Monday, March 14, 2011

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

We have breaking news...




Carolina Valdez Miller has signed with an agent!!


*tosses confetti and streamers*
*pops cork*
*pours bubbly*

Carol signed with Vickie Motter of Andrea Hurst & Associates. (Vickie has a fabulous blog: http://navigatingtheslushpile.blogspot.com)

So, guess what?  

A bunch of us are CELEBRATING (*by giving away prizes!*) my dear friend Carol's good news in a BIG way! (because we love her) 

Behold...

Carol Signed with an Agent Celebration Mega Epic Giveaway*

From ME: 

One lucky winner will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


(our guest of honor):

Winner 1:
 A 1st page critique from her agent Vickie Motter!

Winner 2:
(in order to win this one you must follow ALL the blogs in the giveaway party to qualify)


Winner 3:
Signed copy of Escaping into the Open: the Art of Writing True by Elizabeth Berg

Winner 4:
Signed Hardback of Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Winner 5:
Signed Hardback of Passing Strange by Daniel Waters





One winner takes all 3:
A signed copy of THE DARK DIVINE
A signed copy of RAISED BY WOLVES
WRITE GREAT FICTION: PLOT AND STRUCTURE



But wait!
There's more!!!

ALL these people are giving away awesome prizes in our Mega Carol Signed with an Agent Party too!

Heather's Odyssey

Details and Rules:

The giveaway starts today at 10am and ends on April 1st (winners announced April 4).

*To enter to win my Amazon Gift Card prize you must be a follower on my follow widget (on sidebar) leave a comment (with email addy) on this post by midnight eastern on April 1st (my birthday!) and you must go congratulate Carol in her comments. (if you aren't already following her, you should, she's delightful...plus, she's got freaking kickass prizes!)

You can earn extra entries by: 
-one extra entry point for each person on the list you follow. 
-one extra entry for following me on twitter
-one extra entry for tweeting (include link)
-one extra entry for putting this on your sidebar or blog post

(BUT YOU MUST TOTAL YOUR POINTS IN MY COMMENTS. I don't do maths. Maths makes my head explode. Splattered brains are messy.)


So go congratulate Carol! (tell her I love her, even though she knows I do)
Check out everyone else's giveaways! And good luck!
Love,

Lola
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Writing Mechanics: Redundant Modifiers and Other Disasters



Many of you know I'm in the middle of revisions and that I do a lot of critiquing for my talented CPs and other writer friends. Thus, I am often in Critical Reading Mode. 


Pitifully sick in bed last week, a few high buzz ARCs patiently waiting on my bedside table, I decided to back away from my computer, rest and read for pleasure. I hoped to be swept away, transported from my sickbed and lumpy Lola-Ebola cough, lost in a fictional world. 


I made it 30 pages through the first ARC before I gave up. Nearly every paragraph riddled with redundant modifiers and mechanical glitches that pulled me out of the story. (which got me thinkin' about this here post) 0_o


The second book, Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard, thankfully was a pleasure to read.  (Like Mandarin released yesterday, March 8th, and is now available.)











Mostly I spent the rest of my germ-infested recovery re-watching all 3 seasons of Veronica Mars. 
I love you, Logan.


Sick never felt so good. 


Oops. Digression and me, we're BFFs. 


Yeah, so where was I? 


Ah, yes, A Writing Mechanics post. 

Today, I will focus on Redundant Modifiers and their cousins.


And, hey, we're ALL guilty of using them.  I'm no grammar expert. I'm not an expert of anything. (well, I'm fantastic at eating nachos) So I figured writing this up might help me, and sharing it might help you. 


Here we go.


Write tight, economically, we're told. "Omit needless words". Search out the adverbs and delete. Most of us are crystal clear on the adverb abuse thing. 


And that's great, but there's more to word economics than avoiding adverbs.


Redundant modifiers and redundant pairings and categories are often words we think are driving a point home. Sometimes we use them because of familiarity with the combinations, thus we use them out of habit. Sometimes we think we're writing pretty description. 



Examples of common redundant modifiers:



  • free gift
  • sudden crisis
  • basic fundamentals
  • climb up
  • actual fact
  • past memories
  • final (or ultimate) outcome
  • terrible tragedy
  • future plan
  • future goals
  • hesitate for a moment
  • consensus of opinion
  • important essentials
  • honest truth
  • end result
  • personal beliefs
  • start over again
  • past history
  • continue on
  • short in stature
  • heavy in weight
  • large in size
  • shiny (or odd, etc) in appearance
  • revolve around
  • each and every
  • any and all
  • one and only
  • completely finish
  • tentatively suggest
  • connected together
  • prove conclusively
  • annoyingly bothersome
  • tactful diplomacy
  • time schedule
  • successful victory



 We've all used them and/or others like them. I hope this (incomplete) list helps you.


If you are looking for help with Showing vs. Telling, visit my post: 
Writing Mechanics Show vs Tell


Next week we'll talk metaphors! 


How's YOUR writing going? 




Love,




Lola
Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Release Day and Random March Madness

  
1) Magic happened this morning, friends! Lolapalooza type magic.


Magic akin to puppy kisses and rainbow cake...
My birthday is coming up...boy-howdy do I want one of these!
Here's how it went down: After pouring my first cup of coffee this morning, I planted my (spreading) butt on the couch, macbook on my lap, and I wrote 4,000 words. Go me. 

2) Someone needs to lock up Charlie Sheen (and his tiger blood), before he spontaneously combusts, splattering all over his porno skanks, thus starting the spread of the zombie apocalypse. He's like ground zero. Dude's GONE.


3) Happy March and happy writing! (I'm crawling back into my writing cave. Send cake. And dirty martinis, pleaseandthankyou.)


Wazzup with you? 
Read/buy any great books lately?
Write anything great lately?









Love,
Lola

May your pen be mighty

May your pen be mighty

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Lola Sharp
My name is Lola. (I'm not a showgirl) Yes, L-O-L-A Lola. It's the least of my worries. Let's move on, shall we? This blog is mostly about my misadventures on the journey to publication and beyond. My passion for lush prose, quirky characters, art, music, literature, performing arts and anything creative will be a major theme here. This journey of mine will not always be pretty. Much like rubbernecking a train wreck, I know sometimes you just can't help but look at the carnage that is often my life. So strap on your neck brace, helmet and 5-point harness and come along for the ride! Licentia poetica.
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