Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Anything is possible

There is a freeze advisory for the central Arizona deserts tonight and the next few days. The palm trees took a hit earlier this winter, but this is the deep freeze. Many of the houses in my neighborhood have adorned their most precious plants with blankets and towels. My yard is the same. The expected low tonight is 24F, freezing is 32F.

When the boys were younger we would look at things in nature, particularly sunsets and cloud formations, and discuss how if they were in a painting just as they were - they would not look real.

That is a question writers need to ask constantly as they edit and rewrite their manuscripts. "Does this seem real?"

Some people think their life story is memoir worthy. Frankly, memoirs by unknown people rarely sell more than a handful of copies. There are tragic moments most of us have endured and risen to overcome in heroic fashion, but that doesn't mean our story is book material.

I've had writers argue with me about dialogue changes stating that the line was what was really said. Perhaps so, but it isn't believable in fiction. As they say in the courtroom, it doesn't have the ring of truth to it.

Even in fiction, the writer must ask the hard questions: "Is this believable?" "Will the reader dispense with reality and sink into the story?"

Fantasy and science fiction writers master this or at least struggle with it. Same with romance writers, though rarely do I think the story is believable.

Writing errors can be corrected, but bad writing is just that -- bad. Prepare to step up to the big time and make sure your writing measures up. I boast that Cactus Rain books can stand toe-to-toe with any other book on the shelf, beginning with The Doctor, The Plutocrat, and The Mendacious Minister.

Check it out and tell me what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Hard edits and cuts are going on in my house at the moment.
    I put a manuscript away for a short time, and then read it through. It works for me. The errors stand out like a sore thumb!