Writing thoughts

My last post was hastily put up after we’d had the grand children to stay for their holiday. Soon afterwards, I re-read some of Fran’s report that she’d sent, and I realized that I hadn’t taken any of her advice, so shall re-post the first chapter after a little consideration. It seems an endless task re-editing as it could be seen as a life-long task! I hope not.  I seem to tell rather than show!

Yesterday I received a photo- copy of a letter from my cousin Helen, written by my paternal grandmother dated 3rd October 1945, and she died three weeks later on October 16th. This was four months before I was born, so of course, there’s a reason I couldn’t remember her!  So the first post needs altering too.

Responses to my letters:

The Railways, Myki, polite but totally useless.

From the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat, thanking me for my letter and saying    that it will be brought to the attention of the Council for the Order of Australia.  A copy of the Constitution of the Order of Australia which also contains the Terminations and Cancellations Ordinance can be found on the Governor General’s website www.gg.gov.au

Nothing from the football club!

My poems about ‘Hats’ amused the children whilst they were staying and I took many photos in the hope that a children’s book may eventuate.  Here is a photo to brighten the page.

Mackenzie and Jack

Mackenzie and Jack

A snippet from Fran Macdonald’s report may be of interest to some of you:

Under: General tips for writing

Show don’t tell

This is the big one, and has many components, as follows:

  • Describe what’s going on rather than stating it. For instance,

‘He stamped out’, rather than ‘He walked out angrily’.

  • Learn to use dialogue. For instance, ‘Get out at once,’ he said, rather than ‘He told them to leave.’
  • Let the facts speak for themselves rather than give your judgment on them. For instance, ‘Mrs. Bunting chopped a slab of steak for Snookles, which he tried to grab off the bench before she’d finished’, rather than ‘The dog was spoilt.’
  • Watch over use of adjectives and, especially, adverbs. Stephen King, the best –selling author, advises writers to take out every adverb in a novel. On the other hand, Dylan Thomas used adjectives and adverbs prodigiously. That said, it is a pretty sure sign that you’re ‘telling rather than ‘showing’ if you tend to use adverbs. Make sure your adjectives and adverbs are really the best words you need.

Re-reading this makes me realize how far there is to go and that just letting the writing flow, isn’t enough.  That’s just the beginning.

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