From Writing to Publishing, Raw

The Benefits of Reading/Writing

How can I not share when I stand so firmly by everything written in this post? I love reading and writing! It is the joy of my life.

The Benefits of the Written Word Upon the Worried Mind – http://wp.me/p4SsOO-mlT

Fanny T. Crispin

Raw

Writing Reality

The Story of YOU – http://wp.me/p3F8vG-oE

I wanted to share an interesting article I read this morning. As writers, we write (fiction, nonfiction, biographies, etc). We tell stories to others, but what about OUR story? YOUR story? What stories are you telling yourself over and over?

Think about it. Ruminate. Then, maybe, write a new story.

Fanny T. Crispin

From Writing to Publishing

Grammar – Run-On Sentences

RUN-ON SENTENCES! You know the ones! Let’s talk.

When you were in school, you learned all this. Funny how we forget or never quite master these techniques. It’s okay. I’m right with you on this. We can work together to conquer the dreaded run-ons.

What is a run-on sentence?

Just as the name suggests, run-ons are sentences that have no punctuation. It would be like listening to someone thinking out loud and never taking a breath. Exhausting. And confusing. Here are a few examples:

1:  Samantha jumped on the couch she fell and hit her head.
2:  We went to the store it was closed.
3:  Trever picked up the bag it ripped groceries fell everywhere.

You can feel something wrong with those sentences, but if you’re not clear what it could be, let’s dive into the lesson. A run-on sentence is two sentences combined without proper punctuation. A period, a semicolon, or a connecting word must be added. Sounds complicated, right? It’s not, I assure you. Watch this:

1:  Samantha jumped on the couch. She fell and hit her head.
(You just made two sentences instead of one using a period. Super easy. Doesn’t it make it easier to read?)
2:  We went to the store, but it was closed.
(This is an example of a connecting word. Connecting words can be and, or, but, or then. You usually, but not always, add a comma before these words to connect the sentences.)
3:  Trever picked up the bag; it ripped and groceries fell everywhere.
(Here we used a semicolon and a connecting word such as and.)

Practice on a few sentences of your own. Pick up your old writing and analyze it a little. See if you can find places to put a period, a semicolon, or a connecting word to fix any long, endless sentences.

Want a few other options to spice up your writing? Here are three more ways to fix run-on sentences:

Comma and conjunction (connecting word):
The debate is over, and now it is time to vote.

Dash:
The debate is over – now it is time to vote.

Subordinating conjunction:
Since the debate is over, it is time to vote.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

From Writing to Publishing

Writing Material – Voice

I was talking with a fellow writer about an author’s Voice. It’s a commonality in the writing world, and everyone tells you to find your Voice.

Let’s talk about that.

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“Finding a writing voice can be a struggle, whether you’re writing a novel, short story, flash fiction or a blog post. Some may even wonder, what is voice in writing?” ~Writer’s Digest

An easy voice to distinguish is Master Tolkien himself. Ye gods, that man was wordy. Well, he was an English professor, so what do you expect? Nevertheless, any Tolkien fan would recognize his work because of his lengthy descriptions, his attention to the slightest detail, and the ambiance of good, heavy writing. You kind of have to chew your way through the book, then set it down and let it digest slowly.

Another author I enjoy–on the opposite spectrum–is Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl series. He has a nice, clean way of writing. His expressions are short and to the point, and he encompasses a clever wit to his writing that makes the pace even that much more enjoyable. You won’t see him spend too much time on description. He’ll give you the necessary details, then move you along with action.

So, again, what is Voice?

The writer’s voice is the individual writing style of an author, a combination of their common usage of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or across several works).” ~Wikipedia

The way you write reflects how you speak. Long-winded individuals write lengthy, long-running, and sometimes endless compsitions. Quiet individuals tend to have gentler compositions. Class clowns write hilariously–they can’t help it. They find humor in everything.

