Fireflies & Laserbeams

Throwback Thursday – 5 Things That Will Make Me Drop Your Book Like a Hot Potato – Revisited

Thursday June 20, 2019 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Blogging | Leave Comments

Part of my ongoing thing on Thursdays to revisit some of the older posts that are still valid. This one dates back to Nov 22, 2011.*

I read
Chuck Wendig’s 25 things that will make me keep reading your story and it made me think, I have WAAAAAYYY more things that will make me STOP reading your story (Okay, I might have overstated that, it's only 5 things).  And of course he posts about that very thing this morning.  ARRRRGGH!   Anyway, not to copy, but I had this idea in my head, so I’m going with it. If I see a blurb that I like or a nice cover or get a recommendation from one of my friends, I will pick up your book and give it a fair shake.  Unlike Chuck, I'm not standing in the doorway with a gun in your face waiting to not like it.  If I've gotten as far as cracking the cover and reading the first page I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt.   I want to like it.  But there are a few things that will make me drop your book like a hot rock, or hot potato or anything hot. You get the idea. Here we go: (more…)

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Tuesday June 11, 2019 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Blogging | Leave Comments

Big doins here at Fireflies & Laserbeams. I am moving the main blog to Wordpress from Blogger. It has been good to me, but I am ready for something new. [caption id="attachment_1028" align="alignright" width="332"]5333775194_2bff9efa43_m thierry ehrmann Alchemy LXXXIX - Alchimie _DDC2414[/caption] I've completed a new story. I call it new because it is very different from what it was, and involved a complete overhaul/rewrite. I am going to make an effort to blog more as well. It's been awhile since I posted about my writing. Truth be told I took a bit of a break. I had finished two books, along with my MFA, and then I submitted my work. Not sure if I hit a hundred "no thanks" or not. I could count, but suffice to say it was a lot, and it was demoralizing. Heartbreaking even. There is a reason so many writers are self-publishing. It's hard to break in now. I made a vow to myself that I would let failure stop me. There are no wasted words. (more…)

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Love Your Words (but not too much)

Monday October 27, 2014 | By Hieronymus Hawkes | Uncategorized | Leave Comments

Ziegler has a lot of great quotes in his book, The Writing Workshop Notebook, but this one made me laugh and at the same time it rings very true. I spend a lot of time on picking the right words. I spend even more time picking out names of characters and places.
Words have power. They set tone and image and put the reader into the world you are creating. My wife thinks I spend too much time worrying about such things, but the wrong word can be jarring or confusing to the reader, and may draw them out of the story, maybe for only a moment, but great writing is experienced, not just read. When done extraordinarily well, the author becomes invisible and the reader simply goes along for the ride.
Contrary-wise, when the wrong words are chosen, or when there are too many, the reader gets bogged down and can certainly tell there is a conductor at the front of the locomotive who is determined to drive the train off the tracks.
Writers can fall in love with certain passages, and sometimes it can be to the detriment of the story. Less is more may be a cliché, but it's usually true. We've all read stories that were clunky or overly wordy. It's actually one of my pet peeves. I get irritated when the author goes on and on about a particular subject or describes everything in sight in excruciating detail. The consequence is that I skip the passage. If the writer stubbornly continues I may put the book down altogether.
Sometimes even when you love them you need to set them free!

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