Writing too MUCH nuance

Not wanting to leave too much to chance – or the possible misinterpretation of a reader – leads to a phenomenon I will call ‘too much nuance.’

Here’s a sample paragraph with it (it leaves little to the imagination – I blame brain fog):

On the morning of his important day, which was on the 12th of April that year, and which that year fell on a Wednesday which was unseasonably cold and blustery, Terry and his mother (well, not his actual mother, but the woman who adopted him when his biological mother abandoned him at the orphanage) walked into the Food Court on the lower level of the Grantham, Oklahoma, Freedom Mall which was opened in 1989 and has only been closed two days since, to find themselves at one of the food booths which sold a nutritious hot breakfast, including the option of getting the egg-white-only omelet that Terry always ate because his doctor said that his cholesterol was too high and he shouldn’t eat egg yolks at all, or, if he did, it shouldn’t be very often (and he defined very often as more than once a week), before they went to the Sears department store at the south end of the Mall for Terry to have a job interview as a salesperson in the lawnmower department, because he needed a job.

Here is the same paragraph, stripped to a bare possible version of its former self: Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 12, Scene 4

This week post is the last scene in Chapter 12, Scene 4 (1.12.4).

Feedback welcome. Thanks!

It was warm (75°), sunny, and I got to work in the garden because I FINISHED TAXES SATURDAY NIGHT! I prefer pulling weeds to doing taxes. I LIKE pulling weeds.


Still looking for more beta readers; if interested, email me at abehrhardt [at] gmail. Commitment? Reading chapters as I polish them and giving me your honest opinion – and feedback about what you like (!), don’t like (X), or find confusing (?). You don’t get raw work, you get as close to publishable as I can manage without a couple of whole-book passes.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

Previous chapter: Chapter 11

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 12, Scene 4  [Bianca]

Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.

Writing with CFS and brain fog: Tradeoffs

The old me

Since last year – at about the same time of year (!), when I posted my 3 part series, Rules 1-10, Rules 11-20, and Rules 21-30 – at the height of try to get control of my body and brain so as to get some reliable regular writing output – an enormous number of things have changed.

Because I finished taxes last night, and have a few brain cells still firing tonight, I thought I would post about how things have CHANGED. Yup, changed. Improved. Become better. Gotten reliable (sort of). Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 12, Scene 3

I’m on my third batch of daffodils inside.

I am growing alfalfa and wheat grass for the chinchilla (we’ll see if she likes my alfalfa better than the farmers dry stuff).

Spring is such a promise.

As soon as taxes are done (tomorrow – cross fingers), I will be able to spend more time getting everything weeded, cleaned out, Preen’d, and HollyTone’d – for perfection in perennials for the spring, summer, and fall.

There are lilies spreading everywhere. The Forsythia is about to explode. The now-retired hubby is playing with the grass.

This week’s post continues with Chapter 12, Scene 3 (1.12.3).

Feedback welcome. Thanks!

Still looking for more beta readers; if interested, email me at abehrhardt [at] gmail.

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

Previous chapter: Chapter 11

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 12, Scene 3  [Kary]

Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013.

How a writer does taxes: Interest Income

Software first

The H&R Block Tax Software wants to know how much we earned in interest from our bank last year.

Fair enough – they’re entitled to the information. So – is there a 1099-INT from the bank among the papers?

No. Continue reading

Thanks, rude person, for helping me write a difficult scene

The ‘writing a difficult scene’ part

One of my characters is dealing with a punch in the stomach, at first in the character’s own mind, not in a scene with other people.

I don’t want to blunt the effect it has on him/her, paradoxically, by putting too much of a reaction into his/her first attempt to deal with things: I want it pure and simple and visceral and real, exactly how it would hit ME.

The ‘punch’ is in the form of a short piece of particularly nasty work (which I have written out and made as mean as possible), and my question for my character was: how do I feel immediately after I read the piece?

Now the ‘rude person thanks’ part

In an online writer’s blog where input was specifically requested by the blogger yesterday, I wrote a short and, I thought, coherent answer to the blogger’s question, expressing my own opinion and labeling it so. Continue reading

Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 12, Scene 2

This week’s post continues Chapter 12, with Scene 2 (1.12.2).

Additional beta readers welcome – contact me if you’d like to participate (and get to read things earlier).

Feedback welcome. Thanks!

PRIDE’S CHILDREN Table of Contents

~ ~ ~

PRIDE’S CHILDREN, Chapter 12, Scene 2  [Andrew]

Copyright by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt 2013-2014.

Writers and the Fear of Death

Everyone is afraid, sometime during their life, of Death, the final frontier, the Great Divide, the place no one returns from.

Writers, being fearful creatures, include Death among their many fears. I know I do.

It is the price of sentience, to know what comes, and to remember.

It is an expensive price – but a fair one.

Because of its universal importance, Death gets dealt with by writers.

A lot. Continue reading

Whose voice is it: the writer’s or the editor’s?

In all the posts I see from people recommending that you find yourself a good editor, there is a conception that an editor adds value to the work, and is worth the price paid for her/his services.

It is both horrible – and true.

I read an excellent example recently where a writer posted a paragraph as it had been sent to the editor, followed by the (much improved) paragraph that was returned by the editor. Continue reading

Enter scenes late, leave early

I just got a tip which I’m sure isn’t original (Michael Ferris says so, up front), but I hadn’t seen – about scenes:

“2. Be Late for the Party, and Then Leave Early  You may have read this in other places before, but seriously, in EVERY. SINGLE. SCENE. you want to enter late and leave early.

This goes hand in hand with what I was just saying about writing a fast read, but at the end of the day, you don’t want to describe every little thing. Whether its setting, or character actions, or anything else. Give us just the essentials — and no where does this apply more than to entering late and leaving early.

…One benefit of entering late and leaving early is that the audience has to catch up with what’s going on, thus engaging them. They’re trying to figure out what they missed before they got to the scene, and maybe even what they missed when they leave a scene early. Creating this mental intrigue may only affect people on a subconscious level, but regardless it makes you look like a pro.”

His examples are from scripts, so of course I went and dragged out the beginning of the first scene in chapter 1 of Pride’s Children: Continue reading