Why some TV shows rock

Some shows on TV are awesome. Big Bang’s popularity went through the roof with watchers and Modern Family was unknown one day and famous the next. It got me thinking, why are they such a hit? Well, there’s the acting, which is really great but, in my humble opinion, I think it’s the writing.

Check out this post on this exact subject for Modern Family.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1442437/reviews

“…Witty, dry, smart, outlandish, silly, clever, cute, sarcastic, subtle, not-so subtle. HILARIOUS.” That has to be the writing.

And look at this other review, this time for the Big Bang:

http://ca.ign.com/articles/2007/09/28/the-big-bang-theory-pilot-review

“The writing in this episode was some of the best we’ve seen in a standard sitcom in some time — it’s very smart….If the writing remains at the level seen in the pilot, we’re certain the show will continue to be worth watching.”

I find this fascinating. If good writing can help elevate a show, it can certainly do the same for a book. And good humour is very hard to write well.

I like to add humour into my books. I like to think it adds a little something to help the reader keep interested. Sitcoms like the Big Bang and Modern Family are great teaching tools because of their amazing writing.

So really, I’m not watching TV. I’m researching. ūüėÄ

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Ranting about perfection

I’ve always been driven. Even as a kid, I¬†always tried harder.¬†The problem isn’t that I need to¬†try harder, the problem is that I want perfection. I stare at the scene I’ve written and shake my head in despair. Absolute garbage! Delete button, here I go.

I found this article by Joe Bunting titled The Myth of Perfection¬†on The Write Practice. It was actually really helpful because he starts by saying: you’re never going to be perfect.¬†For me, that was great news because it set me free. I can accept it and try to do a good job, not a perfect job.

When I look forward, I get overwhelmed. I think¬†of the odds against me and they seem insurmountable. It helps if I look back. Once, I didn’t speak English. I wrote and didn’t believe I’d ever get published.¬†I’ve written a book, I have another on the works.

Maybe I need to embrace Good Enough and kick Perfection in the butt.

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If you could…

I read a fantastic post by¬†¬†on Writer Unboxed. It’s a letter to her younger, writer self. It’s a beautiful letter (read it here), really well written but what inspired me was the concept.

I think the idea originally came from this post in So You’re a Writer. I thought it was a beautiful¬†thought.

Once upon a time, you were a young reader who wrote for fun. Writing for publication was a distant, daring dream you had hidden deep in your soul. You didn’t think of yourself as a writer because you weren’t published. You wondered if you would make it, if you had what it took. You read like crazy and you wrote. Most of all, you loved to write.

What would you say to that young writer? If you could go back in time, what would you tell him or her?

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Just keep writing…Keep writing…

I want to write, I do, but there are days when I don’t. I have a lot of excuses (We’re selling our house, the dogs (both) are shedding their coats and we have a fruit fly infestation) but the truth is I have trouble getting down to it.

I found these post particularly helpful to get my butt into the chair.

Claire Cook recommends breaking it down. She says she writes two pages a day. Just two but she does that come rain or shine and it keeps the story moving forward.

Annabel Candy wrote this one on her favourite motivation tips. Only six and they’re awesome.

This one is 31 ways to find Inspiration for your writing by Leo Babauta.

But since I’m writing this post, it’s pretty obvious that I’m not working on my WIP. Nuts.

What about you? Do you have favourite ways to make sure you keep writing?

Writing tips

Great posts with fantastic tips. Check out the little blurbs to see if they’re for you. My hope is that they help you find your personal writing muse.

We all get Writer’s Block.¬†From a bad review, a nasty comment or just simply a bad day, doubt can creep up on us and destroy any and all inspiration. If you’re there, check out¬†this post. It won’t magically fix everything, but if nothing else, you’ll know you’re not alone. A big thanks to Positive Writer for the inspirational post.

One thing that I play around with are the subplots. I love taking a chance with a risky theme or a quirky character in a subplot. But there are limits, because I don’t want to destroy a good story with a terrible subplot.¬†Here¬†is an excellent guide for those subplots. A fantastic article from¬†Live Write Thrive.

