereotype is alive and well around the world. Guess what?

1. It doesn't snow here 365 days of the year. (especially here in this little corner of B.C.)

2. We don't all live in igloos.

3. We're not all lumberjacks, and we don't all wear plaid shirts.

4. Maple syrup is not the main staple of our diet.

5. Polar bears do not wander through our streets.

6. We don't all speak French.

Local media is having quite a good time, but this situation has got me pondering stereotypes and how often we use them for our characters.

I'm all for humour, but aren't stereotypical characters the lazy choice? Stereotypes are one-joke wonders. I'd far rather read (or write) about real people. No one fits into a mold; no one is completely good or completely bad.

Think of your characters as real people trying to get through your plot. Some are going to make good decisions, some are going to make bad. Some you would want to have over to dinner, some you would avoid at all costs. I have one character I'd like to give a sharp smack to, but he's the way he is. His priorities are different than mine, but they're his. To him, they make sense.

Make bold choices. Write characters that are their own persons, not cardboard cut-outs.

Meanwhile, I'm going to leash up the huskies and go for a dog-sled ride.

Sending all of you love from Vancouver, where this morning it looked like this:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Oh Sock, Where Art Thou?

There have been unsolved mysteries since the beginning of history. Did Atlantis really exist? How was Stonehenge built and what was it used for? What was the fate of the little Princes in the Tower? What happened to Amelia Earhart? But the biggest unsolved mystery of all...

When two socks go into the washer, why does only one sock come out the dryer?

I have a pile of socks waiting for their mates. I'm not talking about 2 or 3 socks, I'm talking about a lot. I know, however, the moment I decide to get rid of them, the other sock will materialize. I know this for sure.

I've looked under beds. I've looked under and behind sofas. I've looked behind the washer and dryer. No socks.

Where did that other sock go?

There are unproved theories. The rings of Saturn are actually made up of single socks. The missing socks go into the same vortex as lost luggage. There is a compartment inside every dryer that sucks up one sock. If you find the compartment, you'll find the socks.

Socks were one of the first items of clothing worn by early man. These 'socks' were animal skins gathered up around the ankles and worn to protect the feet and keep them warm. Ancient Greeks used matted animal hair. By 1000 AD, wearing socks was a sign of wealth among the nobility.

This tells me missing socks have been around since the dawn of time. There were misplaced socks hiding in the back of the cave, or dropped on the way back from the river. I'll bet if you looked under the stones at any ancient Greek ruins you would discover ancient Greek socks. Middle Ages socks were probably eaten by wandering livestock or put into stews.

Meanwhile, back in the present...

I don't want to make sock bunnies. I don't want to use it as a duster. I don't want to find out new and crafty ways for these single socks to better my life.

I just want the other sock.

Or a trip to Saturn to discover if the rings theory is correct.

By the way, I offer one possible solution to the Princes in the Tower in my current WiP.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hot and Cold

Why, oh why, is it not possible to write on command? Or, more precisely, why is it not possible to write well on command? I'm sure there are legions of writers who can do this, I humbly confess, I cannot.

I never know when inspiration is going to hit. Yesterday it hit half way through the afternoon, forcing me to run upstairs to my laptop and write feverishly. This wasn't an inspiration I was searching for, at least not consciously. It was just a case of something popping into my brain and me realizing it could put a whole new dimension into my WiP. More work. Huzzah.

Sometimes my writing improves if I sit myself down and force myself to write. It takes about half an hour, but my staggers will occasionally increase into a nice jog. Occasionally being the operative word.

I know if I'm going to be able to write; I've got ideas practically running out of my ears and leaking out of my fingers. I have to rush to get them down and each sentence moves quickly to the next and the next and the next. New plot twists germinate; some so far down the road that I have to make notes in my 'construction file'. It's a wonderful thing.

But then there are the far-too-common days when I can convince myself that spending a bit more time reading and commenting on blogs is never a bad thing. Of course there's time to check in on Facebook! I haven't checked my library record to see if that new book has come in; let's do it now. My writing? Yea, yea, I'll get to it.

You can't fake good writing. You can't fake a good plot or an interesting character. Or at least I'm not skilled enough to. I'll continue to use my 'down time' to do research or jot down odd thoughts and wait for the 'up time' to strike again.

With my luck, it will be just as I'm beginning to prepare dinner.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Why Do We Write?

I believe every writer in the world has their own answer to this question. There are no wrong answers, but there are politically incorrect ones.

You not supposed to answer: I'm in it for the money.

Nor are you supposed to admit: I'm in it for the fame.

Face it, some people are. I wish them the best of luck.

Why do I write?

I write because I've discovered I can. I like I'm not confined to an office; although I must admit the companionship would be nice from time to time.

I write because I've always had an active (some might say over-active) imagination. Coming up with plots or characters has never been a problem for me. I don't have a problem meeting deadlines. (no deadline, however, leads to plentiful procrastination problems)

Do I think I'm the best writer in the world? No.

But I like spinning my tales and trying to make them the best I can. I like creating characters who are real. They're funny, sometimes misguided, but always (I hope) very human.

I'm not trying to change the world; I'm not that kind of writer. I want my stories to entertain. To shock? Perhaps. Maybe even elicit the odd snicker. But ultimately, I'd like my readers to close my books with a satisfied sigh.

However, a little bit of fame and fortune wouldn't break my heart.

I'm just saying.

Why do you write?