June 25, 2010

June 16, 2010

The best advice is short and to the point

I've heard a lot of writing advice but absolutely the best I've heard comes today in the form of a Gotham Gram...an email from the great writing school that I highly recommend

Neil Gaiman has become so popular he is often considered the “rock star” of the literary world. He trades mostly in science fiction and fantasy in a variety of forms—novels, children’s books, graphic novels, comic books, and film. Among his trend-setting works: Coraline, The Graveyard Book and The Sandman series. He takes readers, of all ages, to the very edge of imagination.

8 Good Writing Practices
  1. Write.
  2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
  3. Finish what you're writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
  4. Put it aside. Read it pretending you’ve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
  5. Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
  6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
  7. Laugh at your own jokes.
  8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

From an article in The Guardian

June 11, 2010

It finally got to me and I've snapped. I think,

Write, write all morning.  Try to figure out what I need to bring with me to my book signing tomorrow.  Pick out a dress.  I need to relax.  Went down to B and N just to smell books.  I wonder if they have my book for order.  Look it up on a self-service terminal.  They do!  Then proceed to every self-service terminal in the store looking up my book and leaving it up on the screen.  Escaped without detection.

I'd rather stick pins in my eyes....

Isn't it amazing how having one thing you absolutely do not want to do (but in reality should do) helps you get other things done?  (and no its not a colonoscopy and no I'm not telling you what it is).  

I've had this thing in my mind that I feel I absolutely must do.  Only I don't wanna.  Suddenly, I'm terribly productive writing a book that I absolutely hated working on. Suddenly I've been walking around to bookstores copies of my book in hand saying "please stock my book."  So obviously I absolutely hate working on the book and I absolutely hate peddling  my published book  less than I absolutely hate getting around to doing the thing I hate most.  There's a moral in there somewhere.

June 9, 2010

Self-publishing interview

Alexa Offenhauer is publishing on her blog, Looseleaf Writing  a (2 post) series of interviews with me about self-publishing.  Drop by and read her really interesting (not just my stuff) blog about the editing business.

June 7, 2010

Er that's Episcopal Priest, not Episcopalian Priest...picky, picky, picky

full ForeWord Review HERE

7/21/2010 Edit

Well that link seems to have disappeared so here is the review in full:

ForeWord Clarion Review


In Between Goodbyes

Christina Wible



Three Stars (out of Five)

Strong characters carrying heavy psychological baggage feature in this insider’s look at life in New York’s theater district. A touch of mystery makes In Between Goodbyes a fascinating contemporary romantic tale.

Christina Wible’s debut follows the life of Hope Moran, who ekes out a living as a Broadway dresser. A dresser, in theater terms, is one who babysits and coddles and, yes, even dresses a theater actor when a wardrobe change is required. She also moonlights as an Episcopalian priest, filling in for various churches and doing good deeds, particularly among the homeless. One afternoon, she turns to life saving by pushing celebrity thespian Ian Pfeiffer out of the path of a kidnapper’s bullet. His family is not so fortunate; they die in a fiery car crash.

The show must go on. Hope, hired for her expertise in dressing and spiritual counseling, keeps Ian performing. Their close association turns to friendship, punctuated by a brief sexual encounter. As a result of some convenient plot manipulation, Ian heads to Central America to shoot a movie while Hope gestates, delivering a daughter with the help of a circle of women friends. The sense of community and friendship among the theater crowd rings true and adds another layer of enjoyment for the reader. The slightly prosaic mystery concerning the kidnapper offers a little suspense. A niggling problem—Ian’s lack of interest in sex—hovers in the background to be hurriedly resolved as the book ends.

The story of Hope and Ian’s relationship follows an all too familiar pattern: Ian doesn’t know he’s a father, and Hope works hard to keep father and daughter from meeting. Their lives diverge and years later converge again, resulting in a bittersweet ending.

It is the details concerning theater life that save this book from mediocrity. “Amy made her opening speech, and Ian clenched and unclenched his fists,” Wible writes. “He leaned back, and she put her hand squarely in the middle of his back. He leaned harder against the hand and then propelled himself out onto the stage for his entrance. The applause was deafening, and she could see both Amy and Ian struggle to stay in the moment.”

Overall, the writing flows well, but there are a few problems, including clumps of information, poor transitions from scene to scene, and a tendency to tell rather than show. For example, Wible writes, “Hope had last worked with Amy on some children’s musical where Amy was some over-costumed singing animal. She remembered the costume with a skirt so big it wouldn’t fit through the dressing room door, forcing Amy to make up in the dressing room and then costume in the wings.”

Tighter writing, a good editing, and better use of fiction writing techniques would greatly improve this novel. Nevertheless, In Between Goodbyes will be enjoyed by readers who like a good-hearted heroine, a worthy man who stays true to his love, and the smell of greasepaint.

Dawn Goldsmith