Monday, October 28, 2013

Transitions via Spooktoberfest

By M. J. Joachim

Today is the last day to enter Jackie and Dani’s Spooktoberfest blog hop. I had a wonderful time crafting my flash fiction entry for this event. One of the things I did was pop up my dictionary/thesaurus app to find the best descriptive words for my story. 

Writers often get into a habit of using the same old, comfortable words and phrases in their writing. While this adds to familiarity and clarity, it can also cause writing to become mundane and non-descriptive in a negative sort of way.

Using the proper tools enables us to expand our writing experience. It has the ability to ease us into transitions. Each paragraph in our work should be able to stand alone, while leading our audience toward something bigger and more intense. 

Think of it like climbing a mountain. The journey up begins slowly, drawing you more and more toward the peak, where you will experience the ultimate thrill. Perhaps it is a vast valley below, or maybe it is a panorama of more and more mountain peaks to climb. 

As you climb, your legs begin to grow weary, but you’re too invested and excited to stop. Then you reach the top, catch your breath and race toward the finish, or next chapter, as the case may be in manuscripts. Your adrenalin kicks into overdrive. You catch your breath, taking a moment to absorb all that you’ve experienced. Then you descend toward the valley below, either to embrace the final destination or to climb another mountain. 

Stories, regardless of length, transition smoothly from one phase to the next, capturing their readers with intensity, breaths of fresh air and a heart-stopping finale, leaving them satisfied and fulfilled. The task of writers is to manage expectations, create unforeseen experiences and tell a story that will long be remembered, well past the initial reading or experience of the audience who reads them. 

Thank you for visiting Writing Tips. I hope you’ll take time to read my entry in Spooktoberfest and share your thoughts about it in the comments. I spent a relaxing Sunday afternoon writing this story, letting down my guard and allowing it to take me deep into the hidden recesses of my mind. Writing it was quite the experience, I can assure you. 

How do you experience your writing, as you create the stories in your mind? Do you logistically plan each element beforehand, or do you let your story take you where it will? 

M. J.

©2013 All Rights Reserved

Friday, October 25, 2013

Betcha Never Thought about the Writing Process Like This Before

By M. J. Joachim

Anticipate, ruminate, rejuvenate – that’s all it takes to brainstorm a plethora of luxurious ideas
Bumpy, unscrupulous, disorderly and rude – blunt, obnoxious, defiantly scrawled without reason

Corrected, assessed and modified to perfection – analyzed, probed, dissected and inspected

Polished, abridged, pruned and reined in – managed, supervised, influenced and controlled

Announced, divulged, revealed and communicated – marketed, posted, sold and shared with the world

Along the way, pictures get formatted, screened and added, during any and every stage. 

What’s that you say? 

“Is it truly as easy as this?”
Why, yes of course! All it takes is a Thesaurus!
Best of the weekend to you all! Thank you for visiting Writing Tips!

M. J. 

©2013 All Rights Reserved

Photo credit: Luqa Primary, Public Domain

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

One Day at a Time - d'Verse

The creative expression in this poem is in the essence of reading it, line by line, starting with the 22nd and finishing the poem on the 31st. This poem was written in October, 2013, and this format seemed a good way to express myself at the time. It was also an exercise in creative writing and poetry.

©2015 All Rights Reserved by M. J. Joachim  Updated 11/5/15
Photo Credit:  Hapgood Pond, Green Mountain National Forest, U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, Public Domain

Monday, October 21, 2013

Educated Opinions and Why They Matter

By M. J. Joachim
Familiarizing yourself with a topic prior to writing about it is vitally important for all writers and publishers. It’s a bold statement, I know, especially because I’m making such a vast inclusion of everyone when I make it. Audiences, however, will thrive on the clarity expressed in your writing when you take the time to learn your topic well, thereby enabling yourself to share it effectively and efficiently with them.

Regardless of whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction material, there are a few things you can do to enhance your publications.

Study the Experts: Take the time to get to know the back argument of your topic. Educate yourself on both sides, to determine the general consensus of a debate. Then form your own opinion, using various resources and solid references to help back it up.

Clarify the Discussion: Many topics get over-crowded with opinion-based rhetoric based on judgments and opinions that pay little or no attention to facts. Boost your writing by including thoroughly researched material, expressing both pros and cons as to why your argument matters, and how your take on a topic might help or hurt the reader.

