Writing: cleansing my palate

I’ve enjoyed reading a variety of twitter and blog posts about writers gearing up for NaNoWriMo this month. There’s been advice for plotting ahead (which I always do), doing character sketches (ditto), and different methods for pacing yourself. A lot of writers have done their homework, and they’re ready to go. Since this is the second day of November, I’m guessing some of them already have one or two thousand words on the pages. If you’ve signed up to write a novel and intend to stamp The End on it by the last day of November, I wish you good luck. May the Muses smile on you. I, on the other hand, am gearing up to do rewrites of the romance my agent approved.

No small feat. Sometimes, I get lucky and I only need to change a few scenes or add a scene at the end of the book–a common occurrence for me. I tend to rush endings. A mistake. Readers, experts say, buy books because the opening paragraphs or pages hook them, but they buy a writer’s second book because the end of the book they read satisfies them, and they’re willing to give the writer another try. As usual, I need to add another scene at the end of the romance. More than that, though, I need to tweak or eliminate an entire subplot. If I eliminate it, I need something new to take its place. AND I need to beef up a minor character who plays a major part in the plot. I’m not discouraged. For my first romance, I think I got off pretty easy. I expected the whole thing to be a bust. But I’m going to have to spend some serious time to make the book work, because I want the thing to be as good as I can possibly make it. I ended up really enjoying everything about the book–my characters, the plot, and the actual writing itself. I even have ideas for two more spin-off romances.

The thing is, though, I just finished doing rewrites for one of the urban fantasy novels I was working on. And I’ve learned that my brain needs time to doodle–to play with short, obscure thoughts–between books. I used to ignore those inner rhythms when I was in a rush to get books done, but somewhere along the daily grind of pumping out words and scenes, my writing went flat. No matter how many active verbs I smacked into sentences, my characters yawned and said, “Give us a break, will you?” And now, I do. When I finish a book, I play with a few short stories before I start the next book. I’ve read that Stephen King used to do the same thing. I’m not comparing myself to him, but I understand the need. Short stories are a time for me to find something close to writer’s instant gratification because I can finish short-shorts in a day or two and “lunch hour reads” in a week or two. Short, by novel standards. Oops, forgot. Not if you’re racing through NaNoWriMo. Then I’d have a book finished in a month:) But short stories between novels works for me, regardless. They cleanse my palate before I settle in for another long haul.

Whatever you’re working on this month, happy writing!


Writing: things change

I’ve invited a few of my longtime writing friends over for lunch and an informal “novelcon” this week. We each bring pages to share, and we read and discuss them. We talk about what we’re working on and how the writing’s going. It’s low-key and casual. It’s a time to settle in and talk shop with old friends. A few times a year, we open it up to new people, but the temperatures are dipping, we’re gearing up for the holidays, and this feels like the right time to steal a moment to touch base, just the five of us.

When I was planning what I was going to make, my husband teased me. Each of us has some kind of a diet restriction these days. One of my friends keeps a Kosher kitchen now. She’s easy-going about it, but I don’t mix meat and milk and I never serve pork or shrimp. Another friend is gluten intolerant, so no wheat. I can’t eat milk or milk products. Ann can’t have acid, so no tomatoes. The only fruits she can eat are pears and blueberries. It makes menu planning interesting.

That’s not the only thing that’s changed for us over the years. We all thought that once our kids grew up, life would slow down. We’d have more time to write. It sounds good on paper, doesn’t it? But it hasn’t worked that way. Lately, I’ve had more time to write, but I’ve also gotten a lot more serious about it. And it feels like I can never get everything done in one day. I don’t work. I don’t have to leave the house, but my husband retired. We talk before I head back to my computer. We stop whatever we’re doing to eat lunch together. Some days, a kid stops in or calls. I’ve tried to add marketing to my daily agenda. I’m determined to read more. And I know how lucky I am to have all of these things to enjoy. So…I enjoy them:) And I work writing around them. My friends do the same. Two of them babysit for grandkids part of each week. One babysits full time and can’t get together with us anymore. Another’s husband loves to go on antique car, road trips. Another still works and can’t decide if she’ll retire.

I don’t know exactly what I expected when the last kid left and my friends and I all moved to the “next step” in life, but I didn’t get it right. I have a rocking chair, and it looks pretty, but I haven’t used it. Life’s filled up in new and different ways. How lucky is that! And that’s the great thing about Life. It just keeps surprising me. But I find time to squeeze writing in the mix. Hope you do too.

