Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Check Me Out...

Over at Word Flirts for a very important message.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Can I Get A Cliche Please?

I have a cliche problem. And maybe this isn't the first time I've written about it. I'm too lazy to check the archives. But if it's not, then that tells you just how serious the problem is.

You hear it over and over again. Don't write cliches. But you know sometimes you need a metaphor. People say cliches. So if you have realistic characters, they're going to speak like real people. So I've always been told to change the cliche, make it that character's own.

The problem is... you have to know a blooming cliche before you can change it or alter it or make it your own. And I DO NOT have a good grasp of cliches. Really. The funny thing is that I already make up my own cliches, I just don't know it. And if I say them fast enough, most people don't know it either. Well, a few minutes later, I can tell they're computing what I said because they get this funny confused look on their face.

Worse yet is that I can rationalize why my versions are perfectly reasonable cliches regardless of if they are "correct".

Once while a friend of my hubby's was trapped in my car on a trip, I told him that he "shouldn't put all his apples in one basket." After about ten minutes he said, "Uh... It's not apples." He couldn't think of what it is because... well I have that effect on people too. But I promptly started arguing that you wouldn't want to loose all your apples because then where would you be? Appleless. And he agreed and said he supposed you could say that about anything... Even carburetors. I thought that was taking it a bit far. I mean at least I stayed within the food category (the right word is a food isn't it?) but I didn't push it because I had him seeing my way. And you never argue with someone who agrees with you. Even if they're being ridiculous.

I have gotten way off course. My point is that you can't very well change a cliche you don't know in the first place! And that's a problem for me. When my hubby is around I ask him if something is a cliche. Most times he says, "Only in your world, sweetie." And I get that he means I'm not saying it the "popular" way. But for all of my "creative" cliches, I can't purposefully be creative with one. I mean it's not that I try to make them up. They just come up wrong in my head.

So I'm having problems with knowing the "popular" version of cliches and then making up a new "creative" version. Argh. Am I the only one with this problem?????

Oh yeah, and the friend who feels his carburetors are so important... When hubby and I got married, we had a videographer and our guests left us personal messages. After rambling on a bit about some imaginary Dick who threw an imaginary Jane into an imaginary pool(we have creative friends), he looked into the camera and said, "And it's ok to put all of your carburetors into this basket. You've got a good, strong basket there and you won't have to worry about them in there!"

And to this day my hubby wonders what in the world it is about carburetors that makes me cry.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

All Talk...

I went to my local RWA chapter meeting this past Saturday. Sophia Nash was our speaker. And she was terrific. I learned quite a bit and it has really spurred me to work on my new story.

One word of advice Sophia shared with us was a recommendation she received from... I believe Jayne Krentz. She said when pacing is really slow, try writing the story as a screen play first. So there's just dialogue and a tiny bit of stage direction. Then go back and revise in the other stuff. But be careful not to add too much. It will keep the story moving at a faster pace.

I decided to try an altered version of this. I didn't write only dialogue, but I really tried to minimize the extra stuff and I found that I was pickier about the filler I used. While the setting was neat in my head, the reader could care less about how dark wood stain is when my heroine is asking the hero to take off his pants. Really.

Don't get me wrong, there are stories in which rich detail and setting are invaluable. But I don't think that's the case with where I am here and I have a tendancy to get really bogged down in all of these little details that I think give the story wealth, but when I get bogged down so does the story. So I decided to keep using this new approach and see how it works for me.

What about you? Ever get bogged down in the details?


PS The picture is just because I'm always looking for inspiration when I'm starting something new. Ok, I'm just always looking for inspiration :-) Enjoy and have a good weekend!