Test Your Writing Flexibility

Challenging and Stimulating Four-Part Exercise

By Annette Rey

Figuring my own taxes consumes my mind and time so I did not make a post last weekend. But I think I have a contribution that will allow you to forgive me for that neglect. Where I am frugal and couldn’t bear to pay a tax preparer to do my taxes, I willingly spend money toward improving my writing. I have purchased DVD sets from Great Courses and suggest writers look into this resource.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Will Writer’s Digest Die?

Please, No!

By Annette Rey

F&W Media, the publisher of Writer’s Digest and more than fifty other magazines, announced Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to plummeting subscriptions and advertising revenue.

I invoke the little boy’s words as he looked up into the face of his hero, a beloved baseball player accused of throwing the 1919 World Series in the infamous Black Sox Scandal, “Say it ain’t so, Joe!”

Continue reading

Motives for Your Characters

Finding Motive

By Annette Rey

So many things to incorporate in your characters, right? You can run dry inventing.

Here’s a real quick shortcut to help you to continue growing your characters in a believable way.

Continue reading

Writing With Concision

Cut Your Babies

By Annette Rey

Many writers want to meet a word count and fear they won’t be able to reach that objective. So they spew. That’s not a totally bad thing. Their problems arise when they find they have over-extended and need to eliminate words for the sake of their word count. Their words are their babies. “But I like the way it sounds now!”

Word count be damned, put concision in position one. You will find that if you focus on concision, clarity follows.

Continue reading

A Word Writers Should Know

By Annette Rey

Amanuensis

The word amanuensis is pronounced very easily and exactly as it looks phonetically.

uh manu in sis

A writer should know this word because we’d all like to hire one to make our lives easier!

An amanuensis is a literary or artistic assistant who takes dictation and copies manuscripts.

How much fun that would be to have, right? I can only daydream about this – having someone else process my pile of work. I would train him to help me in the marketing process, too. I would also add to his workload researching submission markets for me.

That would provide me with a perfect day to spend entirely on my creative writing!

I’d like to just meet an amanuensis! Hmmm, I wonder what they charge.

This is another Wonderful Word for people like me and you – to hear its poetry of sound, its very soul. I admit, I look at words as personal friends. And that’s not a bad viewpoint because, as a writer, words serve me well.

Amanuensis – a beautiful word, indeed.

Writer’s Thought for Today

Quote and a Little Fun

By Annette Rey

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.”
Benjamin Franklin

And just a little side note – have a laugh at this.

Very funny phonetic audio spelling using talk/text:

How Maside

What do you think that is saying?

Maybe you could use that in a story!

Keep writing.

Insouciant, What a Word!

From the Writer’s Toolbox

By Annette Rey

I love this word – insouciant.

I heard it used in a 1953 radio program rebroadcast in 2019 describing a private eye. That spoke to me of the probable education level of the 1950s radio-listening population.

I surmise that in current times, fifty percent of the population has never heard the word before, much less are able to define it, or spell it, or would have recognized it as it was quickly spoken over the air. Hearing it took me aback for a couple of moments. I said to myself, “What did he say? Insouciant? What a good word!” The usage of the word in this context excited me and drifted me to that era of the 1950s where I imagined a more educated populace, where people sat with one ear glued to their radio, where their minds were engaged in the exploits of their favorite character. In that moment, the word worked on my imagination and transported me. I had escaped the present.

This is exactly the effect you want your readers to experience. Words are the transport vehicles you must supply them to take them along the journey you are designing. And before I go on, insouciant means – more than having a carefree attitude, the person who is insouciant couldn’t care less.

Hearing the scriptwriter’s word choice told me he was familiar with it, felt comfortable with it, and used it correctly. The writer didn’t fear using the word and didn’t expect the word to be too obscure. He did not underestimate his listener. This is a good lesson for the writer of today. Do not feel you are speaking above your reader and do not ever talk down to him. Expect he will appreciate your words.

Writers need to have a wide vocabulary for obvious reasons like enriching their prose and enticing their readers. But words mean more than that, and should mean more than that. Words should be open doors to new thoughts, deeper thoughts, extensive descriptions, insights and feelings beyond the pictures that common words bring to our minds. Replace mundane words with richer words that challenge and excite and maybe even educate your readers. Bring flavor to your work. Transport your reader.

I’d rather tag along with an insouciant gumshoe than to be associated with a mere don’t﷓give-a-damn character. Words make your creations really alive. Breathe life into them.

Insouciant – I love this word.