July 11, 2013

Kill the Redshirts...and Other Advice

In the latest Writer's Digest newsletter, I ran across some fun advice: 4 Things Star Trek Can Teach Us About Writing. Lesson #1: destroy the literary equivalent of those pesky, oft-eliminated Redshirts. In fact, that's already come in handy for me during my rewrite, especially this bit:

Another red shirt that deserves what’s coming to him is what the Marshall Plan for Novelists refers to as Morse Code—the overuse of dots and dashes to make a character’s sentences trail off. This is a common tool used by many beginners, but like most tools, it has limited uses. You can’t hammer concrete nails with a screwdriver, and a soldering iron is practically useless for joining two pieces of wood. So go ahead and let the characters finish their sentences.
Apparently, back in 2004 when I first wrote this, my characters used to do a lot of trailing off...

Tamora Pierce! Elizabeth Wein! Robin LaFevers! So many of our writing heroes and blog buds are going to be taking part in SLJ's SummerTeen 2013. This online event takes place July 24th and it is FREE, so you have no reason not to sign up! Chat sessions! Giveaways! Author panels live on webcam, including one on Embracing Diversity! The one single reason I haven't already signed up is that I leave the country on July 25th, rather early in the a.m., so I have a limited ability to commit to anything the previous day, but I adore all three of those ladies I already mentioned, so...we'll see.

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