Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hiatus? No, not really...

“So, are you and Larry on hiatus?” a friend of mine asked at lunch.
I chewed my lettuce more slowly while I thought about the answer. “No, we’re just really, really slow writers.”

Which got me to thinking…I’m not really a slow writer. I’m a slow idea-generator. And Larry? You’ll have to ask him.
Since we started Book Two, we’ve been churning out a scene about every two weeks. At that rate, it’ll take us about five years to complete Book Two. Actually, that’s how long Book One took. Although, we did take a hiatus while I went back to school.
Maybe it just SEEMS slower than the first one. On it we didn’t pick up the pace and begin producing a chapter a month until close to the end. We were motivated. The end was in sight!
Right now, we’re at the beginning, maybe 30 pages in, and moving at a drunken slug’s pace. Sprinkled with salt. On a sunny day. It won’t last. Once we get a few more chapters under our belt and all of the characters introduced, we’ll be able to pick up the pace. Maybe instead of five years, it’ll take, oh….I don’t know…let’s go with ‘fewer’.
In the mean time, I’m back to researching agents and hopefully (this time, I know I’ve sad it before) get our manuscript submitted somewhere. I have a few names I’m considering and a query letter almost complete. Just a few tweaks.
And instead of spending five years on tweaks, I aim to actually take…

Monday, May 7, 2012

She purports...

“She purports that…”
“Wait, what was that word?”
“Oh, reports.”
“No, purports. P-U-R-P-O-R-T-S”
“Never heard that. What does it mean?”
“Claims. Well, claims implies it isn’t true. Says? Reports? Yeah, reports probably works.”
He sat there looking at me with his mouth open. “Then why not just say it?”
“It didn’t occur to me you wouldn’t know purports.”
Then that very night I saw purports in a book I was reading. See? I’m not the only one who uses it. Vindication is mine!
Word choice. The English language affords us endless opportunity to tweak a meaning or add connotation. The word “dispatch”for instance. Connotation implies a stressful, busy, loud environment. Which is why I didn’t apply for a job I was qualified for. Give me a quiet cube in the corner, and I’m golden.
New words are fun to learn, and generally you can glean the meaning from the context of the sentence. But every now and then I run across an author that really annoys me by throwing in LOTS of words I don’t know. Depending on my mood and access to a dictionary I’ll either tough it out and hope they stop or just put the book down.
So I guess the lesson I learned here is to keep in mind my audience when I’m both talking and writing.
And now I know my audience knows the word purports!