A Fifteen-Minute Memoir

If Stuck, Start Here

By Annette Rey

This exercise can go anywhere each individual writer can take it. Make an effort to be accurate and include high points (and low points) you’d like a reader to know.

The result can be a start to a longer memoir piece.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Book Review of Sin and Syntax by Constance Hale

By Annette Rey

The full title of the book is Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wicked Good Prose. I am only through Chapter Four and I am miles smarter than I was before. Ok, so, let’s agree I am miles more informed. And I know of what I speak. My library is full of instructional books on writing and, yes, I have read them. Some stand out from the others, but I’d say this one leads the pack.

Constance Hale has command of the English language and uses that skill to generously inform her audience. She includes grammatical detail without fogging the facts with superfluous words. She smoothly weaves correct English usage among short pieces of the works of other authors, and adds appropriate and entertaining quotes. She deftly demonstrates participles and other language conundrums so they can be understood. The way she illustrates the parts of speech in a piece of work illuminate the idea bulb above my head, and old mysteries are made clear.

Ms. Hale uses terms like “adjective-polluted” and sentences like: Adverbs are crashers in the syntax house party.

I suggest buying the book just to passionately (oops! adverb!) treasure pages 64-70. If you love fluent use of the English language, you will understand why I want these pages, this book, in my personal book collection.

The book reads like a story, not like a manual or guide or boring instructional course. I am immersed in the book and can’t put it down. At the end of chapter four is a directive from Ms Hale, an exercise, to write of a turbulent sky. I chose this moment to write of a sky view I have seen, so beautiful, I did not want to minimize it by my feeble attempts to describe it. Yet, on her directive, I did so. And I accomplished a great thing. I wrote that sky.

Study this book. Enjoy this book. It will make you a better writer.

It’s a book I look forward to reading again.

 

 

Exercise Your Pen

Practice Results in Unblocking

By Annette Rey

I tell you writer’s block is an imagination. It’s not real. It has no substance. If you open your mind to such thinking, you will follow advice, go along, and see unblocking results in your own work. I promote doing writing exercises. Once you do them, you will find blocking either goes away in your life or can never exist as long as you keep your pen moving.

In that vein, I am practicing what I preach.

Continue reading

Writers – From Blank Screen to Story

Unblocking Exercise – Word Trains

 

By Annette Rey

 

Are you short on ideas? How do you inspire ideas? Try this.

 

My technique is simple. Pick words. It’s sort of the old psychiatric test, free association. Say the first word that comes to your mind when you hear another word. It is my contention, the human brain cannot stop thinking. One word inspires the birth of another.  

Continue reading

Writers Seek

100_7527A Trip to the Telephone Museum

By Annette Rey

It shouldn’t get boring to hear, “There is no such thing as writer’s block.” That should be good news to those of you who find it difficult to populate your screen with words.

One of the techniques to fill that screen is to change your physical environment and seek out resources with subject matter about which to write. The subject does not have to be an unusual one, but when you find one, pounce!

A trip to the Telephone Museum filled that bill.

Continue reading