Best. Book. Ever! English Grammar For Dummies is the best investment for your lunch money you will ever find if you are a writer. Within minutes of reading some of it I realized why my book told a good story but did not do the story justice. My commas were misplaced. My quotes were misused. My descriptions were improperly describing the scenes. All in all I had run on sentences smashing against each other. Fragments were fragmenting the style. And commas in the wrong places, or not enough of them.
Wazzy had sent me a link to one of her stories and we came to a disagreement over the grammar. It soon came down to a mild argument. In my infinite wisdom, or just wanting to prove my point once and for all, I bought the grammar book. To my surprise we were both wrong yet also right on many accounts. I took a long look at my writing and immediately realized what I should do. I yanked the book off my virtual shelves. Then I posted a note saying I needed to revise and started to do so at once. Armed with the knowledge of the grammar book, I watched as my words flowed much easier. Then I examined Artemis Fowl, a book series that I really enjoy, and saw that Colfer uses the same rules.
All right, so I am working on that problem. What other problems with reading my second book did Wazzy have? The setting. Plain out right, the setting. I did not spend enough time setting up the world. Wazzy is a visionary. What I mean is, she literally sees what she is reading in her mind. What a gift she has! Oh if only I could do the same! Ahem, sorry. Anyway, She often found herself either imagining them talking in a blank void, or a fantastic setting punctuated by a character pulling out a cell phone. This would prove so jarring that it would completely spoil the image for her. Also she pointed out that Twilight has basically stolen my idea of sparkle use. What a let down that was. In the years since I first wrote the first crappy draft, back in 88, I used the word sparkle for the magic display. The magic style, is what I called it. So I also needed a new magic style.
So, this morning Mom and brainstormed. Now, the thing you must know to understand this is that the Xadian humans are descended from a group of hippies. As such, they only took 1960's technology with them. This means that although they have common things to us, Xadians took a completely different path from there. After a number of laughs, a lot of arguing, and some long silences of thought, Mom and I mashed out the fine details.
Now, as I am working on the first book, again, I am adding more flair to the world. They now wear tunics and 1960's style bell bottom pants. They also wear fantasy boots. The children enter information into datapads with keyboards, not notebook computers. Long hair is in style, many of the children wear headbands. Then there is this little oddball in the corner of the room. Aden doesnt wear loose clothes. His clothing is tight against his body. Loose clothes are easy prey for sharp unicorn teeth. Since he is using pen and paper, this sets him even further apart than he already is. BOOM! I have my setting. The rest is just grammar and actual story telling.
So, back to the drawing board. But this time with correct tools to do the job. I was trying to use a sledgehammer to pound in the nail. Although this is quicker, it is too rough and damages the wood around the nail. Now I have my normal little hammer. It's time to rebuild my house. Wish me luck.
Saturday, September 15. 2012
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