Writers’ Corner update 28/09/2016

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 28/09/2016!

One of the latest article in my Writers’ Corner is an interesting one on what we can learn from Quentin Tarantino’s scriptwriting.

In Focus on Filming people seem to like the article on the penis worm that resembles the Sarlacc of ‘Star Wars.’

In Health Herald I couldn’t, of course, pass on the article on the first baby born from the DNA of three parents.

 

Beta Readers Wanted!

Beta Reader

“An alpha reader or beta reader (also spelled alphareader / betareader, or shortened to alpha / beta), also pre-reader or critiquer, is a non-professional reader who reads a written work, generally fiction, with the intent of looking over the material to find and improve elements such as grammar and spelling, as well as suggestions to improve the story, its characters, or its setting. Beta reading is typically done before the story is released for public consumption.[1] Beta readers are not explicitly proofreaders or editors, but can serve in that context.

Elements highlighted by beta readers encompass things such as plot holes, problems with continuity, characterisation or believability; in fiction and non-fiction, the beta might also assist the author with fact-checking.[2]

– Wikipedia –

I need as many as I can get! I have the book in .docx, .pdf, and .htm format; you choose 🙂

I like to bring my book ‘live’ two weeks before Halloween, so you’ll only have two weeks to read it. But if you do, and leave a review when my book goes live, I will be for ever in your debt… 🙂

Just in case you didn’t know what it’s about, here’s the blurb for the book:

Suckers Title

Kate didn’t plan on becoming a super-strong, photo-phobic blood-sucker during ‘Black October,’ but when a vampire-like pandemic breaks out, she has to flee to from her country town to escape the ‘suckers.’

For a moment she thought she was safe, but she was wrong. Very wrong.

Thrown into turmoil, action and drama, and falling in love with a sucker to top it all off, Kate has no choice but to pretend she is a sucker too.

Will love lure her over to the dark side…?

LLAV LOGO

One Stop Fiction Online Book Club

One Stop Fiction is the baby of OSFARG (One Stop Fiction Authors Resource Group). It is an online book club for readers and writers. They have lots of book available, amongst which 30 FREE books, 20 genres to choose from, and a competition in which you can win a kindle reader worth $110! What more could you want?

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Sign up now and enjoy the work of indie writers from all over the world. If you are a writer you can also advertise your books here. There is something for everyone!

It’s so easy, just sign up here…

This is the current list of FREE books available, if you still have any doubts about signing up 🙂 :

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Just a thought…

I have been playing with this idea for the last few days. Please let me know if I’m an idiot, I’m sure most of you will think so 🙂 . Here’s my thought:

Why not get rid of the letter ‘r’ after the letter ‘t.’

Really, I don’t see the point of it. If you take the ‘r’ out of the word, the remaining word is still unique (most of the time). And when it is not, the context of the sentence should take away any doubt. Here are a few examples:

Train –> Tain

Tractor –> Tactor

Trust –> Tust

One of the examples my daughter gave me in which it didn’t work was:

Trap –> Tap

But the context should make it plain what word we are referring to. And we can change to the American spelling for the letter ‘r’ at the end of a word, as that’s the way you pronounce it anyway 🙂 .

Centre –> Center

What is your opinion?

Lessons Learned #30

I had no idea what to write all week in my Lessons Learned, until I reached the point in my book where girl gets boy. And they go to bed for the first time. And they have sex. There, I’ve said it, the ‘S’-word. Sex! It has been such a taboo, until ’50 Shades of Grey’ came out and now it’s okay to read and talk about it (thank you, E.L. James!).

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Before we go on, I’d like to make you understand what  the difference is between erotica and porn. Absolutely nothing. If you Google ‘erotic definition’ you get “relating to or tending to arouse sexual desire or excitement.” If you Google ‘pornography definition’ you get “printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate sexual excitement.” So apart from the display of sexual organs perhaps, both are intended to stimulate sexual arousal. By the way, the letters in the heading are letters from the ‘nineteenth-century erotic alphabet,’ to be found on Wiki Commons. If you take Google literally, this is actually porn. A few descriptions of the difference of the two that sprung out in my research were ‘the height of the book shelf,’ ‘what he wants and what she wants’ and ‘it depends on the lighting.’ You decide what you call it.

