Monday, October 6, 2014

Linda L. Zern's Five Writing Tidbits

When I proudly handed a copy of my first children’s chapter book to my sister-in-law, she took it, looked at it, and said, “That’s a lot of writing.”

She was not overly enthusiastic. 

When I started sending funny, little, quirky emails to friends and family sixteen years ago (before blogging, before vlogging, before posting) another close relative said, “And stop sending me those damn silly emails.”

He was less than encouraging.

Rejection comes in all flavors. Yet . . . I write on and on and on.

Sixteen hundred words a day or as much as my line editor can safely edit without losing her mind. Over the years, I have learned a couple of tricks and tips and techniques. Here are five.

1) Women Only or Overly Meaty Men: Write braless: There is nothing worse than writing for sixteen hundred words worth and then realizing that your boobs have turned blue from lack of oxygenated blood. It’ll throw you off. Trust me.

2) Thesaurus – Yes or No: That’s a big yes. My professor said to throw the thesaurus out. Whatever. I’m pretty sure that no one knows all the synonyms for the word “heave.” Editors get testy when you use the same word for stuff over and over again. So, if you need another word for heaved in the following sentence, “Her bosom heaved,” with a thesaurus you could write: Her bosom surged. Her bosom billowed. Her bosom huffed. See? How handy is that? 

3) Snack With Caution: Writers live at their keyboards. Potato grease in sour cream & onion chip dust can make the computer keys slick. Bad things can happen when your fingers slide around. Words like shoot and shot can come out in the wrong spots. That’s my theory. Poorly executed grammar, creepy spelling errors, upside down word choices, and dazzling typos are ALL due to slippery chip grease fingertip trouble. True story. True chronicle. True fiction.

4) Handling Massive Rejection: Eat more chips. Type more words. Tell more stories. 

5) Why Write? Because one day your ten-year-old granddaughter will hand you a story she’s written just for you about pumpkin seed fairies, and she’ll say, “When I grow up, I want to be a writer just like you, YaYa.” 

What I like best about being a writer and dreaming of having a wildly successful book, novel, tome, or opus (thesaurus alert) is that there can never be too many good ones. 

Good books are like potato chips; you can never stop with just one.

Linda (Keyboard) Zern 

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