P.S. My agent liked the romance I sent her! She sent lots of notes, so I have plenty of rewrites, but they’re all do-able. That’s a relief.

Writing: Getting it on the page

I finished my rewrites for Blood Lust, the third Fallen Angels novel. It’s an urban fantasy, but I tried for fewer big battles in the book and for more tension between Enoch (the protagonist) and Feral (the antagonist). As a former mystery writer, I sprinkled clues here and there throughout the book to let the reader know that Feral’s devious, playing a game of cat-and-mouse with Enoch. I was proud of myself when I finished my polished draft and gave it to my critique partners. I didn’t feel quite as brilliant once I got their feedback. The thing is, I knew the hidden meanings behind some of the scenes I wrote. The readers didn’t. What was in my head didn’t come out on the page. And that’s why writers need critique partners.

Writers live in their heads. Their characters talk to them. Scenes scroll behind their eyelids. We see them, hear them. And we THINK we’re writing them. But not always. There’s a fine line between being subtle and trusting the reader to “get” what you’re not telling him and…just not telling him. I’ve written books where I’ve given away too much too early (that takes away tension), so in this book, I tried to make the reader WORK for the clues. Except I was the only one who realized they WERE clues, and my readers just got frustrated. I know that feeling, too. I’ve read stories where the author withholds exactly what’s happening to try to titillate my interest, to keep me guessing and turning the pages. That simply annoys me. If the conflict isn’t enough to keep me turning the pages at the start of the book, trying to guess what the conflict IS irritates me even more. Keeping the reader in the dark is NOT tension.

Most books have a simple concept. Usually, in the opening scene, something happens to the protagonist that he doesn’t like. He wants to fix it. How he decides to fix it makes a book, because the fix is never easy. Nothing ever goes according to plan, and things keep getting more and more complicated or harder and harder to cope with. (Same goes for writing the book:)

I got the concept part right in Blood Lust. But once a writer introduces the problem the protagonist has to solve, the rest of the book is about cranking up the tension. It’s about teasing the reader with the idea that behind curtain number one, there’s a fix that’s going to make everything in our protagonist’s world better. We dangle that in front of the reader, and then we don’t let him reach it, or we take it away. We keep taking it away until the last one or two scenes of the book. I didn’t crank up my tension enough, because the readers didn’t SEE the problem. Only I did. That doesn’t work, and that’s why critique partners say, “What the heck was this scene supposed to do anyway?” (That’s when you know you have great partners, because they tell it like it is). And that’s when you know the story you had in your head didn’t translate to the page.

The other mistake I made was trying to find a balance between the book’s big conflict and developing my characters more. One of the writers I really admire at Scribes (my writing group) always tells us she needs a place to “sit” in our stories for a minute, to catch her breath and reconnect with our characters. Too much action can wear out a reader. Getting that balance right, though, takes a rewrite or two. Hopefully, I’ve worked through all of my critique partners’ notes and I’ve found my balance for tension, story line, and character development. I sent the finished manuscript to my agent. She’s swamped right now, so I won’t hear from her for a while. But when I do, I might have another rewrite in my future. Such is the world of writing. If we screw up, we can usually can make it right:)


Writing: looking for covers can hurt your eyes

I’ve finished a lot of rewrites lately. My critique partners and I got off schedule and out of rhythm. Life happens. People get busy or sick or take vacations, but I now have two, new novellas ready to go. They’re going to complete a bundle with some of my older Christian/Brina stories. That means I need three, new covers–one for each new novella, one for the entire collection. No sweat. I usually find the images I want to use before I ever write the first word. I fly through the stock picture sites that don’t charge royalties and scroll through page after page until I find the image that sticks with me. Between that and the story’s title, I get the mood and tone that I want to paint with my words. Piece of cake. And it was…for my novellas.

