Check out “Writerish Ramblings”–Write Anything Wednesdays

http://www.wordpress.writerishramblings.com

Once upon a time the world had to write with chisel and hammer upon stone.
Then the quill and ink emerged on papyrus, working fingers to the bone.
The typewriter was such a time-saving machine.
But knowing how far we’ll evolve remains to be seen.
It takes your breath away!
For each new day brings a new way
For writers of thoughts and feelings to display
Their words, art, and creativity, capturing all we have to say.

This is a great website to checkout: “Writerish Ramblings” has challenges for writers, words of wisdom, and wonderful blogs. I suggest you join her fun and serious ramblings. I wrote this short poem for a recent Write Anything Wednesdays. I would like to share it with everyone, and thank The Rambler for an inspiring blog!

Deborah A. Bowman

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Writing Trends for Today’s Readers

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What’s in your library?

What separates Deborah A. Bowman from many other authors and editors is her monthly newsletter and blog which reflect her current life experiences. Her most recent book “Quill and Ink…” takes on today’s challenges of recognition and distribution in an eBook world.

Deborah knows the right format to match the writer’s intention to the reader’s expectations.

Sid, International Business Development and Marketing Specialist

The Challenges of Proofreading and How to Express Yourself in the Use of Words

Ever Wish You Had Another Pair of Fresh Eyes?
Ever Wish You Had Another Pair of Fresh Eyes?

Unfortunately, a new pair of glasses won’t change your preconceived judgments, criticism, and bad habits. You just can’t wipe away a lifetime of engrained programming.

Editing and proofreading is a learned skill. You train your physical eyes to see errors, typos, and inconsistencies–things that just don’t make sense or are contradictory to previously stated fact or fiction. This is a different skill set than reading. You have to slow down, read each word separately, then each phrase or clause, making sure it’s a complete sentence, and check the construction of the sentence to make sure the objects, prepositions, verb tenses, and subject(s) are in a logical parallel pattern. Lastly, you go back to the beginning of the sentence, paragraph, or piece to check the validity of the statement in conjunction with  the rest of the facts in an expository or the forward progressive action in fiction.

Your mind’s eye is a little harder to train. The mind’s eye is a collection of programmed data that has been input into cellular, organic gray matter since the day you were born. The conflicting material is a little overwhelming, to say the least. The number of times you’ve spelled or used a word incorrectly may far outweigh the times you’ve seen it correctly. So what’s going to pop up in your database, the brain, when you do a search/retrieve? The wrong, more plentiful data, of course. But a firm, conscious override of what has been programmed previously will stick, if only you could see with fresh, uncensored eyes.

The training begins anew, guiding your physical eyes to notice things you would normally just read right over, especially if it’s your own writing. Those of you who’ve read my editing/proofreading tips before know that I’m a firm believer that you cannot peruse your own writing for errors, typos, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies. What’s engrained in your computer database or brain is what you think is there, not necessarily what your physical eyes are seeing. A professional editor is still your best investment, but there are a few tricks that can fool the physical eye into seeing what is really there and not what your mind’s eye perceives. This would be like fresh data to the brain.

  1. Read sections, sentences, paragraphs out of order. I’ve known many proofreaders who read things backwards, sometimes one letter at a time.This, of course, only works for catching typos and errors. Inaccuracies and inconsistencies won’t be seen if you’re reading in  nonsensical fashion. This process works best if you’re reading/spelling aloud with two people swapping off and reading to each other. Two heads are better than one? Two sets of eyes and ears are even better!
  2. Your Kindle, e-reader or app can change-up your writing to make it appear somewhat fresh by enlarging the text, changing the font or typeface, changing the color, and especially switching the background to black with white type. Sometimes that’s just the ticket to make errors pop!
  3. If the eyes and brain are programmable, data-driven organs, use something else, like auditory. Use your Kindle or computer voice to read to you. A multitude of errors and misspellings can be heard in awkward phrasing, mispronunciations. Extra words, doubled words, left out words, wrong words are very noticeable in auditory.
  4. Using a professional editor or proofreader is always, still, your best bet. Spell-cheek, grammar-check, and so-called editing or grammar software packages are as finite as your operating system. If it makes a word, it makes logical computer sense to a computer. That does not make it the right word. Nor does it catch inverted construction (different languages have different sentence construction),  repeated words, left out words, and will never pick-up inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and errors in content.

The last item I’d like to share is cadence. Have you ever read some authors where the words just glide through your mind with flowing, almost poetic smoothness? Edgar Allen Poe was the master at this. Poets are known for keeping the cadence rhythmic. But this idea of fluidity can be applied to any type of writing–business, technical, essays, academic papers, and especially advertising and promotional media. Read your own writing back to yourself aloud, record it, listen to it in your own voice and inflection. Is it catchy, creative, smooth, persuasive, dramatic?

