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Ask an Author blog

Captain's Log, Stardate 10.23.2005

NovelTalk has started a new blog called "Ask an Author." Aspiring writers can submit questions and NovelTalk's published authors will answer.

I think this is a great idea, especially if writers have a very specific question about the writing craft or business. Sometimes it's just hard to find the answer we need on various online writing articles, because we don't know where to start.

Writing: Been doing contest judging, and I'm almost done. I really do like judging and giving back to the writers groups, especially since I myself received so much when I first started writing.

It's just been hard to pinpoint exactly why an entry seems flat to me, or a character seems bland. I don't want to just say, "This doesn't work for me." That's the epitome of the useless comment.

I want to be able to say, "This character seems unemotional because she doesn't seem to react when things happen." Or "The reading flow for this scene is slow because there's too much narrative and the dialogue doesn't forward the action." I want to give specifics so the entrant will know exactly why I didn't care for some aspect of the writing.

But that's the hard part, figuring out that specific point. Sometimes I'm staring at a synopsis and going over story structure, trying to find out why the storyline seems to lose gas by the end. Or sometimes I have to review scene structure to figure out why the scene seems anticlimactic.

It's like a puzzle that I need to unravel. I do hope my comments are helpful to the writers, but at the same time, I know I'm not in this for the gratitude. After I finish, I'll be able to spend more time on my Hawaii Chicklit/suspense.

Diet: My stomach has been extra sensitive lately and I've been feeling slightly nauseated for a couple days. Last night at church youth group, our pastor Lester gave a bag of Bazooka gum as a prize and the high schoolers brought it into group discussion.

Being high schoolers, everyone was chewing and blowing and popping and spitting and stretching. Plus the sweet smell of bubble gum and sugar filled the air like a stink bomb. My stomach was ROILING.

Finally Josh got a huge bubble popped all over his face and in his hair, which is short and spiky like David's. I seriously was going to blow chunks right there.

This morning, my stomach was even worse so we didn't go to church. I'm thinking it'll be chicken vegetable soup tonight.


  1. Very cool link, girl! Thanks!

    Okay, what's going on with your stomach?? LOL can be very pleasurable, or very much a chore. I try really hard to be specific, so I know what you mean. I even sign my name and give my website address, that way, if the author would like a little more clarification on my comments, I can provide them. Of course, I realize I may well be setting myself up for some really ugly comments! LOL

  2. Any chance you're pregnant? That was so how I felt when I was pregnant. (You're going to throw something at me, aren't you?) And you know, it's funny, as I mock my own statement, why is it that when women have upset stomachs, pregnant is the first thing people suggest?

    Ah well, hope you're feeling better soon!

  3. LOLOLOL...can't wait to read your response to Danica! LOLOLOLOLOL

    Stress maybe?

  4. Camy, just so you know, I've ordered a leash for Robin. It will be in next week, so in the meantime, just pretend she is a mild mannered human bean. LOL!

    Danica, you better duck, girl!

  5. PREGGERS???? You guys are such BRATS.

    My nausea is GONE now. Okay? Gone. Gee-oh-en, GONE.


  6. A leash??? A leash? Aw, come on....let me play freely! LOL BLogs are the only place we can play without getting our hands slapped! LOLOLOLOLOLOL

    But hey, Camy, IF you WERE to EVER become preggers, I still have some maternity clothes....don't know why I kept them....guess they were at the cleaners when I got rid of the rest and when I picked them up, I just shoved them in the back of the closet. Hmm...I really should consider moving them out, huh? I just don't want them to be lonely or anything! LOL

  7. You know I just had to... I think it's a bug going around, as the same thing has me laid up.


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