I’ve changed my mind over and over again for Enoch’s new novel. I’m starting rewrites for that on Monday, and I finally found the image I want to use late, last week. I can’t tell you how many images I’ve looked at to find the one that felt right to me. I got desperate enough, I thought I’d just use an image that made me think of Enoch. Not so easy. I can picture Enoch in my mind. He’s tall, dark, intense, and gorgeous–but in a worldly, I’ve-seen-it-all type way. I went to my usual sites. I typed in tall, dark-haired man wearing a long coat, like he does on the cover of Fallen Angels. Only one image came up. Close, but not right on. Enoch’s face is all angles and rugged. I tried all kinds of other key words and was starting to get frustrated. I finally typed in tall, sexy man with dark hair. Oh, lordy! Rippling abs scrolled down my screen, page after page. I would have dehydrated if my husband hadn’t brought me a glass of wine to fortify myself. I found LOTS of hot, sexy men in various forms of undress, but none of them struck me as Enoch. Most were too young. Some looked too friendly or nice. Or they were blond with blue eyes or cute and cocky instead of dark and brooding. Michael (who does my covers) can work many miracles, but he has his limits. It’s not easy carrying a mental image of your protagonist in your head. It’s hard to find a match.

I found a model I thought made a perfect Christian, but he never wore a shirt in any of the pictures I could use. Of course, most models these days don’t wear medieval garb, silly them. I had to force myself to look at page after page of hunks until I finally settled on something that’s not perfect, but has the right feel, at least, for me. Who knows how readers envision my characters? Anyway, some research is harder than others. If you see me and I have bloodshot eyes, you’ll know it’s because I’ve been working so hard:) Hope you’ve been hard at work, too! Finding the right man is still a tough job!

Writing: How do you make it immediate?

Recently, I finished a first draft of an Enoch/Fallen Angels novella that I want to do something with–not sure what yet. I’ve thought about putting it online for free–which I can’t do at amazon unless it price matches smashwords and other sites–but I’ve never had much luck getting amazon to price match. Then I thought of putting it on my webpage for free, but I can never tell if anyone ever reads those or not. I don’t get any feedback, so they’re sort of frustrating, so I’m still debating. But just writing the damned story was a bit frustrating, too. I started out with one idea, and the story sort of decided to do its own thing–which I don’t usually allow–but this time, I decided to go for it. And it ended up more of a mystery plot than an urban fantasy. I like it, but the plot took over the story, and that, I don’t like. The story’s not immediate. It keeps the reader at a distance, which might be all right for a mystery, but it’s not all that great for urban fantasy. So I want to tweak the voice more.

Voice is the one thing that sets one writer apart from all others. It’s the turn of phrase, the attitude and word choice, the themes he chooses, and the way he structures his story that makes him unique. But more than that, some writers are more cerebral than others. My friend, Paula, writes stories with so many layers and so much depth that I happily immerse myself in them and try to keep up. Mary Lou Rigdon (also Julia Donner) imbues her novels with wit and humor. A new writer to our group, Sia Marion, practically lives inside her characters’ skins and we share what’s happening to them. Her stories are so immediate, the reader just goes along for the ride. (See for yourself. She has lots of flash fiction on her webpage: http://sia4215.blogspot.com/)

I’ll never be THAT immediate, so, how do I breathe more feeling into my Enoch novella? For that, I usually have to delve deeper into my characters. Any writer who’s finished more than a few stories and gotten feedback knows that you never tell. You show. Every description and experience is told through your character’s eyes, hopefully, through action or dialogue. And that’s a start, but it’s not enough.
When I have Enoch walk up to Caleb’s casino and fortress, I show it through his eyes and share his reactions/feelings to his friend’s obsession for pleasure. I was happy enough with that, but once the plot hits full swing, I have Enoch react, but his reactions don’t let us know enough about him. They’re not telling enough–those small, fleeting thoughts that reveal character. I need more internal dialogue, more give and take with people who push Enoch to places he’s not comfortable with. I need more emotion! Another rule for making writing immediate is to get rid of the “he thought,” “he wondered,” type phrases in your writing. Instead of “Enoch wondered if he could trust Darius,”–which creates a distance between the thought and the reader, just say, “Could he trust Darius? Enoch glanced at the vampire beside him. Vampires were hard to read. Could he believe anything Darius told him?” Just an example. I want the reader to be inside Enoch’s head, to “hear” his thoughts.

Anyway, some writers are more immediate than others, but it’s something to consider when you write. The more immediate, the bigger the emotional pay-off. An entire novel doesn’t have to be written one way or another. There are action scenes, “soft” scenes that let the reader catch his breath, and scenes for emotional impact. But there should never be a boring scene. That’s when the reader can put the book down, and he might not pick it back up.