Should you write about sex? Absolutely! It happens in everyday life, it’s the essence of our existence; no sex, no life. I must admit, I like to call my sex scenes ‘love scenes’ as I think that is what I write about. I don’t put it in as something gratuitous to rake up the audience numbers, as so many tv series seem to do nowadays. My son of fourteen has seen more sex on tv than I had when I was twenty-one. The business of written erotica also has never been so good! Since we can read whatever ‘anonymously’ on our tablet, without the tell-tale cover visible to all around us, the world is your oyster.

So how to write a good sex scene? That takes just as much thinking as any other scene in your story. Obviously there are the clichés to be avoided, like naming the sexual organs (unless you write hard core porn perhaps). Less is more. Don’t forget we are writing, not making a movie. The reader has their own imagination and all you have to do is to suggest, leave it up to them on what it looks like. Reading up on how to film a sex scene a while back, they said that close-ups of body parts are more arousing than the actual deed. Her hand gripping the sheets, his halter of breath, her moan as his head went below her navel, that kind of stuff. As the majority of erotica readers are older than forty-five, explicit description of the deed is like telling somebody how to eat.

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Another thing that is important in sex scenes is reality. People have sex as an affirmation of their emotional attraction to each other, no matter their looks. Well, normally, so let’s stick with that. While making love they explore each other’s bodies, so why not describe that. Not everybody is perfect and that’s okay. Let your protagonist caress that mole, tickle that flabby belly, kiss those stretch marks. It makes it all more believable. Readers should be able to relate and feel good about themselves, not feel too ugly to have sex themselves!

Last but not least, if what you write doesn’t do anything for you, the writer, it’s not working. If you can’t feel anything, what makes you think your reader would feel something? I live and breath my characters; I am happy when they laugh, I mourn when they die, and I get aroused when they make love. My husband isn’t complaining, if that is anything to go by 🙂 . Give it a try, it may spice up your love life too!

Have a Wonderful (and Sexy) Writing Weekend!

Writers’ Corner update 21/09/2016

Check out my Writers’ Corner update 21/09/2016!

In my Writers’ Corner there’s an interesting article about writers being prone to procrastination, an account of how somebody dies exactly (for those describing death scenes), and I’ve added a funny with Tweets about teachers.

In my Focus on Filming magazine there is an article called ‘How to handle breasts,’ aimed at screenwriters, and a blooper reel from the Warcraft movie.

My Health Herald has two interesting articles on how to raise children/girls. Apparently you really need to push them!

And… Action!

Tonight I met with two wonderful people (and their daughter, a wonderful small person), who agreed to film the short ‘You Should Have’ with us. We got along like peas in a pod and I am sure there will be many more shorts that will feature them.

I’m so excited that we are finally filming again!

Movie Review: Hunt For The Wilderpeople

Score: 8/10

– Warning: Spoiler Alert! –

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Yesterday evening we saw ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople,’ a lovely feel-good movie for the whole family. We were supposed to see it on Saturday evening, but I got the timing wrong and we showed up at the theatre an hour after the movie started. The ticket lady was so kind to give us tickets for the next day session, but I forgot it was a school day afterwards, so no sleep-in for the kids. Sorry, kids…

Anyway, the movie was great! It was so funny 🙂 . First of all because is was lovely to hear the New Zealand dialect again. They pronounce the ‘i’ as ‘e’ and the word six gets a whole different meaning… (not that it featured in this movie, LOL!). Secondly, because the people in the movie call a spade a spade. No tippy toe-ing to keep everybody happy, just calling what it is. And it is such a relief! Our society is so ‘you can’t say this’ and ‘you can’t do that,’ it’s not funny anymore. To go back to ‘real life’ is like a breath of fresh air, or like eating a peppermint chewie (which I did during the movie and hadn’t since a long time).

