Boring. Be honest. That’s what springs to mind when I say, “essay”. But what if an essay gets you a raise at work? Or time off work to thaw out in Mexico when it’s minus thirty here? Is an essay boring then? Because that’s what an essay is: the ability to persuade and get what you
I’m told that I write funny. People laugh at my comments all the time, but I can’t say that I always understand why. Anyway, there is no point trying to dissect the why of a joke because then the joke is no longer funny.
Having attended writer’s conferences over the years, I encourage others to try it out. Those opportunities charged and inspired me and offered the push I needed to move on. It’s one thing to sign up and say you’re going; preparing oneself to get the most from the event is just as important.
I had read the book Pride and Prejudice, noting that the author, Jane Austen, didn’t give many visual cues as to clothing, body language or even where the scene was located. Instead, she focused more on dialogue. The movie, in contrast, contained a lot of visual cues, showing the Bennet family home, the family at dinner and dances. I particularly noticed subtle eye signals that the book didn’t convey: raised eyebrows, a terse look, and secret motions or glances between characters.
Kimberly Yuhl suggests you have eight words to capture your reader’s attention.
Rob Weatherhead states in the article, Say it Quick, Say it Well (please excuse the grammar), that the attention span of a modern internet consumer is short. “Studies have shown that 32% of consumers will start abandoning slow sites between one and five seconds.”
Francine Rivers authored more than 20 novels, all of them bestsellers.
Rivers dreamt of being a writer even as a young child. In university she moved towards making that dream happen by majoring in English. When she heard that publishers wanted romance novels, she went to work and wrote a few love stories. She submitted them for publication and amazingly, some of her work was published. She was hooked. From then on, writing became her life and her identity.
Recently I wrote a letter to a fellow writer who had become discouraged. How could I help her get her pen moving again—or her fingers to the keyboard? After thinking on it awhile, this is what I wrote:
Dear Discouraged Writer
There’s so much to learn, between writer’s guidelines and grammar and the struggle with making the words sound right, but if you’re comparing yourself with them, it will only make you feel bad. Every writer works hard, even the prolific author of the Harry Potter series who received many rejections before she broke into print. But what did I say about comparing oneself? Surely not to J. K. Rowling.
Dear Mica, Kiki, and Ellie,
I’m delighted with the latest stories you sent me! They are getting better all the time. I especially like the drawings that you made to illustrate them. I’m not at all surprised at how good your stories are, after all, you aren’t just any grandkids, you’re my grandkids.
I’m also glad that you’re each keeping a journal of daily happenings, and how you feel about them, and that you, Ellie, have started keeping a notebook of writing ideas. Way to go!
You’re so lucky that you can write everything on your laptops! For 30 years, I wrote daily dairies by hand. Then they finally invented laptops and I got one. I packed my diary notebooks in a large plastic bin with a sign on it, In Case of Fire, Grab This Bin and Run!