Writing–You have to find what works for you

Lately, I’ve accumulated a stack of stories that need rewrites. I like going back over my work to tweak it. I like watching a first, second, or third draft become a finished manuscript. But for one reason or another–it took a while for my agent to get back to me, two of my beta readers were faster than I expected, I snuck playing with a novella in between novels–my balance of new writing to rewriting got out of whack. And soon, I have to hit rewrites hard. Aaargh. Lots of them.

I’m one of those writers who polish as I go. I’ve tried it both ways. I’ve sat my fanny in a chair and written flat-out from beginning to end to let the writing flow. Most of my friends do that. It doesn’t work for me. Why? I’m not that freaking patient. I’ll NEVER be one of those people who edit the same story over and over. I get sick of it after a while. Once the story’s done, I don’t want to take the time to macro and micro-edit. I don’t want to fix word choice, deepen character, add description or internal dialogue, and fix plot problems all at the same time. I know me. Some of it wouldn’t get done. I’d hurry the process, and the finished result would testify to that.

One of the reasons I do plot points–not elaborate–just goal posts to reach in the story–is because I’d clench my fists and cry to the heavens if I went in the wrong direction and had to throw scene after scene away. It’s not because I’m so attached to my writing or think my precious words are too wonderful to pitch–I’ve pitched them plenty of times–but because I’m impatient, and if a little work before I start writing saves me lots of work when I finish a draft, I’d be mad at myself. Not to say I haven’t screwed up when I try new things that I have plotted out. That’s the thing. If I can mess up when I’ve written those scenes on purpose, I can surely mess up even better if I just go with the flow. We each have to find what works for us, and I’ve learned my strengths and weaknesses.

But no muse-assistants come in the middle of the night and polish my manuscripts for me, so it’s time to dig in and get it done. The good news? Most of the micro-editing is finished. That’s why I write one day, then do re-writes for those pages the next day before I start a new scene. For those second day edits, I usually beef up my descriptions, add emotional impact, and smooth out the writing. I try to remember to check for active verbs, think of specific word choices, and anything else that will make the scene glow instead of exist. When I finish each fourth of the manuscript, I usually skim through that fourth again to see how the story flows. But no matter how careful I am, I can’t tell how the pieces fit together, if the pacing works or not, if the tension builds, until the entire manuscript’s finished. And that’s why I give the whole thing to my trusted beta readers. When they return the poor, bleeding pages that seemed brilliant when I wrote them:), then I do the last, final edit. And that’s where I am right now. Time for some tough, manuscript love. Time to whip those pages into shape, cross my fingers, and hope for the best.

Wherever you are in your story, happy writing…or rewriting:)

*Just a reminder that I posted a new, short-short story on my webpage last week. It was a middle-of-the-week post, and I don’t know if people actually read those, so thought I’d mention it again.

*Also–HAPPINESS!!!–my new novel, SPINNERS OF MISFORTUNE, will go online on Aug. 18.

To celebrate, Sia Marion invited me to her blog to do a character interview for Tyr. I’ve never done a character interview before, and I found it to be an interesting experience. I do character wheels for all of my main characters, so it’s not like I learned anything new about him, but the interview made me hear him and see him in a different way. Glad I tried it. http://sia4215.blogspot.com/2014/07/judith-post-is-here-today-come-meet-her.html.

I love questions and comments.

Are Quickies Good? (I’m talking writing)

I’m supposed to write about the pros and cons of writing a series this week, but I got distracted.  Next week, I’ll post my part 2 for that.  But lately, I’ve been pondering the trend of writing fast.  Lindsay Buroker recently posted a wonderful blog on how she wrote a novel in three weeks–that includes everything–the planning to the finished product.  On one day, she actually wrote over 10,000 words.  That’s over forty pages!  And she gave specifics on how to go about it so that you end up with a good book when you’re finished.  This isn’t her norm, mind you.  Many times, she writes long, involved series with multiple POVs, but this was a stand-alone novel with a straight-line plot, and fast worked for it, maybe even made it better.  Fast writing can add a sense of urgency–a feeling of immediacy–and the author’s energy can flow into the pages.

Right now, I’m actually trying to take more time with my novels.  I’m trying to create worlds by using telling details and relationships that push and pull at my books’ characters.  I’m asking myself: Have I set the scene?  What are the dynamics between the characters?  Can I add more conflict/tension?  Show more motivation or more depth?  Add any foreshadowing?  I’m hoping that by giving my scenes more time to simmer and steep, they’ll have more depth.

