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Putting Words Together

To be honest with you, I don't like writing, but I like the way I write.   I happen to think there are more important things I should be doing with my life.
       When I do read the words I put together, I can happily say just as a few of my readers say: That I have a way with words. I guess it's because I have a strong hold on the difference between the written word and the spoken word.
          One reader told me that he liked the way I wrote because I had a way a writing the things he has always wanted to say, but didn't know how to say them.

If there are other writers out there that feel inspired by my material, they might be curious about how I developed my talent. You may also be looking for some advice in the field. Maybe you would like to know a little about my theories and attitude towards them.

Believe me; there are tons of books out there for the purpose of teaching people how to write. Character development, painting a picture with words, plot development, and it's safe to say that all the crap one book says, is often said another and maybe a different way.
     A often wonder how these authors of "how to write" books can even come up with another book about the same information?

When ever I find myself at writer's conventions or writer's groups, where a person of some authority in the writing profession is there to speak, I'm always amazed at the stupid questions the wanna bee writers ask the professionals. What amazes me is that almost all the questions asked at these events are usually same questions answered in almost every "How to Write" book. These wanna bees should stop writing there crap and take some time to actually read a few instructions once in awhile. If they would only do this, I would guess the guest speakers might get to answer some intelligent questions.

Like when I met the co-creator of the TV show "Friends." Just about every question the, "what to be" writers asked, was questions that has been answered in dozens different books on selves of any book store. These writers who where asking these stupid questions, should give up and burn their computer; because they are just too dam stupid to be trying to write a book.

When Stephen King's book,
"On Writing" came out I opened it up and read the first and second foreword. I had to agree with him on what he wrote in the second foreword about the fact that most of the books written, on how to write, were full of shit.
          Unfortunately, I feel somewhat the same way as Stephen King in that department. But then he said that there was one exception and the name of the book is
Stunk and White, the Elements of Style. It just so happened to be the only book on writing that I actually had bought prior to picking up his book, On Writing. When I read that he recommended the only book I'd ever felt I needed to buy on writing, it blew my mind and it more or less sold me on his book, Stephen King -- On writing.

So I read some of King's book and thought it was pretty funny and quite entertaining. No doubt I just had to buy it. As it turned out I read about 80 pages of it in the first two days. He's a super good story teller, but I see where his style and mine are different. Although I've learned a lot from his writing, I see where his is backwards from mine in places. I feel like going in there and switch things around. I see where he hammers things out and the goes back and (Like the Rule 17 of the Struck and White) omits the unnecessary words. I not only do that, but I rearrange things more.

I don't think he put as much time and effort into the book as he should have. I get that because he had a deadline a couple years of from when he was writing it. Then the accident came along and screwed thing up on him.

I'd have to say my hat is off to his wife. She just has to be a very special person to believe in a guy so much to be digging in his garbage and encouraging him to stick with a story idea that he had given up on. Happy isn't the word for describing how I felt when I read that the story she dug out of a trash can brought along a $200,000 paper back advance which set them on their feet from there out.

Steve's book sure dose what he wrote it for, because it sure can motivate a person to write. He writes in a way that you can relate to. I saw that he (somewhat) frequently uses the "F" word and it made me realize I wasn't so bad for me to use it occasionally myself. I figure -- if the great Steven King can get away with it -- so can I. I find that we (both use) parentheses quite a bit.

Steve hates the use of the word "cool". Oh well, I guess he will find many bumps in the roads that I write. However I've gotta say; he sure motivated me to write and makes me appreciate the talent I have in my writing.

1-19-00; I read a write up on Stephen King in this months Writers Journal. Sounds like he hasn't been very happy with the way ABC television has portrayed his stories.

1-20-01; Something Stephen King said in the Writers Journal makes me revert back to some of my thoughts about this whole bit. He said that people tend to forget about movies, but books live on and have a much longer life span.

Another nifty writing tool in reference books is a book published by Writers’ Digest Books. It's titled "Flip Dictionary," (ISBM 0-89879-976-7). It uses a multitude of phrases as the source words for a thesaurus. As the sub-title says: "For when you know what you want to say, but can't think of the word." It's like looking up phrases and finding the simpler single words to say the same thing. It's just the sort of thing my mind can stick me with -- the phrase but not the words I'm looking for. Basically a Flip Dictionary is a specialize version of a thesaurus. It has sure come in handy and many times it has helped me find words quickly.

Another investment to consider, but not so important unless you are a foreigner new to the English language, is a book on English usage. I bought the full size hard cover Merrian Webster's Dictionary of English Usage because I like the scores of sample sentences within it. It helps me figure out whether I should use "phoney" or "phony." Well "phoney" is the proper one in Great Britain, but "phony" is used more often. The Merrian Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage also refers to things is written in the Folyers English Usage book as well as others. I have a feeling the real McCoy is probably the one published by Penguin: The Penguin Dictionary of American English Usage and Style. But the $40 price tag for the Penguin, convinced me to buy the $25 Webster, since I'm not too sure how handy they are yet. Every once in a while I find myself looking through it learning things about words and their proper use as well as alternate words which could be used as well. There are other English word usage books out there and if I had the money, I'd probably have them all just for the hell of it. But I think they are only useful if English happens to be a foreign language to you.

