Featured Post

Enter my Get Followers Giveaway and win a copy of DOUBLE PLAY

I'm so close to 1000 followers on Twitter! Follow, enter here, and tweet about it to win a copy after I get 1000 followers! a Raffle...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Variety Guest Post: Introducing the "Sweet Peas in a Writer Podcast"

In an effort to mix and mingle in a rather personal way with their readers, author Theresa Sneed and author Betsy Love are spearheading a new and exciting writer podcast called, Sweet Peas in a Writer Podcast, which airs April 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm, with new podcasts following every Wednesday. Theresa and Betsy will have recorded a month of podcasts before the first one airs and are covering topics such as brainstorming for book ideas, the writing process, and not waiting—but making time to write. Their intention is to take their readers from the beginning of finding ideas, creating captivating storylines, and the importance of revising and editing, all the way through publishing and marketing their work. Each podcast is around fifteen minutes in length and comes with a writing tip and a writing challenge for the week. The third Wednesday of each month is a live podcast with a variety of guests like,  Linda Mulleneaux, editor for Walnut Springs;  Marsha Ward, author, and creator of ANWA; author, Amanda Sowards; and Lisa Mangum, author, and editor at Deseret Book, among others. All podcasts will be transcribed and posted along with the links for each podcast at sweetpeasinawriterpodcast.blogspot.com.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Winners of the March Hop!

First off thank you to EVERYONE who participated. I love doing blog hops because I get lots of fun comments and new followers! Woo-hoo! And now for the winners. 

The winner of "A Life of My Own" by Lisa McKendrick is
Stephanie Ward
And the winner of "Sweep" by Cate Tiernan is
Barbara Butler
Congrats, guys. I'll be contacting you via email to get your shipping addresses. And thanks again for all the participation. We'll have another hop soon! :D

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Words to Write By: "Never Annoy Your Readers"

It's so simple. Yet so hard to follow.

In my very first edition of Writer's Digest to arrive at my door is an excellent article. I dog eared every page of the article and marked up several lines of invaluable advice. One of them got double underlined.

"Never annoy your readers." Steven James, Writer's Digest p. 22-25, Mar/Arp 2012
I agree wholeheartedly. I've also done it. Annoyed my readers, that is. I remember my friend Tracy giving me back her critique of the umpteenth draft of Bloom and begging me in a clearly annoyed voice {well, that's what I picture. It was a conversation via email}, "Why, why can't Finna and Liam be together? Why can't they at least kiss?"

Indeed, why not? Of course I had my reasons, but as a discussion with Tracy ensued, I realized that keeping them (relationship-wise) apart didn't mean I had to frustrate dear people like Tracy.

James goes on to write,
"Sometimes I read books in which the author withholds key information  from readers, presumably in an effort to create suspense. But failing to give readers what they want doesn't create suspense, it causes dissatisfaction."
I don't know how many times I've lamented with a writer over the fine line we, as authors, have to walk between giving too much information (if I had a nickel for every time a critiquer wrote "cut back story" in my MS's . . .) and not giving enough.

So what's the solution? One more bit of advice from James' article:
"As you write, constantly ask yourself what the readers want at this moment of the story. Then, give it to them--or surprise them with something even better."

Monday, March 19, 2012

March Spring Cleaning Give-Away Hop!


It's SPRING! Which means time for some spring cleaning and some book recycling.

I'm offering the chance to win TWO books:
"A Life of My Own" by Lisa McKendrick
"Sweep" by Cate Tiernan.

So there will be TWO winners (or one obscenely lucky person will win two books . . . )
Your required entry is to follow me in some way (except in person. I enjoy stalking myself but don't enjoy it being done to me.)
1. This Blog (either through GFC or Networked Blogs)
2. Friend me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/raneesclark
3. Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/RaneeSClark

You can get additional entries by:
1. Sharing the giveaway
2. Leaving a comment and stating  what post (or series of posts) on this blog has benefited you most.

And DON'T Forget to check out the other links and giveaways here.
Happy Hopping!

TBR Notice: Deeanne Gist

A Bride Most Begrudging & The Measure of a Lady by Deeanne Gist 
I read "Maid to Match" by Ms. Gist because my mom recommended it and I LOVED it. Ms. Gist just writes a good romance--a good historical romance, which I always drool over. I noticed these two books at my local thrift store, and when I recognized the author name, snatched them babies right off the shelf.
Buy the books.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Variety: Personal Essay by Me

Just a few years ago--really--when I was in college, I took a creative non-fiction class. It really pushed me. My voice is not meant for non-fiction. My voice is quirky and fictional and very commercial, so non-literary. I've known about my non-literary voice for a long time. I'm okay with it. But then I had to take creative non-fiction and figure out what my literary voice was. 

So below is an excerpt of an essay written about the birth of my first child. I laughed as I read it because I think it might be the most complete description of that very long moment that I have.