If you sit yourself down and reflect on how you generally speak to people, you can safely assume your writing–at least, at first–will reflect that. Sometimes, that isn’t such a good thing.

There’s more to your writer’s voice than writing the way you talk, especially since you talk differently in different situations. Your voice is actually a reflection of your entire personality, including your speech patterns. And you can have more than one voice and create voices specifically for your characters if you write fiction.” ~Simple Writing

When in writing, you also want to maintain a level of structure. Don’t look at Ray Bradbury… He doesn’t count. There are rules to punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure. You’ve all learned this in school. Editors these days are far more strict when it comes to their craft, as they should be. Writing is a form of preserving the English (or any) language. You can text type however you want, but if you are creating a novel masterpiece, you, too, should take pride in your work.

You can change your Voice, yes. It’s most noticeable in your own writing rules. Everyone has their own rules. Some people like to break the rules–they’re not laws, after all. However, as stated, editors like the rules. Learn about English through reading. Observe sentence structure. Play with the arrangement of words. Make your work long or short. Give it action or description. Sprinkle it with mystery, excitement, or romance. Write what you enjoy, and people will come alongside you.

As you write, you will naturally slip into a Voice comfortable to you. You shouldn’t stress about discovering it, because it’s already inside you. Step back to study your work and see what you find. Change it as you see fit. Keep what you like.

For [our] ally is [our Voice]. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. It’s energy surrounds us and binds us.” ~Yoda

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Books and Affiliated

Time For a (Not Thanksgiving) Post

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Tis the season for bloggers to recount their holiday celebrations with friends and family. This is not that blogger. Most readers don’t give a rat’s patoot what everybody else did, they just like talking about what they did. Snarky today, ain’t I? 😉

Let’s get to work have some fun.

Today we’re going to talk about dreams. In the early 1700’s Native Americans firmly believed dreams were our spirit ancestors trying to communicate with us. While in 1900 Germany, Dr Freud was cataloging his evaluations in his book Die Traumdeutung (The Interpretation of Dreams). Freud was a psychoanalyst and believed dreams to be interpretations of the subconscious mind. Still others consider dreams to be mere psychobabble of our imaginations. Whatever you believe, as a writer, you cannot deny there is power in dreams.

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As a child, I had such vivid and wonderous dreams as you would not believe. There were aliens, spaceships, flesh-eating lizards; princesses, dragons saving villages, princes trapped in mountain castles, and villains and heroes alike. They were full of color and pure imagination. Many of them became lost when I awoke, but when I started to write seriously in high school, I began recording my dreams for story material.

Clockwork Dreams, published in 2014, was based off a dream I had in 2013.

If you are a dreamer (of course you are, everybody dreams) who remembers their dreams (oh, drats), you have a plethora of stories at your fingertips just waiting to be written. Scratch those dreams down in the middle of the night or early morning light so you don’t forget. It’s amazing how well you will recall the dream if you can at least record key notes. I currently have a notebook (guarded by Captain Jack Sparrow and William Turner) which I keep at my bedside, and it spans about eight years of dreams.

Sadly, now that I’m an adult, I don’t remember my dreams. Even if I do, I find they are far too realistic to every-day-life (only horrible! Riddled with angst and stress and running late for work!) Sometimes my dreams are too abstract to decipher. I haven’t written down a dream in a long while. (Although I did have this one dream in which I was a Timelord trying to rescue a girl from a time-loop monster that was posing as the girl’s mother. Then I got stuck in a time-loop. Oh, the irony. And just when I was about to free the girl and unravel the web that the monster had created, I woke up!)

Where was I?

Collect your dreams, my friends. Writing down horrific dreams can be therapeutic, and recording the good ones can give you a smile later on. Either way, you can gleen wonderful stories from your dreams.

My next novel, Legacy of the Wolf Wind, is based off a dream I had ages ago. It took me over three years to write in order to unravel such a complicated dream mystery.

There’s my word of advice. See you next time!

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin