Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Writing Took a Back Seat

The last two weeks have not been good for my writing at all. I'm about 1/3 into my next Rocky Bluff but many, many things have interfered with the writing.

I had to judge some manuscripts for a contest--and that was interesting. The first one I read was marvelous. Excellent writing, different plot and a joy to read. Second book was great too, some minor errors but not much. Then came the not-so-good--and one that's was just plain awful.

I've judged a lot of books and unpubbed manuscripts over the years. Some of them make me wonder if they've ever read a book--or even the guidelines of how to format a manuscript. Did they look up words to make sure they used the right one for what they meant? Have they ever heard that an exclamation point after nearly every sentence doesn't make things better? And elllipses covering every page--what's that about?

Using every synonym in the dictionary for said and asked drives me crazy.  And boring dialogue that does nothing to move the story along.

And of course, the biggest problem so many new writers have, point-of-view. Head jumping from one character to another--and none of the characters have been developed enough to be more than a name.

Anyway, that took up lots of time. I had to decide which ones would win  and write something encouraging for each--and tell them what needed to be fixed.

And then family events came along. Not complaining about them because they were beautiful, heartwarming and fun. Grandson Nathan (youngest son's oldest boy) married his love, Amanda, weekend before last.

This was a three day event in a beautiful mountain setting. Family and wedding party stayed in the lodge and cabins. We had a great time.

This past weekend, we headed to the coast for another grandson's wedding: Gregg (youngest daughter's middle son) and his love, Caitlin.

This was in a gorgeous garden in Montecito (Gregg's uncle's backyard). Beautiful wedding and like the one before, got to see lots of relatives. Loved every minute of both weddings and receptions.

Now it's time to put my fanny in the seat and get to work on my own book.



  1. Marilyn, you and I have been on similar trajectories. I'm judging two national book contest, one for already published books and one for book manuscripts. And finding the same things you did. *sigh* Then got sidetracked by a big family get-together so everyone in the extended family could meet my brother's fiancee visiting from Brazil. But I've got a new contract for the next Skeet Bannion book and a crazy deadline for final manuscript of August 15, so it's butt to the chair here, as well.

    Congratulations on your two grandsons' weddings and best wishes to all of them!

  2. I hear you, Marilyn! I've worked with newbie writers now and again. Some show great promise, others are determined to put the cart before the horse. Or the story before the sentence structure as the case may be! Beautiful photos!

  3. Thanks for commenting Linda and Laura. Glad to know that others face the same problems.