Untitled Personal Essay
by Ranee` S. Clark
Written March 2007

When I think about the less-than-blissful hours I spent in labor with A.J., I don’t just wonder, I seriously question how I actually came through it alive, or for that matter, why I’ll even consider doing it again! Nobody wants to hear a story about thirty minutes of labor and a six pound baby.  Nine pounds, six ounces, that’s a good story. A kid with a head as big as his chest (fourteen inches)? That’s something people’s ears perk up for. Twenty-one hours of labor that climaxed in a full two hours of pushing? That is a good story.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Trust your editor, Trust yourself

Here's something you probably didn't know about me: when I'm getting ready to send out a manuscript I've just finished editing, I freak out a little. A million things go through my head. What if they hate it? What if they ignore everything I marked? Worse . . . what if they change everything I marked?

It's true. I have a pretty high opinion of my opinion. But as an editor, I'm constantly telling clients "if it changes your meaning, your voice, your story, my opinion is wrong." Seriously. If you've done critiques, been critiqued, read up on how to write well you know the {rules}. Show don't tell, get rid of adverbs, pace the writing, start off with a hook . . . you get it. If you've read, you know that everyone breaks the rules.

The biggest rule is finding a balance. When a client gets a manuscript back from me they see a lot of red. Both literally and probably figuratively. That's because I take it upon myself to mark every thing I see, to question everything I question. The reasoning--not to cut my writers down, but to give them options. You might disagree with 99% of what I suggested and the one percent change might be minimal. And that's your call. Mignon Fogerty, a.k.a. Grammar Girl, said, ". . . learning to use your judgment is part of finding your voice and becoming a better writer."

So trust yourself. Seriously.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Author Interview: Becca Wilhite, author of "My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions"

 BTW, a {resounding} thank you to Becca for being so willing to participate! Expect great things from this.

Me: Sarah has a fantastic, fun, witty voice. Is she (or her story) inspired by a real person or real events? If not, how did she come to be?
Becca Wilhite:Sarah is NOT ME. But she feels like me. I was the insecure-to-the-point-of-obnoxious girl, in high school and at the university. I got over it. (Not in such a dramatic way, though.) The British voices in her head are mine, too -- squabbling ladies reminding me that I'm not as normal as I'd like people to think I am.

TBR Notice: The Silence of God

The Silence of God by Gail Sears
When I get the Deseret Book catalog in my house, I go through it and rip out all the pages with books I'm interested in. This one caught my eye because I have a secret love of history. And who can resist turn of the century Russia? Well, not me apparently. This little gem went on sale at Deseret Book for $6.99 and you better believe I snatched it right up.
Buy the book.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: "My Ridiculous Romantic Obsession" by Becca Wilhite

So honestly? This book doesn't need a whole review. It needs one word: fantastic. Except it worries me that you won't all run out and buy it on just that word. (Someday you'll all trust my impeccable taste enough to follow me anywhere.) But do go out and buy it. Like now. And while you're waiting for it to ship (if that's what you have to do), read the review.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Variety Excerpt: "Dark Days of Promise" by Shaunna Gonzales

I am SO excited about today's Variety Excerpt from Shaunna. I got to help Shaunna as a beta-reader for "Dark Days of Promise" way back, so it's so exciting for me to see the fruits of Shaunna's labors be successful. "Dark Days of Promise" will be released on September 21, 2012 by Desert Breeze Publishing, but because Shaunna's such a good writing friend of mine, we get a sneak peak to whet your appetite!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

TBR Notice: Courting Miss Lancaster

Courting Miss Lancaster by Sarah M. Eden
Do I really need to explain this choice? Have you not read my reviews of Sarah's books yet? Have you been paying attention here at all?? "Courting Miss Lancaster" is the last of Miss Eden's books I have left to read. I keep trying to shuffle it to the bottom of the pile since I expect it will be another year before there's another one to horde and giggle over. I should savor it. Somehow it keeps climbing back to the top . . .
Buy the book.
Learn more about Sarah.

Monday, March 5, 2012

National Grammar Day Contest Winner!

The winner of the National Grammar Day Contest is . . . 

Sherry Gammon!

Congrats, Sherry! You win a FREE Line & Content Editing Combo that doesn't expire until December 31, 2012. 

And thanks to all of you who entered.

Words to Write By: Clear & Concise Writing

I've posted about clearing out words that simply clutter up your writing here and here. The point of those posts were to emphasize the importance of presenting clean writing. Here's another reason: it makes your writing weaker when you use unnecessary words, especially adverbs.

Consider this, from Mignon Fogerty, better known on this blog as Grammar Girl:

Look for single-word modifiers that don't enhance your meaning, such as “very,” “really,” “totally,” “quite,” “actually,” “already,” “fairly,” and “much.” You may have seen ads touting a “very unique” product that's “really special” and comes with an “added bonus,” though it may be “currently unavailable.” Words like “very” are unnecessary and frequently redundant: If something is unique, then by definition it's one-of-a-kind; it can't be “more” one-of-a-kind.Copywriters insert these words for emphasis, but the result can be less emphatic and effective.

It's worth heading over and listening to the whole podcast.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Variety: Short Story "Roller Rink Guy" by Jennifer Griffith

Jennifer Griffith is the author of the upcoming BIG IN JAPAN, a sumo wrestler love story, as well as three other published novels. She's also an award winning poet and essayist. She received first place in the Arizona American Mothers, Inc., 2010 essay contest, and second place in the national American Mothers Essay Contest. She writes a book review column for the local newspaper and is a member of the American Night Writers Association. She's working on a fifth novel and a children's book.

About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...