I’m polishing more as I go, too.  I’ve never been good at writing a whole novel, getting the entire thing on paper, before I edit the first word.  I know some people have to, or they get caught up in rewrites and never finish a book.  But I’ve always rewritten on the second day whatever I wrote on the first.  Lately, I’ve been taking even more time with my rewrites, so that my scenes almost always get longer, more complex, before I move to the next one.

I’m not suggesting that I’m going to take a year, like I did when I first started writing, to finish a novel.  I was learning then, slogging my way through unknown territory.  Now, I’ve written long enough to have a feel for the rhythms and pacing of storylines.  I intend to finish three novels this year.  I’m simply saying that some books benefit by being written fast and some books need more time.  For me, now, a slower pace is giving me the leisure to fiddle with a few more intricacies.  And that’s my goal at the moment.


Off subject, just an update, my new Babet & Prosper novella–a little longer than usual–will be up some time this week, hopefully by Tuesday.  A dream wraith comes for Prosper and wants to keep him in her world.  This one has some steam, so enjoy!


Writing–Goals for 2014

Each writer has a different approach to his craft/skills.  And no one’s right.  And no one’s wrong.  But I work better when I give myself goals.  One of my friends at Scribes–my writers’ group–believes that a writer should give a book however long that story takes to grow into itself and be the best that he/she can make it.  He says that a writer who writes less, writes better.  And that works for him, but it’s not necessarily true for me.  If I dilly-dally over a story too long, I tend to rewrite it for no good reason, and I don’t always improve it.  I do better when I think out a story BEFORE I start writing and then make it the best that I can while I pound on the keyboard.

I do believe that a writer can rush a story, to the novel’s detriment.  Or to the writer’s.  I’ve seen people do it.  They burn out.  But I also believe that a writer can play with a story over and over again without making it better.  I’ve seen people do that, too.  This year, I am going to push myself, but I think that my goals are do-able.  This year, I want to write the third book in each of the series that I’ve started.  That means that I’ll have to write three novels in twelve months.

Like I said: do-able.  I’ve never tried the nanowrimo month of pounding out words.  50,000 words in one month would leave me with so many re-writes, it wouldn’t be worth it.  My brain doesn’t function that fast.  It would take me longer to fix the holes in my story, play with transitions, and smooth out the wrinkles of a plot on speed that I’d spend more time polishing than doing it my usual way–plodding along.  I won’t even mention how much work it would take to flesh out my characters.  I usually have to do that anyway.  In a hurry?  The reader might learn what color hair and eyes they have.

But when I plop my fanny in a chair and get serious, I can usually produce 5 to 10 pages a day.  I never work on weekends–except for writing my blog, and that doesn’t count.  It’s “talking” to friends, not writing.   And I never write on Scribes’ days, because I think and talk writing so much, I can’t write when I get home.  But even with those days scratched from use, I should still end up with twenty, good, writing days a month.  That’s 100 to 200 pages, probably somewhere in the middle.  In 2 months, I should have a rough draft.  Give me another month, and I might have a finished draft.  If I’m lucky.  That means, if nothing jostles me off track–and I am well aware that Life happens, best laid plans, and all that–but if nothing goes seriously awry, I should be able to write a book in three months.  That gives me time to think and plan about the next book before I have to start writing it.  And if I finish THAT book in three months, I have a month to do character circles and plot points before I sit down to write the third book.

It all looks good on paper.  It could work.  So why not give it a shot?  If it doesn’t happen, I won’t hang my head in shame.  I might bang my head against a wall, but that usually improves my thinking:)  Anyway, hopefully, by the end of 2014, I’ll have three books in each of my three series.

I don’t know what your writing goals are for 2014, but good luck with them!  It never hurts to plan (and maybe dream) ahead.  Here’s wishing you all the best!




Writing–stretch yourself

My four Emerald Hills novellas are featured on Jen’s blog right now for her Friday Foodie Affair:  http://lratrandom.blogspot.com/.  Jen was one of the first people I met when I joined Goodreads, and like so many of the people I’ve met in the groups I joined there, she’s enriched my writing and reading.  For her foodie blog, she did an author interview and posted  one of my recipes, too.  In the interview, she asked if I had other Emerald Hills novellas in mind to write, and at the time, I did.  I finished two more, but I’ve decided to use those to close out the series.   I hope to make the six of them into a bundle and start concentrating on writing more novels, less novellas.