Impress and Engage Your Audience: Impress your audience with facts that matter to them personally. Ask yourself, “How do my readers benefit from what I’m writing?” and “Why should my readers care about what I am sharing with them in this work?” Get personal. Know your particular audience and address your work to them. 

Explain the Costs & Benefits: Be honest and clear in your explanation as to why your article or manuscript matter. However, avoid the pitfall of telling your audience what to think about your subject matter. Try to remember, if they’re smart enough to read your work, they’re smart enough to form an educated opinion of their own. 

While much of writing focuses on creative expression, learning how to improve your following by developing solid, well-researched material never hurt anyone. 

How much research do you conduct prior to writing and publishing a story or manuscript? Do you take time to research your blog posts, or are they more for writing off the cuff and on the fly? How has your own research positively or negatively affected your writing?

Thank you for visiting Writing Tips,

M. J. 

©2013 All Rights Reserved

Book Review: Easy Halloween Costumes, Edited by Wade Wilgus

by M. J. Joachim
The creativity and ingenuity shared in Easy Halloween Costumes is unbelievably satisfying. There is something for everyone in this variety filled book of do-it-yourself costumes, all of which can easily be made in time for Halloween this year. 

Note: At least one of two of the costumes shared are a little risqué, and therefore not appropriate for children. However, there are plenty of kid friendly projects. I simply wouldn’t give this book to a child unsupervised. That’s all. 

While I didn’t take the time to make any of these costumes myself, I did process their steps in my mind, following them through with the numerous pictures provided for each project. As a blogger who has had success providing my own crochet tutorials, I’m familiar with providing extreme detail, as well as pictures to help clarify and simplify the process for anyone wanting to make what is shared. 

Easy Halloween Costumes has clear instructions; it also uses easy to access materials for the most part. However, when necessary, the instructor includes added information on how to procure required supplies. The book includes numerous pictures; photography work in some of the projects needs a bit of work. In a few projects, photos were dark and/or blurry. 

Overall, I had more than a little bit of fun browsing the many excellent Halloween costume ideas shared in Easy Halloween Costumes. If you’re looking for something to wear this year, or hoping to win a contest, this is a good resource to consider for ideas. Easy Halloween Costumes will definitely be added to my Recommended Reading list. 

What do you plan to be for Halloween this year? Have you ever entered a Halloween contest? Did you win? What’s your favorite Halloween memory?

Thank you for visiting Writing Tips.

M. J.

©2013 All Rights Reserved

No part of this book review may be reprinted without permission. Links to this post are more than a little appreciated. Thank you!

Book Review: Tommy Goes Trick-or-Treating – A Bird Brain Book

By M. J. Joachim
Author: Emlyn Chand
Illustrator: Noelle Giffin
Tommy the Woodpecker and Michael the Raccoon are two mischievous, unlikely friends in this Halloween children’s tale of tricks, treats, problems and lessons learned. Together they set out on an adventure to figure out what this Halloween thing is all about. Together they discover, it is much more than they bargained for, especially when a little too much ambition (or greed) enter the mix.

Amidst fine-tuned storytelling and excellent pictorials, you can’t help but enjoy the antics of Tommy and Michael, even if you do get a little perturbed at their methods. Just when you’ve about had enough of these two, they start feeling the pains (literally) of their labor. The story unfolds into a very positive Halloween message for our young ones.

Tommy Goes Trick-or-Treating is a delightful story to read to wee little ones, letting them gaze at the pictures and verbalize what is happening in the story. It is also a wonderful story for grade-schoolers, who might get overly caught up in the thrill of raking in so much candy on Halloween. 

Librarians might find it a perfect book to share for Story Time. Do librarians read electronic books to kids these days? It’s been so long, but I hope libraries have taken this initiative, investing in the necessary computer equipment to share some of the wonderful children’s stories available in ebook formats. If not, they can also get it in hardcover and paperback.

Tommy Goes Trick-or-Treating easily makes my Recommended Reading list. 

Do you think libraries should make it easier for kids to read level appropriate ebooks? Should they set up special computer rooms, where kids can read ebooks online, and should librarians incorporate ebooks into their story hours?
Thank you for visiting Writing Tips.

M. J. 

©2013 All Rights Reserved
No part of this book review may be reprinted without permission. Links to this post are more than a little appreciated. Thank you.