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California, United States
I'm a wife, mom, mom-in-law, grandma, and writer. To read more, visit :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 48

Saturday, October 30, 2010. . .
            THE WRITING. . .Characters nip at the edges of my imagination, gearing up for full-on reunion in the coming days.
            Picked up the following quote found by my daughter. It’s basically all we fiction writers (who do not want to step into Flannery O’Connor-size shoes) need to know.
Kurt Vonnegut’s “Creative Writing 101:”
1.              Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
2.              Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
3.              Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
4.              Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
5.              Start as close to the end as possible.
6.              Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
7.              Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
8.              Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
“The greatest American short story writer of my generation was Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964). She broke practically every one of my rules but the first. Great writers tend to do that.”

            I’m not quite sold on #8.  =)
THE DETAILS. . .Visited an amazing Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at the Science Center. One room was devoted to the Mona Lisa. There was an unframed replica and huge displays of it in the original color and what it is today. Other rooms contained replicas of his creations such as a tank and a bullet (it is said he was a pacifist) and flying machines and submarine and countless tools and other machines. It seems he had a hand in some way in most inventions that impact our lives today.


  1. After reading your last series of books and "Ransomed Dreams", I would have to say that I like the suspense that you build in your novels. It seems that you tend to reveal just enough at the right times, but not all the details up front. This is the part of your writing that keeps me up until 2:00 a.m. reading when I know I should really be sleeping instead of trying to figure out what the characters will do next - and I love every minute of it!

  2. =) Exactly my thoughts on not revealing too much. Why else would we love to keep reading?