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Thursday, November 11, 2010

First, a sincere "Thank You!" to all our veteran's today.  I appreciate my American freedoms even more knowing it came at the cost of your sacrifices.  May God bless you all.  If you know a veteran, take the time today to call or send a note of thanks.

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Recently I developed a new class for writers, called "Ten Ways to Sabotage Your Writing."  It came about after years of rejecting approximately 95% of the articles submitted to the P31 Woman magazine.  Not all of these articles had poor sentence construction or improper grammar.  Some were technically well-written.  So why were we rejecting so many?

Figuring there had to be commonalities that killed a piece, I started to dissect the weaker points of articles.  Hence the new class. 

If you are interested in the class, I'll be teaching it at the opening writer's session at She Speaks next year.  Registration should start in January, so check back with me and I'll announce it.  Or visit www.SheSpeaksConference.com in January.   After that, we'll offer it as a webinar. 

Coming up with labels for these saboteurs proved challenging.  After developing what I thought was a creative title for the talk, the subtitles fell flat.  Boring.  It brought to the surface one of my personal limitations:  I'm a concrete thinker. 

Being a concrete thinker is helpful in certain settings.  It's why categorizing and organization comes naturally.  It's how I can help an author focus on a main point, and eliminate distractions in writing. It's also why titles trip me up every time.  Titles require the author to fnd a quirky play on words, double entendres or be daring enough to attract attention.  

Yep ... not me.

Every once in awhile I stumble on a charming, delightfully intriguing title, and you would think it was Christmas morning!

And so ... somehow getting back to one of my main points ... (rambling is allowed in blogs) ... one of the ways writers sabotage writing is to start sentences with too many pronouns, especially "I."  This is common when writing a first-person article.  Here's an example: 

Old: I know that I am not perfect and complete yet, but at least I’m now walking in the right direction.

My rewrite: Perfection is a future hope. For now, at least I’m on the right path.

The title of this sub-point in my talk is:  Frequently write with pronouns

Yawn ...

However, today, on VisualThesaurus.com (my new writing best friend), author Michael Lydon posted an article with the perfect title for this writing problem!  Brilliant.  Concise.  He calls it:  Narcissism. 

Since you can not copyright a title, I'm going to borrow this word for my talk.  So if you show up at She Speaks 2011, and hear that my second tip is "Narcissistic Writing," you'll smile and know you heard it first here.

And hence my two final writing tips:  
  1. Read as much as you can on the craft of writing.  
  2. Admit your weakness and get help from your more abstract-thinking friends.
And of course, plan now to attend She Speaks to hear the rest of my tips.  Hopefully by then they will all have better titles.

In His Love,

Glynnis

4 comments:

Sharon Sloan - Joy In The Truth said...

I so appreciate my abstract-thinking friends!!!! :)

The session sounds great!

Thanks for sharing your gifts so generously and graciously!

Sharon

Cheri Bunch said...

Thank you, Glynnis! I needed this! Cheri

Kirsty Bell said...

Now I want to know what the others are. Ps Catchy Titles are my thing - it's just the writing that seems to let me down!!! ;0) (lol)

nurse mom said...

Stumbling onto your blog is truly a Godsend. My blog that has been online for 6 months now is really not doing much and I really want to do some writing. I am excited to find out about the She Speaks conference. This conference is going to be a boost I know. Thanks so much! Looking forward to seeing it!