The story is about a boy, Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison), who has been dragged through ‘the system’ since he can remember. The movie starts when he is dropped off at a last foster address. If this doesn’t work the next stop will be ‘juvie,’ the juvenile detention centre. Fortunately he finally finds his place, but when disaster strikes (his foster mum, played by Rima Te Wiata, suddenly dies) he has to pair up with his unwilling foster father (Sam Neil). They disappear into the bush and a large scale manhunt ensues.

The acting is real to over-the-top. Sam Neil is of course gorgeous as the grumpy foster dad, you immediately want to hug Rima Te Wiata, and Julian Dennison doesn’t do a bad job either. The role of Rachel House as Paula, the Child welfare worker, is the one that’s over-the-top, giving her character a bit of a slapstick feel, but this makes the gloomy subject of ‘the system’ watchable for young children. The New Zealand landscape features heavily in this movie and is just gorgeous to look at, with prehistoric ferns and all. If you can’t afford to go there to enjoy it in real life, this movie will give you a good look at it from the comfort of your seat.

There is obviously a moral to the story, one that everybody should head; kids nowadays are playing up because they are just plain bored. Hopefully some good will come from people watching it. If you have kids, do take them to see it. It’s a fun movie, full of excitement and weird characters. A fun time for all!

 

Lessons Learned #29

American vs. British English

When I decided to set my novels in Maine, US, I had no idea yet that I had to change my UK English to US English as well. When I sent my first draft (first fifteen or so chapters) to a friend of mine, she noted that I needed to ‘Americanize’ my English. For example, I had used ‘pound shop’ instead of ‘dollar shop,’ which of course needed to become ‘thrift store’ to be more accurate to what I had in mind (also known as ‘op shop’ for the Australians amongst us). There were many more words I needed to change, like mobile phone needed to become cell, drive needed to become driveway and car park needed to become parking lot.

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According to an article I found on a website, the American English differs from British English in vocabulary (of which I just gave a few examples), grammar and spelling. One of the grammar issues I noted in this article (of whom the name of the writer eludes me) is that of differences in possession. Apparently it is very British to say ‘Have you got any wine?’ The Americans would say ‘Do you have any wine?’ There were so many times I put the word ‘got’ in my own text! It came as a bit of a surprise to me how British I am 🙂 .

Fortunately there are many websites that will give you the American version of British words. The only thing I wasn’t sure of was the saying of ‘The car didn’t move and inch.’ Do the Americans still use this expression, even though they use the metric system for distances?

Fortunately you can switch to US English in Word and all your British ‘mistakes’ will be pointed out for you, in particular the verbs that need to have a ‘z’ instead of an ‘s’ in the past tense, like ‘legalized’ and ‘motorized.’ It looks weird at first, but soon you get used to it and it becomes automatic. It surprised me that I am now able  to write American without thinking about it. It’s like writing in another language; you do or you don’t, there is no mix up of the two. Sure, I don’t know every single word, but hey, long live the internet!

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I heard some people don’t like reading American English, or British English for that matter. Why? Wouldn’t it be incredibly strange to read a cowboy saying ‘see you in a jiffy’? And when somebody in London talks about their ‘cell,’ the first thing that comes to my mind is a terrorist group. Stick to your culture, I have no problem with that, but be open to others’. Not wanting to read in the ‘other’ language is like shutting down half the library. What a waste!

I had hoped to embed a little You Tube video of Michael McIntyre here, where he explains why American English is different from British English, but my free wordpress subscription won’t let me. It is very funny though and I don’t want to deprive you of it. Just go to You Tube, type in or copy ‘Americans Don’t Understand English – The Jonathan Ross Show’ and enjoy!

Have a Wonderful Writing Weekend!

Do I?

Conversation between DH and myself this morning:

Me: “What what.”

DH: “What?”

Me: “Farquad.”

DH: “…You don’t make sense…”

Me: “Do I have to?”