We’ve been told prologues aren’t good, but why?¬†Kristen Lamb¬†details the pros and cons in her excellent post:¬†the seven deadly sins of Prologues. So enlightening!

Everyone has their own way of writing, but if you’re into plots and outlines, here‘s a guide on how to do that well. A big thank you to The Beginning Writer¬†for the great post!

If you’re dreading that first scene and just can’t find the words, here‘s a few tips on how to do just that from¬†Jodie Renner. A big thank you to Crime Fiction Collective for the great post!

For those of us who are having trouble getting into that chair and writing, a great tip to find that focus before you write from Writerology.

Finally, one quote to inspire you,

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And one to make you laugh,

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On writing contests

I’ve entered writing contests…and wonder about the entire process.

It turns out, the judges are not paid. They’re volunteers who can be anyone from an editor to a reader–at times not even a reader of your genre. The entire process can be really¬†biased.

At the same time, for a very small fee, you get several readers who will tell you honestly what they think of your writing–with a breakdown. It’s incredibly valuable.

If you’re considering entering one or are simply curious, check out this amazing post by a judge herself,¬†Fae Rowen.¬†She also wrote this other one on the same subject: Writing contests: heaven or hell.

If you have entered and your head is still spinning from a nasty comment,¬†you can check out this insightful post by Inky Tavern on¬†reviews and how biased they are. Though her post isn’t¬†about contests, the concept applies to contests just as well.

If you’ve never heard of them, here’s the biggest one of them all: The Golden Heart Award by RWA¬†and a little one I entered in Canada: The Romance Writers of Toronto: The Catherine Contest.

Coffee and writing

Coffee and writing go hand in hand. I certainly love a hot cup when I start typing away.

Turns out, I’m not alone. This post rounded up a group of famous quotes about this exact point from¬†famous writers. Everyone from Albert Camus to Louisa May Alcott is in there.¬†A big thank you to Writers Write for that great post!

 

How about you? Do you reach for a cup when you sit to write? It’s early morning here, so I’m hoping you have a nice full one. I certainly do. ūüôā

Writing tips!

Found a whole gaggle of writing posts that might just come in handy to all the authors out there.

1. Before you send out your query letter or your manuscript, read¬†this checklist. Don’t make the mistake I did and mess up your blog address or their name (yikes!). A big thank you to¬†Chuck Sambuchino¬†for the great post!

2. If you’re trying to meet word goals, read this article on how to write faster–and better too! A great post by¬†.

3. If you have trouble meshing time passing in your novel, check out these great tips on how to do it seamlessly. A big thank you to C.S. Lankin.

4. For those of us who write romance, this is a great one to add some spice to our novels. Writing good chemistry and sexual tension are easier said than done. Check out this how-to post by one of the experts, Susan Squires.

5. You need a great start-up line? You need a hook to end your chapter? Look no further. Monica M. Clark has done all the hard work for us. Check out this great post on hooks to keep even the most indifferent reader turning those pages.

Here’s hoping you can use these! ūüôā

Writing just for you

I don’t just write my books, I also write for me. I write to clear my head, I write to process an issue, I write to figure out my ideas, I write to ‘get it out’ and I write for fun.

Like most writers, I started writing when I was very young and the habit has stuck. Writing has helped me deal with issues and loss, it helps me cope with those things today still. When I have a big decision (selling our house!), I sit and write pros and cons. When we lost our beloved Lobo, writing him a letter telling him how much I missed him helped me let him go. Sure, I write my books, but writing is also a tool that helps me ground myself and keep balance.

Of course, I found a post that explains the benefits of writing. And another, and another¬†and another. They claim that writing makes you happier, more intelligent, more persuasive…The benefits go on and on.

Do you write for fun? Do you journal? Would you say it makes you happier? Relaxes you? More intelligent? ūüôā

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