Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Verbosity with a Purpose

During revising we are encouraged to Cut Cut Cut. Concise prose is highly valued.

I see that, I really do. But I am a major fan of Dickens and Gabaldon. I like wordiness. The more sensuous the words on the page, the more I enjoy the book.

Partly this comes from my early childhood reading experiences. My Mama read Dr Seuss stories to me practically from birth, and I learned to read at age 4 by bugging my older bothers to share the books they were reading in school. Consequently, I had a VERY developed vocabulary and reading ability at a young age.

The summer before my fourth grade year I ran out of books. We lived 30 miles from the nearest library and only went into town once each month. I had read everything on the shelf at home as was driving my mother insane with whinging. Finally, in desperation, she pulled Shakespeare's Complete works off the shelf and challenged me to read it.

She said, "You won't understand it the first time you read it, but just go back and re-read it until you do understand."

She was looking for a good way to get me off her back. It worked. I grabbed the dictionary and the Works and disappeared for the remainder of the summer.

I read it, and read it and read it again. The first time it was mostly gobbeldy-gook. The second time I began to get a sense of the rhythm and flow. The third I began to grasp the plots, and by the fourth time through I was completely enamored with the elegance of the language and the power of the stories.

In the end run, we must right what we know. I know and love words. My goal now is to communicate this well enough that others who feel the same will provide the market for what I write.

Of course I am still cutting, tightening and polishing my work. I just doubt that the word concise will ever be applied to my writing!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Disgust, Disgust, Disgust

I just read about a video game that is about rape!?!?!?

In what universe is this ok? I understand the protests that you can't really regulate artistic expression - but really?!? It is ok for young men to play-act RAPE? I have long felt that video games are dangerous in the same way pornography is - small doses do no harm, but repeated exposure and obsession can lead to real mental problems. Garbage in = Garbage out.

So how do we fight back?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Search for a Pen Name Part 2

Well, I don't think you can choose a pen names these days without googling it to see if any other person has claimed that name.

Looking just at the two options using some form of my own name reveals that Eddie Louise is already me - ie I have an established web presence (including a review in the Scotsman of an opera I wrote the libretto for. The only other Eddie Louise of note is a black male with a mugshot on line. Most importantly, no-one has the domain name

Louise Michaels is a bit more problematic, as there is an artist by that name and she has claimed the domain name.

So, unless I choose to go with a name unrelated to my own, Eddie Louise it is.

As a side note, Deuce Roadkill has announced that he is the secondary star of a YA novel. Evidently my 1950's heroine (whom I haven't met yet) is obsessed with the many adventures of Deuce Roadkill and is patterning her behaviors after him to the consternation of her conservative father and stay-at-home mom. Like most ideas I have that come at inconvenient times, I will note it in the small blank book I carry everywhere and save the story idea for a rainy day.

Friday, March 26, 2010

An Author's Bio and Pen Name

Taking a little break from editing (it is going really well today - but just need a moment to clear my head) and wondered about my author's bio. You know, the little blurb about me to put at the end of a book.

I am not sure 'learned how to tell great big lies at an early age' is quite the right thing. I am sure I can think of something!

As for a pen name I have thought of many - choose your favorite:

Using my own name or some deritive thereof:
Eddie Louise
Louise Michaels (this is my middle name + my husband's)

Or an anagram:
Lace Riddek (Eddie Clark)
Deuce Roadkill (Eddie Lou Clark) Hmmm... not quite right.

Anybody got suggestions?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rules for Writing?

There are many interesting things said in this Guardian article.

Truthfully - I generally just try to write something I would enjoy reading.

The Revision Process

I am neck deep in revision of Devil in Her Dreams. Making Nick more aggressive and dangerous - clarifying the roles of the triplets - correcting horrid grammar errors committed after too much tea and too little sleep. Basically, all those things you do to turn the rough, raw lump of stuff that came out of your brain into a readable book.

I have been given a bit of encouragement by an author friend of mine and will be submitting the manuscript to an agent she has recommended.I may never be a published author, but I will be damned if that is for lack of trying!

In the meantime I do daily battle with self doubt, read book after book for inspiration, and hold fast to the idea that I just want to tell stories!