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Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:27 am
by A Nonny Mouse
Hey Jan!

I saw your comment on my story, so here I am! I've not had time in the past to be very active in the forums, but I'm really interested in improving my writing skills. This "class" looks wonderful! I'll try to keep up with the homework you've assigned. Hope I can!

Well, now that I've checked in, lol, I'm going back to reading the posts in this thread.


Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:20 am
by Joolz
Thanks for inviting me to this thread, Jan. I'm sure I'll learn a lot here.

My contribution:

Unashamed by Francine Rivers

Yet no one knew the fierce heart that beat within her. No one suspected the stored resentment, the gathering fury, the aching hunger to break free and escape.

I think I have all the salsa words, though not sure.

These words make the reader feel the intensity of Rahab's passion to escape her life in Jericho.

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:36 am
by glorybee
Welcome, Michelle--I look forward to your contributions.

Joolz, thanks for the passage you chose! Francine Rivers could have said the same thing with rice cake words--but how boring!

Yet no one knew how strongly she felt. She was very upset and mad, and she wished she could be free.

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:48 am
by Verna
Old dog learning here...

I think I can...I think I can...I think I can.

Simple--I wasn't highlighting. :cry:

Thanks Jan, you're a great teacher in more ways than one!

A few additional topics you've probably already thought of for this thread:

Authentic dialogue
Writing to audience
Variety in sentence structure
Avoidance of too many "ing" verb forms.

And we have so many new people, I think repeating some of your earlier lessons would be good for them while serving as reminders for those of us who attended those classes.

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:49 am
by Verna
Hey Ruth, I can italicize too!

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:49 am
by JesusPuppy
Hi Jan. a slight little tip here for you. I noticed on the comments you let others know about your class... but... if they didn't know to look in the Message Boards, they wont know where to look. :wink:

As for future topic to have in the class, Tenses were mentioned already, and I have a bad habit of those. That and POV shifts. I am getting better but it is a chore.

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:49 am
by glorybee
Thanks, Pup! I said "forums", but "message boards" might have been clearer. Rats.

Either Ann or I will definitely be addressing tenses--thanks!

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:50 am
by GreenLeaves
I would like to be a part as well; I have SOOO much to learn...

What about this from THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE by Kristin Hannah:

"Memories didn't live on streets or in cities. They flowed in the blood, pulsed with your heartbeat. She'd brought it all with her, every loss and heartache. The weight of it bowed her back, exhausted her."

Carol Penhorwood

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:51 am
by glorybee
Carol, great example! I especially like 'pulsed' and 'exhausted'.

Are there any other topics in particular that you'd like to see covered here?

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:54 am
by GreenLeaves
I can't do dialogue at all, but that's been mentioned a few times.

And when to use present or past tense would be useful.

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:24 pm
by GreenLeaves
There's something else I could use help with and I don't know if it has been mentioned quite this way. In my poetry I sometimes tend to switch from "we" to "I".

Sometimes it is deliberate to personalize it, but other times, it is a problem.

Also, the use of commas. Will you be covering that?

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:28 pm
by glorybee
Ann Grover will cover commas and other grammar/punctuation/spelling issues in her column (Ann's Jots and Tittles), startin up soon.

I'm not sure about the we/I issue...maybe you could send me (in a PM) a poem or two where you think it's a problem, and I'll see if I can help.


Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:28 pm
by browniesgal
Hurray Verna!!! :rockon

I worked and worked on some italics in my oops article, had to start over a bunch, then finally at 5:30am I realized I was putting the slash after the i instead of before it, to end the italics. This old dog is worn out but I finally have it!! :heehee Bring on some more Miss Jan! Thanks so much. Ruth

Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:27 pm
by PottersClay
Hi Jan
I'm also here in response to your comments on my challenge - thanks!

I love the concept of "salsa" words - that will definitely stick in my mind.

My extract is from Silverthorn by Raymond E. Feist:

Jimmy hung for a moment, his hands, arms and shoulders afire with pain. It would be so simple just to let go and fall into soft darkness. Shaking off the fatigue and pain, he urged protesting muscles to pull himself back onto the roof.

"protesting" is an adjective, but a great one here I think. Does that count as a salsa word? I particularly love the description of "soft darkness".

Some of the things I struggle with most as a beginner writer, which you could possibly cover, are:
* Creating strong, multi-faceted characters
* Pacing - moving the story along (without giving a blow by blow account)
* Writing "truthfully" as opposed to "sentimentally" (ie. having my characters react in a real way as opposed to a forced way that tries to elicit an emotional reaction from my reader). Not sure if I'm describing that so well, sorry.


Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:49 pm
by glorybee
Joan, thanks for your example. Any word can be a salsa word (although I can't think of too many salsa prepostitions). I just focuses on nouns and verbs, for fear that some beginner writers might interpret the lesson as an invitation to add dozens of adverbs and adjectives. I'm not opposed to those; but I recommend mastery of nouns and verbs first.

And thanks for your suggestions! Glad to "meet" you here.