Tag Archives: England

We’ve all got Eaton Style. Come on! Sing with me!

Oh yeah! We’ve got Eaton Style!

The lovely and talented Ravena Guron cued me in to this. This is my new favorite boy band signing my anthem “Eaton Style”

“Awkward, frustrated, lonely and insecure. We’re so shy, if you talk to us we may cry…”

Ha! Sounds like writers, right? We’ve got Eaton Style! Sing it, boys!

Parody of Gangnam Style / Gangham Style

From Ravena: (Note… Eaton is the name of a private school here in Britain but this is an AWESOME video and right now this blog does have Eaton style :)

Do you know the difference between fresh cream and ice cream?

Fresh cream or ice cream?  Seriously?

One thing I am learning on this blog tour is that I can never be sure what someone might want to know.  Seriously … I have been asked some very interesting and confusing questions.

Hop on over to Julie Belfield’s blog to see what Jolly old England has in store for me today.

See Ya there!

http://jabelfield.wordpress.com/

ChristmasFiligree

Make BelieveFor The Love Of Christmas CoverWhy all the hullabaloo? Well, it’s to promote my two new releases “Make Believe” and “For the Love of Christmas”

That’s why!

And don’t forget to click on “Enter to Win” for a chance to win your choice of the two titles! Yay!

Oh, I almost forgot… A few random commentors along the tour path will win their choice of anthologies, too. So be sure to hop on over and say “Hi”

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Hop on over and send me some love!

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Visit my Anthology buddies!  They are celebrating too!

Jenny Keller Ford

J.A. Belfield

Kelly Said

Lynda R. Young

Terri Rochenski

Guest Post: WHERE DO YOU END YOUR FIRST DRAFTS? by Jon Gibbs

Several years ago, I heard literary agent, Cherry Weiner, give a talk at a writing group. Among the many things she shared with us that day were these wisdomous words:

When you’ve finished your story,

go back and rewrite the beginning.

Up until then, I’d always written in a linear fashion. I’d start with (what I hoped was) a killer opening, then work my way through the middle to the (again hoped for) thrilling and/or satisfying conclusion at the end, after which I’d get down to the editing. The idea of wantonly discarding the first few pages of a story, or worse, the first chapter or two of a novel, seemed counter-productive. Why write a beginning at all if you’re just going to throw it out later?

But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Despite our best intentions, stories quite often head off in a different direction from the one we originally intended. Even if, like me, you use outlines, planned ideas and sub-plots get changed, added and/or abandoned as we get to know the characters and plot better during the first draft process. Besides, who hasn’t had a critique containing a big red line several pages in, along with the words ‘I think your story starts here’? Personally, I’ve found rewriting the opening almost always leads to a better fit with the rest of the story.

There’s another positive effect from knowing you’ll rewrite the beginning from the outset, at least for writers like me. I understand the benefits to be had from getting the first draft over with as fast as possible. I want to work that way, but I fight a constant battle with my inner editor during the first draft process. When you know from the outset that whatever beginning you write will (almost definitely) get thrown out anyway, it’s easier to resist the temptation to go back and polish up what you’ve already got.

How about you?

Where do you end your first drafts?

Born in England, Jon Gibbs now lives in New Jersey, where he’s ‘Author in Residence’ at Lakehurst Elementary School. A member of several writing groups, including SCBWI, he’s the founder of NJAuthorsNetwork.com and FindAWritingGroup.com. His blog, An Englishman in New Jersey (http://jongibbs.livejournal.com), is read in over thirty countries. 

 

Jon’s debut novel, Fur-Face (Echelon Press) a middle grade fantasy about unusual friendships, unlikely alliances, and wanting to fit in, was nominated for a Crystal Kite Award. Watch out for the sequel, Barnum’s Revenge, coming in 2012.

 When he’s not chasing around after his children, Jon can usually be found hunched over the computer in his basement office. One day he hopes to figure out how to switch it on.

A Review of Hereafter, from a Writer’s Perspective.

Wow.  It’s been a long time since I started a movie, and my husband and I mutually agreed not to finish it.

“Hereafter” had everything.  It should have been a great movie.  It started off okay.  Was it poor direction?  Poor presentation?  Poor story?  Driving in to work today, I tried to figure it out, to make sure I don’ make the same mistakes in my writing.

“Hereafter” starts with a negative.  Subtitles.  I was okay with it, though.  After a while, however, it got to be too much.  At one point about half way through, my husband started to forward the parts with the subtitles.  Funny thing is, we didn’t miss anything… and I think that’s part of the problem.

Pacing, and false-action beginning.

When I first started writing, I read a blog, and I wish I could remember her name, but she said something that has stuck with me.  “The first chapter is a promise to your reader.”  She went on to say that your first chapter should exemplify what your reader can expect from the rest of it.

“Hereafter” starts with a couple on vacation (speaking French, with subtitles)  They have a beachfront hotel room, and a tsunami hits.  Great heart-pumping beginning. After that, the movie just dies.  Boom.  Dead.  Bury me, please.

We are catapulted away from that scene to Matt Damon’s character, who is a psychic who has stopped using his powers because he wants a normal life.  Okay, that part was fine.

Catapult #2:  We are then slammed to England, where two twin boys are struggling with their mother’s opium dependence.  Huh?  At first we thought it was the same woman from the opening scene, but no… totally different person.

Boomerang:  Now we are in France with the person dealing with the aftermath of surviving a tsunami

Slap:  Back to the USA with Matt Damon, who is getting cooking lessons.  Huh?

***Get on with it!***

After an hour of this, I rolled over, hugged my pillow, and said “wake me up if anything happens”

Now, obviously, I hope, all these people would come together to make a point out of this movie.   However, at that point, I was totally bored out of my mind.

I liked the Matt Damon parts.  They at least had a spark of an interesting plot.  The rest of it seemed like low-budget foreign films (no music in this move at all either, which is really weird.)

Well, I fell asleep.  This morning my husband said, “Do you mind if we just return this and get another movie?”

Normally, I would want to see what happened.  I honestly didn’t care one bit.  “Yeah, send it back.”

***So, What went wrong?***

So what went wrong?  The characters may have been important to the end of the story (I suppose, I didn’t get that far)  But if their stories are boring, do we need to know about them in such detail?

If they all come together, it could have been taken care of better in flashback or dialog right before they all meet.  Tsunami survivor can remember the horrible ordeal, and the person next to them can say “Wow, you sure had a hard time adjusting, didn’t you.”  The kids and their Mom could have been summed up similarly in dialog.

GET ON WITH IT

The point is… GET ON WITH IT.  The story teller lost me.  Completely.  So much so that I didn’t finish.

Look at your novels carefully and decide, honestly, if there is a place where someone might think “Get on with it.”

And watch those false-action beginnings.  I was all ready for a great action flick here.  What I got was a boring melodrama.