Other Points to Consider: Have you used the same word or words too repetitively? That gets boring to read very quickly. Do you have trouble reading an awkward sentence? Does it make logical sense or is it too rambling, ambiguous, losing momentum and cadence?  Is it too long, too short; are you too repetitious in your ideas? Does each sentence have a subject, a verb, and an object or predicate? Do you have your clarifying remarks in the correct order? Does the entire piece have a dominant theme, supporting material, and a conclusion? Then look at each paragraph under the same premise–an opening sentence, substantiated information, and a conclusion that is linked to the theme. Paragraphs are just mini essays that support the whole concept.

Writing is considered a free expression of thought and creativity, but if you want to make your point, there are tried-and-true steps to follow to get that point across.

Design your writing with your words, an expression of yourself!
Design your writing with your words, an expression of yourself!

Best wishes on manuscripts and media that say much about you, the writer, in subtle clarity that speaks for itself.

Deborah A Bowman

The Grueling Art of Storytelling.

What is the reader thinking in the trapped pages of a forgotten volume of antiquity?
What is the reader thinking in the trapped pages of a forgotten volume of antiquity?

This summer I have committed myself to finish a historical fiction novel that has been on the back burner so long that not only has the pot burned through, it has rusted into decay. The story, however, begs to be told.

It all started in a certification course I attended on Advanced Clinical Psychological Hypnotherapy. An age regression experiment without forethought or coercion turned into a past-life regression, if you believe in such spiritual phenomena, which at the time I most certainly did not!

Now I have to accept that such hypotheses could have merit or maybe it’s a story whose time has come, and it has floated down through the centuries, landing and taking root in my mind. Whatever the case, the story and characters who have lived with me for so long are demanding to be set free.

I have lived this story a thousand times in my dreams and imagination with the sequence of events never altering. Should be easy to pen upon paper, right? Well, maybe not.

Since some actual historical facts entered my consciousness–like the name of a town that I didn’t even know existed; the ancestry of a forgotten family that lined up perfectly with the events of the story; or the older gentleman, a tour guide, in a seaport of renowned antiquity telling me the words I needed to hear to verify my research.

ancient manuscript

This, of course, has led to more research, more corresponding facts, and a whole world of possibilities. Maybe too many possibilities.

Hence, has been my dilemma for not merely years, but decades. Every time I start to put pen to paper or watch words come to life on a blank lit screen, I wonder “what if?” and “what have I left out?” I always end up going back to the proverbial drawing board.

“But not this time!” I declared. I’ll just get the story down and iron it out once it’s all on printed bond paper, doublespaced, of course. Yet every time I look into the mirror, who do I see looking back at me? Myself or my character, a former version of myself? It deepens your beliefs on spiritual matters, but it also leads to more questions with no answers or perhaps, too many answers.

What I really wanted to share in this blog today is the writer’s mind, the writing process. Those who do not write believe that being a fiction writer is such an easy task. After all, you can make up a story anyway you choose, go off on a tangent, change your mind in midstream, develop the plot as you go along. Not so, my dear friends. There has to be logical correlations, realism, and realistic emotions, dialogue and conclusions. The words do not miraculously appear on the page in the correct order with the right terminology. Writers agonize over adjectives (are there too many or not enough?); change nouns and verbs and subjects of clauses and prepositions; and the most grueling of all, “Will the readers ‘get it’?” “Will someone else understand what I’m trying to say?”

Writing is grueling and rewriting even more so, but it’s the most glorious, inspiring expression of self that can be released from your soul! I wouldn’t trade my need to write, to create, to express, for anything else in the world! Even if no one else ever reads it…

The quill and pen has come a long way, but the writer's thought processes, the human element, cannot be automated!
The quill and pen has come a long way, but the writer’s thought processes, the human element, cannot be automated!

For Once (giggle), I Couldn’t Have Said It Better Myself! Why Readers Become Writers…

Sometimes reality is over-rated anyway...
Sometimes reality is over-rated anyway…

I love the line about “Plot Bunnies”! I must give credit to Writer’s Circle.

One of my dear friends says I’m Schizophrenic, but in a good way… It’s all those voices in my head of all those characters shouting for attention. I know I’m going to get the characters from different books yet to be written mixed up, and there will be a modern character teamed up with someone from 250 years ago. Oh, wait a minute, I just wrote that book…

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TVULOQY

Delilah, Astral Investigator, Infinity Series, Episode One, The Boy and the Shopkeeper

Delilah, Front and Back Cover Wraparound, not printed on white, printed on beige, aged parchment.
Delilah, Front and Back Cover Wraparound, not printed on white, printed on beige, aged parchment.

This is a real odd blog for even me to write! I had no rhyme or reason…I just wanted to share the words from Writer’s Circle, and this was where I ended up. Let me know if anyone wants a free “gifted” copy to do a review. It’s not long…22,000 words.