Stick Figures

NJRW’s Put Your Heart in a Book Conference ROCKED!

imageSomewhere between grading, lesson plans, curriculum, and the general pull-my-hair-out stress that comes with the beginning of the school year, I lost myself.

All that was left of me dissolved into my job.  Still–and I hold true to this–never a day without a word!  I crawl into bed exhausted, cuddle up with a notebook, and write, write, write because there is no therapy like word therapy.  I have literally been sleeping with notebooks.

But today…I got to wear my writer’s hat in the daylight.

The expertise and enthusiasm of the presenters at our workshops gave me the little kick I needed to get back on the book train. There are too many “best parts” to count, but Roxanne St. Claire’s workshop on scene revision definitely resonated with me.  We share a similar revision process which I won’t go into detail about, but it was good to hear that I’m not the only one who stops in the middle of her first draft and goes back to rewrite it from the top.

On that note, I’m returning to my latest WIP, mid-draft revising it for the second time and writing (finally!) to the end. So here’s to finding myself again, buried deep in the words.

Have you ever been to a writing conference?  If so, what’s the best piece of advice you learned there?

Michelle Joyce Bond

Stick Figures

OMG, Word Space!

imageWord space = the amount of space in a text that passes before a given word pops up again

Listening to books on disc in your car that have not been revised for word space = you flailing your arms and shouting obscenities while pedestrians stare in bewilderment

Imagine, if you will, that all words have a unique charge.  They push away from each other, so you can’t have too many of them in the same page or even in the same chapter.  The exceptions to this rule include articles, pronouns, and other frequently used words that are basic to the reader’s comprehension.  Almost every other word, like voice for instance, needs to be handled with care.

Terrible example:

“Are you going to kiss me now?” Ronald asked in a husky voice.

Burger’s voice dropped in pitch. “Oh yes.”

“Then why,” Ronald started, his voice catching, “don’t you take off that box and come over here?” *end scene*

Granted, the book playing in my car had a good enough plot to get me through dialogue like this (something much more riveting than burger love), but every time a word got repeated, I felt like digging my fingernails into the dashboard.

People please REVISE FOR WORD SPACE!  Otherwise, I swear, I’ll go flying off a cliff.

Michelle Joyce Bond