Monthly Archives: April 2011

A woman without her man is nothing

I am looking at The Power of  Punctuation, and in doing so I have studied The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, as well as Roy Peter Clark’s book Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer, and I have found many things to dwell upon here, being this.

My writing has always had issues with punctuation, where do I put that irritating comma anyway? Sometimes I wish we didn’t need one, however in the sentence “A woman without her man is nothing.” punctuation says it all, so in this sentence myself as a man would naturally think that there is nothing really wrong with the sentence, however several women would probably change it to “A woman: without her, man is nothing.”  because the use of the comma and punctuation now dignifies the sentence, and makes it richer, more powerful, and more believable.

In Roy Peter Clark’s book  Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer, he makes this a clearer picture by referring to a road. First punctuation comes from the Latin word Punctus meaning pointer. All of the points, dots, lines, and squiggles help writers to point the way for their readers. We punctuate for two reasons, one reason is to point the way, and set the pace for the reader. The second reason is to divide words, phrases, and ideas into convenient groupings.

when considering punctuation, you will surely realize the power, and purpose of pace and space. A sentence with no punctuation is like a straight road, with only one stop sign, no room for breath or space to soak in what the reader has just read. However, a  windy road with lots of stop signs is another analogy that describes a paragraph with lots of punctuation, which is an effect that will slow the pace of the story, the writer sets the pace for strategic reasons to convey emotion, achieve clarity, and to create suspense.

If the stop sign is a period then what are the other symbols of punctuation. A comma is a speed bump,  a semi-colon is a rolling stop, a parenthetical expression is a detour, a colon is a  flashing yellow light that announces something important up ahead, and the dash is a tree branch in the middle of the road.

So you see with punctuation you begin a flow,  like driving down a long windy road, slowing for speed bumps, taking pauses, making detours, adding a blinking light, and throwing in a tree branch every now in then creates a pace for your reader to relate to, and to settle into the story.

Use this rule, but also realize you have more options than you think, and enjoy as you set the pace for your readers, I know I sure will.

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Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Looking for the Deus ex machina in my story

Beginning a realistic writing process, that is above my knowledge base has become a challenging task.  With that said my writing has gone to the back burner, because I am stuck. It is not a block  I have hundreds of ideas, just not the structure I want.

My narration, plot, and character description, has gotten a bit better, however, not  set in stone, and it makes me wonder what other writers experience as they begin their own writing process, of their first major piece of work? And, or is this a conflict of interest in every piece of work all the time? I ask myself these questions determined to go onward with such a wonderful story, but how?

Another road block is my genre who will publish me? and who will represent me as an agent? knowing that I am part of the western fiction genre, a genre said to be “dieing out” so to speak…

So where to turn from here, and also my cross with past tense and present tense, due to the fact part of the novel speaks about the characters present, but also very descriptive in times about their past. where they came from, the history in my bandits, etc.

So it draws me to crossroads, and which path do I take?  Do I take the one less traveled by, and make all the difference, this time I am not sure, I need to brush up on story structure, which is a huge part of this, well structure just is the issue that  I am having.  I have put together 15000 words of a story, and the structure is leaning towards the watering hole, that the horses are drinking out of.  I want it to be so much more, and possibly with any dream, have a shiny gold sticker on each copy that sells, wink wink.

Where can I possibly go from here to find my deus ex machina, or my inextricable problem in which is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object.

Can I turn this thing around, and make it to the spur award? the breakout author? an agent to love it from the first five words? and a publisher that is sure that it will be the next NY bestseller? I know deep down that I think I can, just at this point, I am not sure how.

I get great feedback, although it is very spaced out, and wish I could catch the eye, of more readers that are also writers  here in my blog, just for more feedback to combine it all. what I get is awesome, however, I feel that I could use some extra insight this time around, and assist me into a journey of constructing a structure.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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