Our “Handwritten MS” Contest is complete. And the winner is…
Posted in Writing, tagged contest, creative writing, fiction, handwritten manuscript, novel writing, the view from here, writing errors, writing mistakes, writing techniques, writing tips on 28 Feb 2013| Leave a Comment »
I finished the rewrite of “Cast in Stone,” today. It’s longer and, in my opinion, much improved. I’m going to give it another read-through before posting it, but I’m pretty happy with it.
As a reminder, I’m giving away the original story, the hand-written rewrite, and now I’m adding the marked-up printout that I created during this rewrite process. To enter this contest, go to the original contest post and leave a comment (full rules after the jump).
Rewrites are always instructive, if you approach it with the right attitude. Problems I thought were insurmountable (albeit 20 years ago) I now find correctable.
But why rewrite the whole story, every word of it? Well, my style has changed a lot in 20 years, and I want it to sound like me, now, and not me, then.
Keep your eyes peeled.
Tonight, as I was working on the rewrite of “Cast in Stone,” I thought it might be a lark to offer up my handwritten MS to anyone who wants it.
Full disclosure: If no one puts in for it, I’ll pout a wee bit.
If you want to receive in the post a printout of the original version of “Cast in Stone” (with colorized markup, as posted here on this blog) accompanied by my handwritten rewrite (I’m rewriting the entire story, not just sections, on Rhodia paper with a St Dupont pen using Noodler’s Baystate Blue ink), all you have to do is this: (more…)
Posted in Writing, tagged common writing mistakes, creative writing, editing, novel writing, the view from here, Writing, writing problems, writing techniques, writing tips on 03 Jan 2013| 11 Comments »
I hear you already. “Not that old chestnut!” Sorry. Sad, but true: “Show, Don’t Tell” is one of the most common of errors I’ve seen in the past couple of weeks prowling the new-writer-blogosphere, and sometimes the errors are simply egregious.
First off, let me say that I believe it is damned near impossible to “show” everything in a story. I mean, come on; you have to take a short-cut through a description now and again. I also think it’s unnecessary to “show” everything. And, to round out the argument against, there really aren’t any “rules” in fiction…or at least there aren’t any rules you can’t break now and again. As always, know when you break a rule, and do it for a reason.
As promised, I’m going to pick examples of these errors from my own stories, posted here on this site. Some of these stories are my very first efforts, so finding errors in them usually isn’t hard, but “Show, Don’t Tell” is a mantra that was drilled into me early on in workshops and from editors, so I had to root about a bit to find these offenders. Every story has spots where I need to move things along and not gum up the momentum with a fully descriptive flashback. A memory here, a wondering thought there, these might be difficult to “show” thoroughly. So, even if you find this sort of thing in your own work, the errors may not be big enough to warrant a rewrite; fixing them might alter the flow of the tale.