Monday, December 19, 2016

Family history??

Interested in learning about your ancestors? I definitely am. In fact, as Sean can attest, it's become a bit of an obsession with me. Finding and recording their stories is rather addictive. In the past couple of years I've discovered so many interesting characters in my various family lines. If you're interested in reading about them, join me over at my family history blog.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Thursday, September 12, 2013

How contest entries improve my writing...before I even enter!

In an effort to resume my writing on a more regular basis, I have entered one writing contest and am working on an entry for a second one. In doing so, I've been reminded just how helpful the act of preparing a contest entry can be.

Case in point - the contest I want to enter this month has a word count limit, rather than a page limit. This fact has forced me to edit even more closely than before. After going over and over this manuscript I was certain it was as tight as it could be, yet without too much trouble I managed to cut at least 20 words. Which left me wondering why they were there in the first place. How had they slipped through so many other times?

I realize that most likely I was editing for other reasons - not strictly for word count. Does that make sense? And it's not as though the words I removed were serving as padding, they were just, in the end, superfluous. But I didn't see that before because I wasn't focussed on making my prose tight - I was focussed on story, dialogue etc. 

Do you still enter writing contests? If so, how do you find they help you with your writing?