#weekendcoffeeshare 12/3/2016

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Come right in for coffee, tea, hot cocoa! It is very cold outside, in the upper 20s! I’ve added some herbal teas to my stash so if you aren’t into caffeine, help yourself. There is also decaf coffee. Then, there is English Breakfast Tea, Hot Cinnamon Black Tea and Green Tea, and Russian Tea (watch out for this one!). You can have your choice of a chicory coffee, a breakfast mix, cappuccino, or expresso. I also have hot cocoa. So cold this morning. Join me in my writing studio and I’ll tell you what’s up in my world!

I’ve done a lot of writing, and a lot of reading about writing, since we talked last. Last weekend, I told you that my novel had morphed from a romance into a psychological thriller. I’ve written almost 10,000 words on it this week, writing it as a thriller, and it is working very well. This book is so clearly not a romance that I wonder why I was thinking it was. I think I can make it fly as a psychological thriller. I will be interviewing some psychologists to make sure it makes that cut.

I’m getting so many book ideas that I’ve started keeping a notebook listing my ideas and I’d like to tip you off to do the same or you’ll forget those ideas. It seems like everything fiction that I blog about is screaming for a book of its own. Clearly, that will take some time and some of the ideas won’t ever see the light of day.

As I mentioned, I’m reading a lot of books and authors who have written about writing. If you haven’t read Stephen King’s book On Writing, do! It is possibly the best book I’ve read on the subject though there are other good authors out there.

Where I live, cold weather is finally starting to arrive. We had a warm, even hot, fall. Cool and cold temperatures are finally here. I don’t mind the cold, but when we start having a little snow in the weather forecast, I do mind that. I live on top of a hill and snow makes it impossible to get off this hill of mine.

I’m hoping we don’t have a snowy winter as I can already feel some cabin fever creeping into my psyche. Some of you may remember from previous posts that I had a rather severe trauma in my personal life earlier in the year. Even though I am feeling some better, for some reason, that trauma has caused me to develop rather severe claustrophobia. I don’t have an explanation for that except to say the trauma was a bad one. I feel like if snow traps me on top of this mountain, I will be crazy! What I will do try to keep busy which probably means I will write and write.

I read an excellent blog post today about getting through the winter if one doesn’t like winter. It recommended using winter as a time of regeneration for the new spring that is just around the corner. The idea behind that blog post gave me hope for spring. It gets pretty gray around here during the months of December and January particularly.

Are you getting ready for the holidays, whatever your version of the holidays is? For me, it is Christmas and I have been doing some shopping but just started doing a little decorating today. I don’t do as much decorating as I used to but I do like for it to look a little festive here. My next task is to get some Christmas cards sent with some gifts to the people who perform services for me during the year.

When I have been to the city nearest me during the last week, I can tell the holidays are upon us. The traffic is unbelievable! During one visit there, it took me an hour to get across the city to the interstate. Any shopping I have to do either has to be on weekdays or online! I wouldn’t dare attempt it on a weekend day.

I hope everyone has a good week and I hope to see you next Saturday! #amwriting #amblogging #writing #claustrophobia #seasonalaffectivedisorder

 

*This post sponsored by parttimemonsterblog.com.

Thanks, Diana!

#weekendcoffeeshare: 6/12/2016

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“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”

–Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“Jenn is certainly in a hurry this morning,” I think to myself as I watch my friend come racing through my door. “Good morning, Jenn,” I say. Jenn grabs the coffee pot from the counter and says, “Let’s sit on the deck this morning. It’s such a beautiful day. I have a problem and an important question to ask you.” I follow along behind her with my tea cup, wondering what’s going on.

We sit down at the table on the deck and Jenn sighs in apparent exasperation. “Jenn, ask away,” I say. “Oh, Rosemary,” she says, “I am having a hard time with a story I am writing. I am using one of the text editors you can buy and it keeps pointing out to me that I am using too many adverbs in the story. I don’t know how to write my story without them. They seem to make my story have more meaning. But, they must be a bad thing.” She continues, “Do you have this problem?”

I laugh because I have certainly had this problem although probably more in the past than in the present. “Jenn, the first person that ever pointed out to me that I use too many adverbs was my friend, Ed, who has kindly edited a lot of my work for many years. I know what you mean when you say they seem to add emphasis and meaning, but I have come to the conclusion we are fooling ourselves about that.” Jenn asks me why.

I tell Jenn that I have read Stephen King’s book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, at least three times and I showed her the quote above. King dislikes the use of adverbs intensely since all they really do is modify verbs, other adverbs, and adjectives. You can almost always spot them as they usually, but not always, end in -ly.  King states that the use of the adverb is the mark of a timid writer. The writer who is afraid she is not getting her point across.

For example, consider this sentence. “She put the pot on the stove firmly.” “Firmly” is an adverb used to emphasis a point. Instead, what about writing the sentence like this: “She slammed the pot on the stove.” I think the sentence without the adverb sounds better.

King makes his point with dialogue. If this is a line of dialogue: “Don’t do that,” he said abruptly, then abruptly is the adverb. King, along with authors like Larry McMurtry, believe in the word “said.” That sentence should read, “Don’t do that,” he said. He thinks the sentence should stand on its own because the surrounding story should be strong enough so the reader will understand its context.

Jenn says that I make some good points and she thinks she will buy Mr. King’s book. She wants to make her stories stronger as I do.

Jenn finishes her coffee and gets up to leave and get on with her day as we continue to do what writers do — talk about writing. She thanks me for telling her about Stephen King’s book and I thank her for helping me clarify the argument for fewer adverbs in my mind. It’s been a good #weekendcoffeeshare morning!

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*#weekendcoffeeshare is sponsored by Diana at Parttimemonster