I’m happy I wrote the Emerald Hills series.  I’ve always been a plot driven person, but I wanted to focus on more romance in those stories.  I started out small.  I hung More Than Bonbons on a mystery frame and padded it with Tana and Nate’s sparring and attraction.  I added even more mystery for Mallory’s Magical Gourds, but by the time I reached Sheri Hits The Right Notes, I was getting more comfortable with characters driving the story line.  Sole Responsibilities doesn’t have any mystery at all.  And I liked it that way.

I’m glad I tried something new, something outside my comfort zone, for that series.  I learned a lot.  Clues and action are great, but so are misunderstandings, conflicting goals, and chaotic emotions for creating conflict and tension.  By concentrating on trying to get two people together, I had to amplify the give and take of relationships, the nuances that hint at something more, and for me, what seemed nearly impossible–filling 40+ pages with two people taking one step at a time toward becoming a couple.

I didn’t think I had romance in me, but I did.  And it’s made me a better writer.  I like to try things in my writing that I’m not the best at, so that I concentrate on the “how to” of getting them right.  I hope I always keep growing as a writer.  Sometimes I bomb, and then I have to shift gears and grit my teeth for rewrites.  But that’s what second and third drafts are for, right?   So for me, it’s worth taking a chance and flexing muscles I don’t have yet, but muscles I just might get.

P.S.  The Babet & Prosper Collection II bundle will be free on Kindle from Nov. 12 to 15.  cover_mockup_30_thumb    http://www.amazon.com/Babet-Prosper-Collection-II-Bogeyman-ebook/dp/B00FBG7J4I/ref=sr_1_10?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1384045162&sr=1-10&keywords=Judith+Post




Writing: Word Choice, Brush Strokes, & Clarity

It was my turn to read at our writers’ group last Wednesday.  Sometimes, I polish and edit to take in something that’s in really good shape.  It’s fun to see everyone nod their heads and tell me I’ve written a good scene.  But sometimes, I take in something that I’ve worked on, but I know isn’t quite right, because Scribes is wonderful about picking out the flaws that I’m too close to see.  Last Wednesday, I took an opening that I’d been fighting with and rewriting until I knew I was close, but I also knew I wasn’t there.  And the truth is, I’d played with it so much, I couldn’t tell if I was making it worse or better.

I wanted to open the novella with a bang–a surprise attack by a friend who apologizes before he tries to kill Ally and Dante.  They don’t know why he’s attacking them, and he can’t tell them.  They don’t want to hurt him, but they don’t know what’s going on.  When I finished reading, three-fourths of my writing buddies didn’t know what was going on either.  Bless Neil, he said, “I was listening and enjoying every bit of it, but when you got done, I realized I didn’t really know exactly what was happening.”  He wasn’t the only one.  Once I listened to their comments, though, I realized that the fixes I needed weren’t big.  I’d been working so hard on big things–creating characters, the dialogue, and action–that I didn’t fine tune the small stuff.  Some of it simply came down to word choice.  And as my friend, Paula, said, “It doesn’t need an overhaul, just brush strokes.”

I can give you an example.  Dante’s friend who attacks them is a werewolf.  When I wanted to show that he was losing control, I said Foam bubbled from his mouth.  “Too nice,” Sia said.  “Use something moodier like Foam slathered from his mouth.”  A “nice” word in a frenetic scene throws off the feel.  Word choice is important.  So is upping the ante, to make each action more vivid.  Instead of having him break his nose when he hits Ally’s shield, “have his skull split,” Sia said.  “It’s more vivid.  This is a roller coaster opening.  Make it feel like one.”

Maybe my best advice?  Paula said, “Each person’s motivation is in your head, but it’s not always on the paper.  Hint at it or put it there.”  All it took was a sentence here, a few words there.   The characters and scene worked.  They just needed tweaked.  And sometimes, I need “outside” opinions to know what to focus on.

So, I hope each one of you has at least two readers you can trust to critique your writing or a writers’ group like mine.  Someone who can tell you if your writing has clarity.  Can a reader follow it, or is it confusing?  Are the characters’ motivations clear for each and every thing they say or do?  What did you do right?  And what can you make better?

And remember that sometimes, it’s the small things that need fine-tuned.

P.S.  My fourth Emerald Hills novella went online last week.  No werewolves in this one.  Only shoes and magic.  http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/