Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Step in the Write Direction--April 13, 2015--Show, Don't Tell, and Peace in the Storm

A Step in the Write Direction

April 13, 2015

Update: Although it may sound like a paradox, I’ve found one way to combat grief is thankfulness. This week I’ve thanked God for giving me a husband I miss, rather than one I’m glad to have gone. I’m thankful for 54 wonderful years together and all the memories. I’m thankful that he is now free from the pain he suffered for so many years with 12 major health problems—and seldom complained. I’m thankful for three wonderful children, a great son-in-law, two precious granddaughters, and other family members who have supported both of us all these years. I’m thankful for Tuesday’s Children, my weekly critique group, who have watched Gary bounce back time and time again when the doctors didn’t think he would make it and who, many times, have sent cards, flowers, and “care” packages. I’m thankful for those I’ve never met but still count as friends—through Facebook and this blog. And I’m especially thankful—and almost amazed, although I shouldn’t be—at the peace God has given me this last month.

Thought for the Day: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27 tlb).

Song for the Day:
Far away in the depths of my spirit tonight
Rolls a melody sweeter than psalm;
In celestial strains it unceasingly falls
O’er my soul like an infinite calm.
Peace, peace, wonderful peace,
Coming down from the Father above!Sweep over my spirit forever, I prayIn fathomless billows of love!
            Warren D. Cornell, “Wonderful Peace”

Laugh for the Day:
Wife:  "There's trouble with the car. It has water in the carburetor."
Husband:  "Water in the carburetor? That's ridiculous."
Wife:  "I tell you the car has water in the carburetor."
Husband:  "You don't even know what a carburetor is. I'll check it out. Where's the car?"
Wife:  "In the pool."
       (Gospel Greats newsletter, March 24, 2015)

Writer’s Tips:                       Last of “Show, Don’t Tell”

Don’t Overuse Adjectives

Pick out the strongest.  Instead of "a pleasant and friendly sounding voice", "pleasant" is enough. Instead of “A small jar,” use “A two-ounce jar.” Instead of “a short, nine-inch board” use “a board the size of Timmy’s arm.”

Remember, An adjective is an opinion, while a verb is a fact.

Okay:   "A big, ferocious, mean dog was in the yard."
Better:            "A hungry-looking dog lunged at me and ripped my pant leg to shreds."  (Robert J. Hastings, How I Write. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1973.)

Samples of Descriptive Writing

The Heart Remembers, June Masters Bacher, Harvest House.
            "She had made a soft landing into the real world of today."
            "My mouth's so dry I could spit enough cotton to knit a sweater."
            "It's a ten-hanky crying jag."
            "One eye that, like his tie, always drifted to the left."
            "We're all different.  Did you think God made a paper-doll pattern from Adam and Eve?"

Because of Love, Susan Talbot (unpublished manuscript)
            "If spirituality could be inherited, I'd been born in full Ephesian armor.  My family tree blossoms with Moody graduates and missionaries."
            "Love posts a 'No Trespassing' sign for tragedy and grief, doesn't it?"
            "The anesthesiologist strapped an oxygen mask over my face.  'Good-bye, Baby,' I whispered.  'Say "Hi" to Jesus for me.'"
            "Maybe there is no God.  Yes, that's it.  I played the odds and lost, simple as that."
            "My faith teetered precariously on the pinpoint of pain."
            "An abortion would result in a lifetime of pain.  An abortion would say God had made a mistake."
            "Seven doctors, two nurses and a photographer tensed around the operating table.  Taunt faces, moist palms, shallow breaths.  Professional veneers stripped bare by the intrusion into the unknown."

 Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.

Donna Clark Goodrich

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·          Anthologies: only have Celebrating Christmas with…Memories, Poetry, and Good Food  left. On sale for $10, $3.17 s&h
·          A Step in the Write Direction—the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers (with assignments throughout); original copies now on sale for half-price--$12.50, $3.17 s&h)

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