Monday, July 7, 2014

Land a Plane on an Aircraft Carrier

READING TIP - because reading, reading with awareness, is the best "how-to" available to a writer, occasionally I will be devoting a post to a particular book.  COMING SOON - The book posting will then be archived on the new Helpful Books page at (Webdiva Jane has not received all the information from me yet so the page is not up. I jumped the gun in telling you because I am so excited about it.)

Sometimes I read a book that is so exciting in some way that I want to tell you about it. To make that a better process, the sister website of this blog,, will soon have a page devoted entirely to book recommendations.

Don't dash out and buy these books. Most are available at a public library and you may want to read only a few pages in some of them. The books will be listed according to most recent posted.

The first book is one I found so exciting I actually read passages aloud to Gentleman Friend and then we talked about the great writing. The book is Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales.

This is a book you may not want to read in its entirety so in the description on the website, I have listed pages that give you a taste of the writing. Notice how the author creates powerful and vivid writing mainly by good reporting and strong word choice.


Just because we aren't writing about aircraft carrier pilots or mountain climbers, it doesn't mean we can't create strong writing. That doesn't mean over dramatizing; it means avoid cliches, avoid abstract terms, and avoid wordiness. Here's what makes this difficult. Choose meaningful details. Make your words do double duty; make them give additional information.

For example, a car might tell us something about you or your character. An over-70-year-old member of my writers group, drove a bright yellow Mustang convertible. I know another woman whose SUV has a dog kennel in back; she trains service dogs. Do you shop at Whole Foods, Aldi, or Price Chopper? Your choice tells us something about you.

Here is the Launching Pad -- Write a paragraph (or book or anything in between) about your everyday life. You might write about a trip to the grocery store or a trip to the dentist or baking a frozen pizza. Follow the example of Laurence Gonzales in his descriptions. What was your car like, what about the setting, what did you hear and feel? . Readers will go along with you and enjoy the trip.


Still feeling the effects of all the Fourth of July food? Let's keep it simple this week.

Fudgsicle<sup>®</sup> Low Fat Pops

Buy a box of Fudgsicles and call it done. Few calories or fat per serving and they are fun to eat.

Here is a question.  Our street has lots of children, five preschoolers in just the house next door and one across the street, so the street is definitely on the ice cream truck route.What do ice cream truck treats cost these days?

Learn more about making your writing interesting by looking in your Write Your Life Story in Eight Weeks Workbook, pp. 14-15. 

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