If you think one of those most miss-spelled word books are going to help you, I'd think not. I myself use one when I started out, but it became a waste of time looking for a word that wasn't there. The Webster's New World Thesaurus is what I usually use to find the right spelling for a word. It's faster than looking for words in a dictionary because the words are not broken up and there is less space between words.

Basically in review -- yah need a good dictionary, a thesaurus, a book on punctuation, and don't forget the Strunk and White Elements of Style

Listed in what I feel is in priority of importance:

     1. Bartlett's Roget's Thesaurus

    2. Strunk and White Elements of Style

    3. Webster's New World - College Edition
        Dictionary   

    4.  Webster's New World - Roget's A-Z
         Thesaurus

    5. Merriam-Webster's Concise,
        Handbook for Writers

    6. Flip Dictionary,
        published by Writers’ Digest Books

    7. English Usage

The Bartlett's would probably be the last one I'd want to be without. The Webster's New World -combination - Dictionary and Thesaurus is the handiest one when I'm out on the go and I just want to look up word.

My problem is if I get all these books while I'm homeless, it would take a hand truck to carry them all. Most of the one's I've got are sitting in storage except my Bartlett's and combo.

Hell, Rule No. 34;
I've got a lot more on writing in Sunnyside, and I'm not giving it all away. It's like my reading column, I took the least of value and rewrote it once and posted it on the web.

I have a lot more material covering what I gathered from script-writing and not to forget the motion picture industry too. One of these days I'll have to dig it up and post it. Check back later.

If you've got them and a computer -- you're set.
              Just get writing. 
 

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November 27th, 2008: I've taken on a new challenge, inspired by Benjamin Franklin. What has inspired me is that while he had his own newspaper, he lacked the staff of writers he needed. So he began writing articles pros and cons about various topics and sign than as if they were authored by different people.
      This got me to thinking when I got an e-mail from a company that offered to write 4 blog entries for the cost of $25.oo. Then I realized that fake entries in community chat rooms must be how most forums start in the first place.
    Since I had a forum already with lots of visits, but nobody signed up; I thought now that I do have 5 times the traffic; and I have a better idea of what kind of material I would need to start it; I've decided to fake a few members to get it rolling.
   However, since I don't have money to pay any other writer, I'm doing what Benjamin Franklin would have done. Faking it.
   The challenge of it for me is not just coming up with the topic of discussions, but the hard part id trying to disguise my writing style because it's so distinctive that anyone who reads much of my stuff will be able to tell in a heart beat if I don't.
    So far, I flunk myself at the effort because it doesn't fool me, but another part of the challenge is keeping the entries short and figuring out where the dialog is going to go in the future.
   So please folks, if you are one of my fans or repeat readers, please log on and help me out.
 Good day and Happy Thanksgiving.

 

October 12, 2008: I think it's kind of ironic, that some people will tell me that my writing is disorganized, and hard to read and understand; but just as often I get e-mails from the owners and editors of other web-sites, asking me to write for them. Hell I'm busy enough with this crap, I don't need to be doing if for someone else,especially when they don't offer any money for it. Gee, as you should know already, I don't want any more experience as it. I just think some people should learn how to read more than some blog entry.

January 3rd, 2007: I worked on the rewrite of Great B a bit. It was the first time in a year I'd looked at it much.....
    It wasn't bad. It had more charm than I remembered it having.
    It turned out to be eleven pages.

Jan.24, 2007: I've got 12 pages of rewrite left on the chapter covering my stay in Australia. I'm sure it will end up like 20 by time I'm done. I just have to let this web-site be for a week or so.

Jan. 25, 2007: Have I ever told you how much I hate writings. It took me all afternoon to get maybe three pages down. It was like the first draft was just a bunch of fragmented ideas. Since none of it's the same, my guess its had work because I'm converting a journal voice into a narrative book.
     A better way I might put it is that I'm having to change from present day to story telling of the past. The tenses are all screwed up an I have to turn things around to make them connect and flow.

Feb.14 '07: Although I finished the rewrite on the last chapter covering my stay in Australia; it's got some big holes to fill. It will probably take some time to get around doing that.

Feb.15 '07: I heard one of the girls at the coffee shop talk about my web-site to her friends.
          She said:     "Every time I get on it, I end up reading."
       I guess that's a good thing.

 

"Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it."
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Poets & Writers mag. Jan - Feb. 2008
had and interview with literary agent Lynn Nesbit

I liked this part where she talked about how she landed a great writer Donald Barthelme while she was an assistant to Sterling Lord.
       Lord through down a few books on the table and told her to read them and write back to any of the writers she liked. She liked Barthelme's, The Big Broadcast of 1938, so she wrote to Barthelme asking to represent him.
      He answered back, "Fine." 

She said, "There would be thirty agents crawling all over that story today - there are more agents than writers. And there are more writers than readers. I'm convinced of that."

 

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