Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Miscellany: Amateur Writers, Cocktail Party Fodder and Pithy Quotes

Amateur Writers

I read an article a while back titled, How To Remain An Amateur Writer. Just in case you're aiming for amateur, here are a few tips on how to stay in that category instead of moving into the arena with the pros. I think I've done all of these.

  • Use as many adverbs a possible to save time.
  • Come out of flashbacks with something clever like this: "Her thought returned to the present." 
  • Be sure to impress the reader with your stellar vocabulary.  Inchoate or vitreous should do the job.
  • Your characters should do a lot of these things: raise their eyebrows, shake their heads and sigh. 

Cocktail Party Fodder

  • Charles Dickens touched objects three times for good luck. Really? How silly. *touch, touch, touch*
  • The life span of a taste bud is about 10 days. Will it survive longer if I feed it chocolate?
  • A large river hippo can open its mouth wide enough to fit a four-foot child. I'm off to buy some platform heels just in case a hippo drops by.
  • Alec Guiness is the only actor to receive a best acting nomination of a performance in any of the Star Wars films. That makes total sense.

Pithy Quotes

"If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor." Albert Einstein
"The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking." John Kenneth Galbraith

What are your pointers for remaining an amateur writer? I'm going to a Valentines Day party, so can you give me some more fodder? I suck at "small talk." Any pithy quotes you want to share? Please do.


  1. To remain an amateur writer I will flood my friends emails with daily requests to buy my books and print flyers and place them on a hundred windshields at the mall every day.

  2. Hahah! I love the amateur writing plugs.

  3. I'm surprised even Alec Guiness got a nomination.
    Advice to amateurs - write really long, epic tomes, bigger than any Harry Potter book. And lots and lots of description.

  4. Chocolate makes everything better. =)

    The amateur writer list made me smile.

  5. Hey, I learn vitreous from reading a book in high school. --And I never forgot it.

    To be on the safe side I will feed my tastebuds some chocolate because your logic works for me.

  6. Everything lives longer on chocolate.

  7. The creature with the largest penis to body ratio is the barnacle. It's long enough for him to stay attached to the bottom of the boat while his buddy trolls the ocean floor for babes.

  8. Funny "amateur" mishaps. But one of them is debatable. When you switch from past to present in exposition you DO have to signal in a clear way from one to the other. Though the hackneyed phrase "My thoughts returned to the present" is not the best way. Often times, you can use a setting "tag".

  9. Funny. How about describing the perfect character that has super powers that can solve anything. Right. Have fun at your party.

  10. I had no idea that taste buds were so shortlived!

    And hurray for Obi Wan Kenobi. But Han Solo deserved a nod. :)

  11. Pointers for remaining an amateur writer? Start your manuscript with a dream, especially an action-packed one that gives readers unrealistic expectations! ;)

  12. Oh crap... you mean I gotta revise all my heart-felt raised eye-brows?

  13. Darnit! Off to go work through some of those really big words that add nothing to the scene. But gosh, I really worked hard searching high and low for something that made me sound like Einstein :-)

    Seriously, going to check my MS doesn't have too many adverbs so I don't sing-song my readers away.

    I'm a bit bad at the small talk. I sort of ramble and pray to GOD that I don't say anything too stupid. Not the best plan. But, consider smiling and nodding at the things that make sense. :-)

  14. Don't forget to pack your prose with as many cliches as you can come up with. The more... the merrier. (HA!)

  15. I loved the fun facts! I learned a lot of new things. :)

    Oh- and stop by and read Saturday's The DMS Wants to Know on our blog- you may find some comments about one of your books. :) I wouldn't want you to miss them!

  16. Oh no. My characters occasionally do all three of those things...*quietly draws a line through those parts of the WIP*

    Another way to stay an amateur might be to NEVER EVER write unless everyone can see you writing at Starbucks.

  17. hahha what a great, hilarious post! I'm off to buy my own pair of platform as well. Thanks for making my day, Lee. :D

  18. I loved the amateur writerly nuggets... *giggles*
    You are too funny C. Lee!

  19. Boy did I have stellar vocabulary. My thesaurus was open on my desk all the time...really.


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